In the latest episode of HBO’s The Last Of Us, Rutina Wesley’s character, Maria, was added to the fold.

The actress recently spoke about the daunting task of playing a character that’s already been established.


Wesley told Entertainment Weekly, “It’s terrifying playing a character that’s been established, even though it’s a game. But I also was up for the challenge of playing her in my way and putting my energy on it to see what people would think of that.”

The Last of Us follows Joel and Ellie, a duo united by the adversity of the world they inhabit who must overcome terrible conditions and merciless murderers as they journey through a post-fungus outbreak America.

Wesley plays Maria, one of the leaders of a settlement where Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) find Joel’s brother, Tommy (Gabriel Luna). Viewers find out Tommy, who we met in the first episode, is now married to Maria. We find out Maria is pregnant, and she takes a special interest in Ellie in the episode.

“When you are going to be a mother at some point, I think she naturally gravitates towards Ellie in that motherly way without her really even knowing she’s doing it,” Wesley added. “It’s her instinct because she can’t help that fact. Also, I think that Maria is challenged by Ellie in a way that she secretly loves. I think there’s a part of Maria that’s looking at Ellie like, ‘Who is this little girl?’”


Wesley’s character has a confirmed role in the series going forward, as Maria makes appearances in the second entry in the video game series the show is adapting.


The actress is excited for what the future holds, saying, “I’m looking forward to something if they decide to come my way. I’m totally excited about that, because I did have fun playing with Gabe. He’s really great. It would just be like icing on the cake. This is enough where it is ’cause it is a huge hit. So if it didn’t happen, I’d be great with it because this show is really good.”

New episodes of The Last Of Us air on Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.