Stranger Than Fiction
The twentysomethings of Stranger Things share everything weird and wonderful from Season 3.
Learning how to navigate the world as a young adult is never easy, but it’s acutely difficult when your hometown is Hawkins, Indiana. I spoke to Stranger Things stars Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and newcomer Maya Hawke about the challenges their characters face in the hit show’s third season, and about their own favorite memories from set.
You go home, and you’re like, Wow, I really did something. I am exhausted.”
Gina McIntyre: Nancy begins the season working at The Hawkins Post, where she encounters an eye-watering amount of sexism.
Natalia Dyer: It feels like such a good thing for Nancy, who started off as this kind of pastel character and the good girl, to encounter some things that really challenge her to her core. I think Nancy’s a little headstrong about her ideas. I mean, she has to be. She’s had to fight just to get her voice out there. She’s gaining some confidence in herself every season. We also get to see Nancy and Jonathan for the first time as two people who have a relationship together, instead of just two people running around fighting monsters — although they end up running around fighting monsters pretty quickly. Nancy can’t stay away.
Find a girl who has some telekinesis, some superpower, and she’ll save the day every time.”
Stranger Things Season 3 was a big one for Jonathan and Nancy. How would you sum up the evolution of their relationship so far?
Charlie Heaton: Jonathan and Nancy have always been on the same team, and they both strive for the same goals. They both challenge each other as well. They can understand what the other has been through. This is the first season where you see Jonathan and Nancy in a full relationship, you see what that looks like. But they’re also in this work environment. What starts to show are their social differences. For Jonathan, this job means a lot. He’s very focused on his responsibilities, and he believes that Nancy doesn’t have to work as hard. He can’t see what she’s having to go through. They’ve always been fighting for a cause together in a high-stakes environment. You put them in a real-world scenario, and they start struggling. As the season gets more into the supernatural when they start fighting this monster, they put aside these small quarrels, and then ultimately, they fight for each other.
Whenever the stakes are so high, it brings an immediacy to everything that you’re doing.”
When Season 3 begins, Steve seems aimless working at the ice cream shop at the mall alongside Robin. What did you make of how their dynamic took shape?
Joe Keery: In the script, there was this natural repartee between the two characters. That was one of my favorite things to play — how that develops throughout the season. You see this almost competitive relationship turn into more of a friendship. The respect that they have for each other builds throughout the season. Even though Steve ends up having feelings for Robin toward the end, I think maybe he just feels really comfortable with her. It feels almost like a sibling relationship in some ways, where they give each other a hard time, but through thick and thin, they stick by each other.
I want to make optimistic art.”
What drew you to the character of Robin?
Maya Hawke: It was the Duffer brothers as writers. It’s very rare always, but especially today, to find writers who have such a unique sense of style — where you’re really entering a world that has a tone and has a style to it. Every character is individual, every character is specific, but they all fit into this very particular world that the brothers built. The humor of their dialogue, the charm, the emotion built in, the adventure, the optimism — all of those things are really elements of the kinds of projects I want to make. I want to make optimistic art. Although these kids are always going through the most horrible and traumatic experiences in Stranger Things, it’s still optimistic art. They win, they defeat the bad guy, they kill the Demogorgon. They overcome. They feel joy, find joy. And that’s where I get the most excited.
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