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Interview: Nico Parker On Her Brief Yet Impactful Work in ‘The Last of Us’

Nico Parker made me cry. There I said it. If you do not know what I am talking about, then I recommend you bookmark this page, go watch HBO’s The Last of Us, and finish watching our conversation later. It does not taking a parent of similarly aged daughters to be soul crushed by the fate of her character, but it certainly helped drill that stake into my heart just a little bit deeper – and maybe with an added a twist or two for good measure.

Surprisingly though, it is not just Sarah’s fate which makes her work so impactful. The actress has a natural element to her performance that gives her a relatable every-girl feel. For me it tapped directly into my connection with my daughters. Parker injects Sarah with a sweetness that permeates everything and everyone around her on-screen, especially with her co-star, the incredible Pedro Pascal as her father Joel. The chemistry that takes place between the pair in the early goings of The Last of Us sets the incredibly high emotional trajectory of the series. Which may explain why Parker’s leaves a lasting impression that extends long beyond her time on-screen and throughout the series, both for the viewers and Joel.

Photograph by Shane Harvey/HBO

Parker sat down with Awards Radar to discuss her work on the series in a conversation that covers joining the series, what creeped her out most, why she describes Sarah as ‘yellow,’ fighting off those ‘zombies,’ her favorite compliment (hint: in involves tears), seeing herself in Sarah and much more. She even had a very, very unique answer used to describe Sarah for my standard “3 words to describe…” closer question. Watch the interview to find out just what that was.

Here Parker explains what it like watching the series after her scenes:

“It was so cool to see, Pedro, just how much his character develops, because the version of him that I saw when I was filming was not that. You know? Because, when we were filming it’s prior to outbreak and Sarah’s death and everything. So seeing him was so cool. I was so proud. And seeing Bella, I didn’t get to see any of their work, really, because we didn’t film any of the same times. But to see how wonderful they are, it was just like, so cool. I was just so proud to be part of something like that. Because, after I die, I felt like I wasn’t really involved anymore. So I could just watch the show completely objectively.”

Nico Parker made me cry and she’s proud of it. She should be. Enjoy our full 19-minute conversation below.

Photograph by Shane Harvey/HBO

You can watch Nico’s performance and the complete first season of The Last of Us now streaming on Max.


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Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Awards Circuit and Screen Radar. He has conducted interviews with some of the best in the business - learning more about them, their projects and their crafts. He is a graduate of the RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.

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