FALLOUT Series’ Sarita Choudhury Teases a Queer Love Story and How Moldaver Survived the Bombs

Spoiler Alert

In media, there’s subtext, and then there’s text that just hasn’t yet gotten to tell its story. And when I watched the final episode of the Fallout series first season, I was convinced that what I saw brewing between Sarita Choudhury’s Moldaver and Lucy’s mother, Rose Maclean (in both ghoul and non-ghoul form) was simply text waiting until season two to blossom. Happily, I didn’t have to hang onto my suspicions until Fallout season two. We at Nerdist were thrilled to speak with Sarita Choudhury about Moldaver’s journey in the first season of the Fallout series and delve into her character’s backstory, romance, namesake, and more.

Fallout Series Sarita Choudhury's Moldaver
Prime Video

While Choudhury couldn’t answer all our questions (some things you just have to save until season two), the subtext of our Fallout interview definitely teases hidden depths, unexpected canon connections, and exciting future stories for Moldaver.

Nerdist: The scenes between Moldaver and Lucy’s mom, Rose MacLean, both in the present and in flashbacks, felt really romantic to me, like they were telling a tragic love story. So I have to ask, is Moldaver in love with Rose MacLean in the Fallout series? And if so, how hard was it to watch her turn into a feral ghoul?

Sarita Choudhury: I love that you did a smart thing. You asked the question, then you did a second. So, if I answered the second, it would answer the first. So, I can’t really answer, but I can tell you the level of closeness and the family structure with Hank, Rose, and Lucy—there is something there. And I can’t say more than that.

I saw it with my eyes. The show told us.

Choudhury: I love it.

Fallout Series Sarita Choudhury's Moldaver smiling at Rose Maclean teasing queer romance
Prime Video

Do you think we could see more of the relationship between Moldaver and Rose in season two of Fallout through flashbacks?

Choudhury: If there’s a season two, that whole period I’m so interested in because especially Hank is portrayed as the good guy, as I suffer as the bad guy at the beginning. So, I can’t wait to see the behind-the-scenes of that family unit and how I enter it.

Fallout Series Sarita Choudhury's Moldaver with Rose Maclean and Lucy, teasing potential queer romance
Prime Video

So, this might also be going a little bit into the realm of theory, but in the Fallout series, we see ghouls taking medication to keep them from going feral, which we haven’t seen before in the games. And Moldaver is this scientifically savvy lady and she has a close relationship with somebody who’s becoming a feral ghoul in the Fallout series. Do you think she’s ever tried to come up with a cure for ghoulification or worked at all on that question?

Choudhury: I bet she did, and I bet she also knew how much… Say you take medication, just like in life, how much it helps, and then f**ks with you later. So, I bet you that was part of within surviving and trying to bring cold fusion back to the Wasteland, definitely. I just love this theory.

Fallout Series Moldaver holding hands with Rose Maclean as a ghoul teasing queer romance
Prime Video

One thing I know a lot of people are really curious to know about is how Moldaver survived from the before times to the after times in Fallout. Is there anything you can share about how she made it through the nuclear apocalypse and the 200 years after it?

Choudhury: I can’t, but I like your predictions, and you can figure stuff out, I think. But again, it’s in line with the fact that she’s a scientist. The fact that she created cold fusion makes me think she can figure out how to live.

Sarita Choudhury in Prime Video Fallout series as Moldaver
Prime Video

When we meet Moldaver in the past, she is this woman of science. And even in her Wasteland form, she seems like a pretty pragmatic person. But then she also has this Flame Mother personality that’s steeped in blood and ash and ritual. Did Moldaver herself develop this kind of occult form, and how did she get the name Flame Mother?

Choudhury: Well, first of all, I love that you use the word “pragmatic,” because when I’ve been asked, “How did I approach the role,” for me, the only way Moldaver would work was with pragmatism. If you become a cult leader, I don’t think you give yourself those qualities. I think they’re put on you, so blood, reverence, the kneeling is something the followers do. You could literally be just standing doing nothing. So, I think pragmatism, and not being crazy, and being almost logical actually is a quality that makes a leader in a world that’s apocalyptic.

