5 Questions With ‘Stranger Things’ Star Noah Schnapp Ahead of Season 3
Noah Schnapp gave an unforgettable performance in Season 2 of Netflix hit, Stranger Things, as Will Byers, the sweet, Dungeons & Dragons-loving kid who was possessed by a monster in 1980s Hawkins, Indiana. Schnapp, now 14, stretched from rage to fear and everything in between as his character struggled with the beast from a dark world, The Upside Down.
Will was saved when his tireless mom Joyce (Winona Ryder) and his gang of nerd friends, led by buddy Mike (Finn Wolfhard) figured out that extreme heat would exorcise the creature. (The process almost killed Will.) Meanwhile their telekinetic pal Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) closed the gate to the baddie’s territory, locking it and other scary beings inside. Or so they thought.
When Season 3 streams on July 4, Will once again deals with what Mike dubbed “the Mind Flayer.” TV Insider caught up with Schnapp (who’s had a major growth spurt!) on the Atlanta set of Stranger Things for some hints on what to expect. He was taking a break from shooting a scene with his co-stars where they try to right a flipped-over car to help them escape a life or death situation.
It looks like we can expect a lot of action in Season 3! So many characters are together in this scene, including Mike; loyal, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin); and Will’s brother, arty Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). Are you worn out?
Noah Schnapp: That’s funny. Yeah, we are! We did that scene for so long and we did it yesterday too. Yesterday we had to lift it with our arms, and really do it. By the end of last night we were like, “Alright. This is it, right? We’re done?”
What’s coming up with Will and the monster?
Yeah, I mean I can’t really say anything, but Will still has, like, the presence of the monster left. We see what happens there. No one [in Hawkins] really has a break. It’s been crazy. But we’re suffering from something different [a new threat] now.
This season opens in June 1985 and covers a few days up until July 4th weekend. Do the kids get to have any summer fun at the new locations like Starcourt Mall or the Hawkins Community Pool?
Yes, it’s much more upbeat in the beginning. It makes for a better, more extreme drop when things start to happen.
Although this scene you’re shooting today features all the main cast together, Will spends most of the season with Mike and Lucas while their usual pal brainy Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) is hanging out with ladies-man Steve Harrington (Joe Keery). What was it like to switch it up?
It’s fun! We’re together almost the whole season. There’s no main character and I only have a few scenes by myself. We also have some people with much bigger roles now like Priah Ferguson [who plays Lucas’ little sister, Erica] who is going to be huge.
What do you like about all the ’80s props and costumes?
The gadgets [production designers have brought in old-school tech like calculator watches], the references to movies like Back to the Future and the short-shorts because in Atlanta it’s so hot. There’s a lot of outside shoots. But near the end we’re just like, “We’ve been doing the summer thing for so long, we can’t wait until we’re back in corduroys.”
Stranger Things, Season 3 Premiere, Thursday, July 4, Netflix