Pedro Pascal is a force to reckon with, both on-screen and off-screen. The Chilean-American actor has been making waves lately, not only for his role as the titular character in The Mandalorian but also in his latest gig as Joel in the highly anticipated The Last of Us adaptation.

However, where there is fame, there are paparazzi, and Pedro recently had to shut them down, refusing to answer any questions about The Last of Us’ LGBT+ themes. While some may wonder why he declined to comment, the answer is quite simple: the story should speak for itself.

The Last of Us is an award-winning video game that tackles heavy themes of loss, love, and survival in a post-apocalyptic world. The game’s protagonist, Joel, forms an unlikely bond with a young girl named Ellie as they navigate through a world ravaged by a fungal pandemic. Along the way, their relationship deepens, leading to speculation that the characters’ bond will be explored as a romantic one in the upcoming adaptation.

LGBT+ representation in media is vital, and it’s no surprise that fans of The Last of Us are eager to see how the film adaptation will handle the subject matter. But Pedro’s refusal to answer questions is not an admission of discrimination or avoidance of the subject. Instead, it’s a call for patience and understanding.

Firstly, the story must come first. The Last of Us is an engaging narrative that transcends the characters’ sexual orientation; the heart of the story is about human connection and survival. While representation is important, it should not be the sole focus of a narrative. By reducing the characters to their sexual orientation, we risk overlooking the depth of their relationship and the rest of their individuality.

Secondly, Pedro is an actor, not a spokesman. While it’s admirable for public figures to use their platform to push for social change, it’s also essential to remember that they are people with privacy rights. Expecting them to comment on every issue that concerns their work is not only intrusive but also unfair.

As Pedro pointed out in a recent interview with Variety, “it’s up to the audience to interpret” the characters’ relationship dynamic. This statement is crucial in understanding the role of the actor in storytelling. While actors bring characters to life, they are not the authors of the narrative. It’s ultimately up to the audience to interpret the story and its themes.

The Last of Us adaptation is still in the making and has yet to be released. Speculation about the characters’ arcs is natural, but it’s also important not to jump to conclusions. The film’s creators have not given any official statements about any character’s sexual orientation, and we should respect that until a clear indication is given.

Furthermore, LGBT+ representation is a complex issue. While positive representation is vital, it’s also important to approach the subject matter with sensitivity and care. Poorly written representation runs the risk of damaging the already limited representation of the queer community in mainstream media.

The Last of Us has set a high standard for storytelling, and it’s essential for the adaptation to continue that legacy. Representation should not be used as a marketing tool to increase viewership or as a shield against criticism. Rather, it should be genuine and thoughtfully crafted, reflective of our diversity.

In closing, Pedro Pascal’s decision to shut down paparazzi questions about The Last of Us’ LGBT+ themes highlights two significant issues. Firstly, the story must come first, and representation is secondary to an engaging plot. Secondly, actors have a right to privacy and should not be expected to comment on every aspect of their work. It’s up to the viewers to interpret the story and its themes, and we should do so with patience and a willingness to learn.

The Last of Us is an exceptional story that has captured the hearts of millions worldwide. With its adaptation, we can only hope that it continues to inspire and move us, with or without the inclusion of LGBT+ themes.