I think it all came more from her pragmatism. I just love that you used that word. That’s what I was obsessed with… You’re a bit of a psychic.

Fallout Series Sarita Choudhury's Moldaver Flame Mother
Prime Video

In the same vein, where does the name Moldaver come from in Fallout? Because in her flashbacks, her last name was Williams, and does it mean anything?

Choudhury: So, you just need a season two. I don’t know what to say to you. You’re season two questions. If there’s a season two, you are going to be the first interviewer. You won’t even need it by then because you’ll be on season three.

We’ll wait for Fallout season two to learn more about the Moldaver origin story.

Choudhury: Perfect.

Fallout Series Sarita Choudhury's Moldaver with Hank Maclean
Prime Video

Ultimately, as we were saying before, Moldaver seems more of a good guy than a bad guy in the Fallout series. But of course, as the show says, a good bad guy doesn’t see themselves as the bad guy. How would you assess Moldaver as a character looking back on season one?

Choudhury: That’s why I wanted to play her because in life I’m a bit like that. I don’t really see things in terms of good and bad. I see things in terms of intelligence and curiosity as a gauge for people. And that’s why I enjoyed playing her in episode one where I was like, “I don’t care if people think she’s that bad, and then they think she’s good,” because she’s kind of both because to raid a vault, she’s still killing people.

But her mission is so pure that she’s saving multitudes. So, I think for her, it’s a game of math and heart.

Moldaver plants these seeds about Vault-Tec’s evil and Cooper Howard, who becomes The Ghoul later, but we don’t see them interact again in season one of the Fallout series. Where do you think the relationship went after what we saw from them in the past?

Choudhury: I think the fact the seed really entered him and the fact he started to look at that listening device and look at his wife, I think it’s interesting. If the bomb hadn’t happened, they would’ve formed an alliance that would be super interesting, but I’m curious what happened to them right after if they met.

Fallout Series Sarita Choudhury's Moldaver with Cooper Howard or The Ghoul
Prime Video

And if they meet again or have met in the Wasteland.

Choudhury: Oh, that I love.

Even if we can’t talk about all of it, do you know your character’s whole backstory at all or just bits and pieces?

Choudhury: I know bits and pieces. I think that’s why the writers tried to not come to set too much. We just rush them. They were like our gold. But I know just a little more than you.

Moldaver heading into battle in the Fallout series
Prime Video

In the games, Shady Sands and the new California Republic have quite a bit of history and quite a few characters associated with them. Do you think Moldaver has history with any canon characters from the Fallout games that we know already? Or is she just kind of all original?

Choudhury: I think so. Again, I can’t wait to see what would happen if they showed that period of time. There’s so many characters, and she would have to interact with them, so I think so.

Moldaver and Wilzig seem to sort of be working together, but very distantly, and Wilzig has been in The Enclave and Moldaver has been in her sort of hideout. Have they been working together working to build cold fusion long distance, or was he doing his own thing without her?

Choudhury: I think more of their own thing, but there is such a connection. I think you’re too psychic to talk to.

Moldaver unlocking cold fusion in prime video fallout series
Prime Video

Amazing. Well, here’s a closer, an easy one. It was so funny to me because I was watching the Fallout trailer, and I saw your dramatic appearance as Moldaver, and I was like, “Gosh, I really know her.” And then I realized it was from And Just Like That, but I actually think Seema and Moldaver have a connection. I feel like Seema could be a Moldaver if she set her mind to it. What was it like going from acting in the wilds of New York City to the wilds of the Wasteland?

Choudhury: Oh my God, it’s so funny. What was crazy was… It’s interesting. There’s definitely a boss quality to both, so that is easy. But just even the costume, when I was playing Moldaver in the vaults in my pretend vaults dweller outfit and dirty and then the guns and I was on a tank at one point, that’s when it departed, and the joy of having mud on my face at one point, I was like, “Finally.” I loved it.

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