The Podcast: Exclusive Interview With Halley Gross, The Last Of Us, Part II Writer Who Made Me Tear Up

By Harold Goldberg

We’re in this cramped, darkened and cold room and the now well-known scene in The Last of Us Part II is playing. That clip features nearly 12 minutes of touching drama and action-oriented gameplay which will forever be thought of as The Kiss. And it made me tear up. I’m still trying to parse why I was so moved and I think that needs to be written about at length in a future piece.

But right after the gameplay ended, I was whisked into a brighter room to interview Halley Gross, the writer who had just made my eyes well up. I actually didn’t know about this opportunity beforehand. Still emotional from those 12 minutes, I pulled out two mics, plugged them into my phone, and recorded this podcast.

Here, you’ll learn more about the creative process that went into putting together that landmark scene with Ellie and Riley – and The Last of Us Part II as a whole. Halley Gross, who’s written for the Michael Crichton novel-based, Red Dead Redemption-inspired “Westworld,” also talked about what it’s like to collaborate with Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann – and the difficult dreams she experienced during the writing process.

I’ll have more on that scene’s effect when I collect my motley thoughts in a way that’s cogent and clear.

Author/journalist Harold Goldberg is the Founder of the New York Videogame Critics Circle, a nonprofit organization that gives back to the community. @haroldgoldberg


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