Is “Stranger Things” veering into a possible coming-out story?
The hit Netflix tween sci-fi series returned for Season 4 last week, and viewers are speculating that fan-favorite Will (Noah Schnapp) may be queer. From Will’s science project on gay mathematician Alan Turing to rebuffing a female classmate’s footsie advances, the character has been at the center of debate.
While Will’s relationship with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has never veered toward the romantic, perhaps Will and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) are really the “Stranger Things” couple to ship. Or are we totally Upside Down About it?
Schnapp recently told Variety in an interview alongside co-star Millie Bobby Brown that showrunners the Duffer Brothers “never really address it or blatantly say how Will is” when it comes to his character’s sexuality.
“I think that’s the beauty of it, that it’s just up to the audience’s interpretation, if it’s Will kind of just refusing to grow up and growing up slower than his friends, or if he is really gay,” Schnapp said. “I find that people do reach to put a label on him and just want to know, so badly, like, ‘Oh, and this is it.’ He’s just confused and growing up. And that’s what it is to be a kid.”
Schnapp likened Will to a “zebra in a field of horses” with his peers. “He kind of stands out. It’s just nice to see that and have that shown on ‘Stranger Things’ for fans to connect to and be able to relate to. Because so many of our viewers are young kids who are at that stage in their life,” he said.
Co-star Brown added that the cast doesn’t “have to label things” when it comes to the characters’ sexualities. “I think what’s really nice about Will’s character is that he’s just a human being going through his own personal demons and issues,” Brown said. “So many kids out there don’t know, and that’s OK. That’s OK to not know. And that’s OK not to label things.”
Brown continued, “It’s such an amazing role for Noah to play and to be that role model for kids out there who don’t know what they’re going through growing up.”
Digital Spy recently asked co-star Wolfhard if Will’s feelings for pal Mike are “shifting towards a more endearing, kind of heartfelt, romantic affection,” to which Wolfhard replied: “Yeah. I think you find out slowly through the season, Will’s kind of love towards Mike, and I think it’s a really beautiful thing.”
Wolfhard noted that “there’s probably a mutual understanding and an acceptance” from Mike’s side of the friendship.
Co-star David Harbour previously said that Will is not interested in Eleven but has another crush. “He’s interested in someone else in the group,” Harbor hinted.