Eleven and Will in Stranger Things. (Netflix)
Stranger Things‘ Millie Bobby Brown has addressed fan speculation that Will (Noah Schnapp) may be gay in an interview, stating: “It’s 2022 and we don’t have to label things”.
The Netflix sci-fi show has long hinted that Schnapp’s character Will Byers may be struggling with his sexuality.
Fans have long speculated that Will is in love with his best friend Mike, even after he snapped at him in season three: “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls.”
Stranger Things season four has continued down this path. In the first episode, Will is seen working on a school project celebrating gay mathematician Alan Turing as his hero. Throughout the season, he’s also shown to be envious of Will’s relationship with Eleven (Milly Bobby Brown), eventually confiding in Will his fears about “say[ing] how you really feel, especially to people you care about the most”.
Executive producer and director Shawn Levy has said that there “aren’t many accidents” on the show, suggesting that these moments have been deliberate.
And now, Schnapp and Brown have weighed in in an interview with Variety.
Brown said she sees no reason for Will to label his sexuality, and that it’s “OK not to know”.
“Can I just say, it’s 2022 and we don’t have to label things,” she said.
“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.
“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.”
She added: “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.”
Stranger Things 4 is now on Netflix!
And here’s Millie Bobby Brown explaining this season in 60 seconds pic.twitter.com/hAYE6NdClR
— Netflix (@netflix) May 27, 2022
Schnapp added in the interview: “I feel like they [Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer] never really address it or blatantly say how Will is.
“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.
“I find that people do reach to put a label on him and just want to know… He’s just confused and growing up. And that’s what it is to be a kid.”
Schnapp previously addressed rumours that Will could be gay after season three was released.
Referring to the argument Mike has with Will, he told The Hollywood Reporter: “There’s nothing set in stone. It’s kind of up to the audience, and I think the Duffers did that on purpose.
“Some people perceive it as Will could be gay, asexual or whatever.
“Or, like how I see it, he was stuck in the Upside Down, and he was away for so long that all of his friends started growing up while he was in this other world… When he came back, everyone was all grown up, and he was still a little kid who still wanted to do little kid things like play D&D.
“He wasn’t ready to face this maturity and get into relationships. So, I think that’s what Will is going through right now.”
Stranger Things season four will be split into two parts. Volume 1 was released on Friday (27 May), while Volume 2 starts streaming on 1 July.