SPOILER ALERT: This story discusses plot points from season 4 of ‘Stranger Things’, which is currently streaming on Netflix.
With 16 main characters, at least a dozen new characters, and five key locations — including a prison in Soviet-era Russia and a converted underground missile silo somewhere in the American West — it’s nothing short of surprising that Season 4 of “Stranger Things” takes some time for quiet moments. of personal growth. But anyone who follows Will Byers (Noah Schnapp)’s journey over the course of the show has noticed that the boy who survived the Upside Down struggled to reconnect with his old Dungeons and Dragons friends for reasons not seem to have a lot. do with being captured by a demogorgon from an alternate dimension.
Will appears to be gay and having trouble coming out.
That impression has only grown in Season 4. In the first episode, Will and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) have to give a presentation at their new high school in California about a hero they look up to; Will chooses Alan Turing, the gay mathematician who was persecuted for his sexuality and forced to undergo chemical castration in the 1950s. Will also physically shrinks from a girl who shows interest in him. And when Mike (Finn Wolfhard) visits on episode 2 of Hawkins during spring break, Will seems heartbroken that Mike has been so indifferent to him in favor of his girlfriend Eleven.
Later, in Episode 4, when Mike confides to Will that he wished he’d expressed his feelings for Eleven more clearly to her, Will offers insight that could easily apply to anyone who muster the courage to come out to a best friend. .
“Sometimes it just scares me, to open up like that — to say how you really feel, especially to the people you care about most,” Will says. “Because what if – what if they don’t like the truth?”
In an interview with Schnapp and Brown for Variety, However, Schnapp had a more ambiguous perspective on how the show’s writers, led by creators and executive producers Matt and Ross Duffer, have approached Will’s sexuality.
“I feel like they never really address it or blatantly say how Will is,” he says. “I think that’s the beauty of it, that it’s just up to the audience’s interpretation, whether it’s Will just refusing to grow up and grow up slower than his friends, or whether he’s really gay.”
At this point, Brown stepped in. “May I say, it’s 2022 and we don’t have to label things,” she said. “I think the nice thing about Will’s character is that he’s just a human being going through his own personal demons and problems. So many kids don’t know, and that’s okay. That’s okay not to know. And that’s okay not to label things.”
Schnap agreed. “I find people reaching out to him to put a label on him and just so desperate to know, like, ‘Oh, and this is it,'” he said. “He’s just confused and growing up. And that’s what it’s like to be a kid.”
However, other members of the “Stranger Things” cast seem to have a more definitive stance on Will. In a promotional video for Netflix Mexico posted on May 23, Wolfhard and fellow cast members David Harbour, Winona Ryder and Caleb McLaughlin are asked about fan theories for the show, including one that Will and Eleven are having a secret relationship in California, and hiding it. for Mike.
“If you’ve seen the show, you should know that Will isn’t interested in El,” Harbor said. “He’s interested in someone else in the group.” Harbor later added: “Will wants to spend the rest of his life in the basement with Mike playing D&D”
Wolfhard also said Will and Eleven’s relationship is “like brother and sister” and suggested the public “will soon see” who Will is “interested” in — “very interested,” Harbor added. But that revelation, when it comes, does not appear in Vol. 1 of Season 4, which ends with Episode 7. (The last two episodes of Season 4 of “Stranger Things”, aka Vol. 2, will debut on July 1)
For their part, Schnapp and Brown say they are happy that Will’s sexuality has remained undefined.
“It’s such an amazing role for Noah to play,” says Brown. “And to be that role model for kids who don’t know what they’re going through when they grow up.”
“Will is a bit like a zebra in a horse field,” Schnapp adds. “He stands out a bit. It’s just nice to see that and show that on ‘Stranger Things’ for fans to connect with and identify with. Because so many of our viewers are young children who are at that stage of their lives.”