It took all of one day after I had finished watching Netflix’s Stranger Things before the withdrawal symptoms kicked in. The Duffer Brother’s piece of retro horror-mystery awesomeness is undoubtedly the TV series breakout of 2016 and gripped audiences like few things have in recent times. Stuffed with mountains of nostalgia, a fantastic young cast, great direction and one killer soundtrack, it left us all salivating in anticipation for the second season.
Especially since the first ended on such a cliffhanger: Eleven was gone having sacrificed herself to save her friends from the Demogorgon and bring Will back from the Upside Down. Besides for her not being there, everything looked to be back to normal. And then that final scene happened where Will went to the bathroom, and suddenly flashed to the Upside Down for a second, before vomiting up a slug in the bathroom sink. Ew. Where things took a really unexpected turn though was when Will then just calmly went back to eating dinner with his mom Joyce (Winona Ryder) and the rest of his family like nothing had happened. And if you were screaming at the screen then for Will to say something to his mom, then you were not alone. In an extensive interview with THR about his experiences working on the hit series and what’s to come, actor Noah Schnapp who plays Will, revealed his own frustrations.
“When I was filming the scene, I was so angry. I wanted Will to tell Joyce so badly! I wanted to see what she would say after. But he hid it from her. So I had to play it like I’m keeping it to myself, where I’m trying to hold it in, where I’m very scared, and I don’t know what’s going on.”
But why didn’t Will saying anything? Has the Demogorgon somehow taken him over and now he’s going to be going to the dark side, so to speak?
“I don’t know. But my guess is that maybe he’s going to become evil in the next season. If he’s coughing up these baby Demogorgons, or eggs, or something, maybe he’s incubating or holding these eggs inside of him and he’s trying to fight his good side against his bad side in the next season. That would be cool to see, to see him become evil.
“I mean, there are so many ways Will can go in the next season with how they set it up. But honestly, any way would be pretty cool. But it would be pretty cool to play an evil Will.”
Or, to put it more bluntly, he’s trying to play it all of because he’s seen some shit, man!
“I think Will’s mind is going crazy right now. So much has happened. He’s seen this crazy monster. He’s been in another dimension. He’s seen this other world. He’s probably thinking: ‘What is happening with me?’ When he comes back, I think he’s trying to fit in and act normal. But he’s trying to hide what’s actually happening to him.”
If Will were to turn evil in season two though, it would certainly mix things up considerably. Season one was all about Will’s friends teaming up with Eleven to save him, and they each brought a different skill to the table to do that. Mike was the dungeon master leader, Lucas was pragmatic and tough, Dustin thought out of the box, and Eleven had her telepathy/telekinesis. Will was something else to the group though, and that could be a big factor.
“I think out of the whole group, Will is the heart. He’s the nice one. Obviously, they’re all nice, but Will is the one who cares for all of them. He holds them all together, that big, long-lasting friendship, because he’s so sweet and so easy to talk to.”
“[That would make things very complicated]. That’s why I’m excited to see if [Will goes evil in season two], and how it would turn out.”
One thing to point out about the group’s search for Will is that even though Eleven is instrumental in rescuing him, she never actually meets Will. Or did she?….
“Well, I actually think they did meet. In one of the episodes, Eleven sees a picture of me, and she points at it and says, ‘Will.’ So I think maybe one time… maybe I didn’t meet her, but maybe she saw me somewhere. So I’m excited to see if Eleven meets Will in the next season, what would happen there?”
Hopefully whatever happens to Will involves less grossness. In an amusing anecdote about how it was to shoot the series, Schnapp revealed the two grossest things that he had to put up with.
“There are two gross things, and I think they’re tied. One of them is when I was getting rescued from the Upside Down, and I was in this little hole. I was covered in all this goo and surrounded by these nets, and there was this big, plastic, disgusting thing in my mouth, all the way down. I had to keep putting it back in my mouth in each scene, and it was already filled with my spit. There was this cold, slimy goo hanging all over me. It was so gross. “
“It was [awful]. (Laughs.) The second thing was when I had to cough up the slug. They made this weird mixture of… I think it was licorice and gummies and apple sauce. I actually thought it would taste good! So I took a big scoop on the first take, and I put it in the back of my mouth, and oh God, it was so disgusting. At the beginning of the scene, I’m supposed to pretend it’s not in my mouth, and then I cough it up. But inside, I was already gagging.”
That wasn’t the only team his reactions on screen was actually genuine. In the very first episode when Will first encounters the Demogorgon and tries to hide from it at home, he grabs the phone to call for help… only to hear the monster on the other end causing him to jump in fear. Turns out that fear was real because nobody told Schnapp there was going to be sound.
“When I had to pick up the phone, there was a speaker that I didn’t even see, and it played the Demogorgon noise — that roar. I freaked out. It scared me so much. It actually felt so real, that I was really so scared.”
Since its debut, the child stars of Stranger Things have become massive overnight celebrities. Schnapp though has seen the limelight the least of the bunch seeing as how he techically had the smallest role out of all of them – though its the search for his character that is really at the heart of the series. But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t his own share of limelight, as before Stranger Things even debuted, he was already involved in big projects, starring as the voice of Charlie Brown in the recent animated adaptation of the classic comic strip, as well as playing Tom Hanks’ son in the Oscar-winning Bridge of Spies.
“I can’t even explain how grateful I am for the things I’ve done and the places I’ve gone. I also got the chance to visit this place called Sundance Lab in Utah, where I got to work with a ton of adults. I was the only kid there. They taught me so much. Then there was Bridge of Spies, where I got to learn so much from an amazing director like Mr. Spielberg, and worked opposite an actor like Tom Hanks, who taught me so much. Then I was Charlie Brown, and I got to work with [Peanuts director] Steve Martino, who would show me exactly how Charlie would react in the movie.”
Schnapp’s Will and his friends – and hopefully Eleven as well – will return when Stranger Things season two debuts on Netflix in the first half of 2017.
Last Updated: October 10, 2016