The director behind the groundbreaking third episode of "The Last of Us" has said that he wanted to "trick" his audience into watching a gay love story.
The first two episodes of the series adapted from the popular video game, focus predominantly on fighting zombies in a post-apocalyptic world, but the third episode veers off course with a self-contained love story between two men, Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett).
The episode, directed by Peter Hoar, who is gay and is known for his work on the British LGBT+ miniseries, "It's a Sin," was intended to show viewers that love has no boundaries.
"Sometimes you have to sort of trick the rest of the world into watching these things before they're like, 'Oh, my God, it was two guys. I just realized,' " Hoar told Inverse. "I think then they might understand that it's all real. It's just the same love."
Hoar went on to discuss how the sexuality of Offerman's character was explored in the episode.
"Bill is complicated. I would definitely argue that Bill doesn't come across as a gay man," he said. "It's a little less binary than that. He is a man who never really discovered himself. He lived in a world of mistrust.
"He lived with his mother for a certain long number of years, she then died, and he had the house. He pulled himself away from society."
Hoar explained that the character was "never going to naturally discover who he was to fall in love with or who he found attractive until Frank came along."
Even then, Hoar continued, "it wasn't just about being a man, it was because he was Frank. It was because Frank is Frank. I felt like it was about making sure to keep reminding them all of that."
Ultimately, the dynamic between the two characters was about "heart and love and truth," Hoar added.
"They are kind and gentle to each other. Middle-aged men falling in love; you don't get that all the time, so I think that was nice. They're just such professionals. They didn't need much help and guidance other than just feeling good every day about what we were doing."
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