Noah Schnapp Says Will Byers Being Gay Is ‘Up to Interpretation’ After ‘Stranger Things 3’

The young actor shared his understanding of Will's sexuality in an interview with The Wrap.
"Stranger Things 3"
"Stranger Things 3"

“Stranger Things” fans have often theorized about Will Byers’ sexuality and whether or not the character is gay. The third episode of “Stranger Things 3,” titled “The Case of the Missing Lifeguard,” brought added attention to the fan speculation when Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) yells at Will, “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls.” The line arrives after Will grows frustrated with his friends for obsessing over their girlfriends instead of wanting to play a game of Dungeons & Dragons with him.

“It’s really up to interpretation,” Schnapp told The Wrap about whether Mike’s insult reveals Will’s sexual orientation. “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.”

While some believe the line hints at Will being gay, Schnapp says his interpretation is a little different. “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 actor said. “He still wants to be a kid and play in the basement like he did in old times.”

Regardless of what Schnapp personally thinks, he added that “it’s really up to the audience to interpret it.” The actor previously weighed in on his character’s sexuality after the debut of the Netflix series’ first season. Schnapp wrote in an Instagram post to fans, “For me, Will being gay or not is besides the point. ‘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.”

“Stranger Things 3” is now streaming on Netflix.

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