“Stranger Things” Actor on Whether His Young Character Is Really Gay

Spoiler things ahead!

Maya Hawke’s ice cream-scooping codebreaker Robin came out as a lesbian near the end of Stranger Things’ third season, but it’s another major character in the hit Netflix series that still has the backs of queer viewers’ necks tingling.

In the third episode of the new season, Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) becomes frustrated when two of his friends would rather obsess over their girlfriends than play games with him. As tensions rise, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) yells at Will, “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls.” So does that basically confirm long-held fan speculation that Will is gay?

“It’s really up to interpretation,” Schnapp, 14, tells The Wrap about Mike’s comment.

“While all the characters were out developing and growing up, Will was in the Upside Down and he was alone there, not interacting with or connected to his friends or the rest of the world. And when he got back, he expected everything to just go back to how it was before, how it was when he was normal and when he was a kid and he wanted to go back to the basement and play D&D.”

“All his friends have girlfriends and they’re out dating, and he just wants to have fun with his friends,” Schnapp continues. “You see in Episode 3, he just wants to play D&D in the basement, and now all of his friends have girlfriends and they are dating. And it’s kind of, when you hear Mike say that line, it’s really up to the audience to interpret it.”

“I kind of just interpret it like he’s not ready to grow up and he doesn’t really want to move on to dating and relationships yet,” the young actor adds. “He still wants to be a kid and play in the basement like he did in old times.”

Schnapp previously discussed his character’s sexuality after the first season’s debut. “For me, Will being gay or not is besides the point,” he wrote in an Instagram post to fans. “Stranger Things is a show about a bunch of kids who are outsiders and find each other because they have been bullied in some way or are different. Does being sensitive, or a loner, or a teenager who likes photography, or a girl with red hair and big glasses, make you gay? I’m only 12 but I do know we all relate to being different.”

The third season of Stranger Things is now streaming on Netflix.

Celebrity interviewer. Foodie and Broadway buff in Manhattan. Hates writing bios.


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