Stranger Things' newest star: Six things we learned about Sadie Sink

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Oct 29, 2017

Sadie Sink, get ready for your closeup.

For those who binge-watched Stranger Things 2 as soon as it hit Netflix on Thursday, it's already clear this fiery redhead, who as Arcade newcomer Mad Max cleans Dustin's clock at Dig Dug, is the big breakout star of the show's sophomore season.

Syfy did some digging ourselves, and here are six things we discovered about Sink that will no doubt earn this fast-rising 15-year-old star even more fans.

She got her start as Annie

Unlike Hawkins, Indiana where her fiery alter-ego is introduced as the new girl in town in ST2, Sink grew up in the suburbs of Houston. Per a recent profile in W magazine, as a precocious 7-year-old, the Texan was acting out scenes from High School Musical with her brother so frequently that her mom ended up enrolling her in acting classes. From there, her acting career took off and before long she landed the lead in Annie, playing the titular redhead five times including in the 2012 Broadway revival, which prompted her family to relocate to New Jersey to support her ambitions.

Speaking of the '80s

While she may have belted out "Tomorrow" as Annie, it was the '80s where Sink made her transition to the small screen, appearing in an episode of  FX's Emmy-winning series The Americans which follows two married Soviet sleeper agents in Reagan-era America. Alas, Sadie is a bit of a newbie when it comes to Stranger Things' '80s movie references, admitting she hasn't seen many of the iconic flicks from that decade like E.T., Heathers, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (which Stranger Things nods to in a driving scene this season) or Mad Max despite her tough-as-nails tomboy character being named after Mel Gibson's post-apocalyptic hero. And the only '80s video games she's played is Pac Man, though she did learn how to skateboard for her part.

She's acted with the Queen

You know you've made it when you're acting on the boards opposite Dame Helen Mirren. And Sink proved she could hold her own while costarring with the Oscar-winning Brit in Peter Morgan's Broadway drama, The Audience. Mirren was impressed enough she gave Sink and her costar Elizabeth Teeter a big hug on the red carpet on opening night.

Movies here we come!

With her TV career gaining steam, Sink went on to appear on CBS' Blue Bloods, and costar for a season on the short-lived NBC drama series, American Odyssey as well as a brief stint on Netflix's The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But the big screen quickly beckoned. In 2016, she landed a role in the boxing drama Chuck with Elisabeth Moss and Live Schreiber and appears in this summer's Lionsgate drama The Glass Castle, starring Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson and Naomi Watts. While that film received mixed reviews, we're pretty sure her breakout in Stranger Things means more movies are in her future.

What she has in common with Eleven

In a two-year-old interview with Broadway.com, Sink admitted to having an obsession with chicken and waffles. While we can't say for certain whether those were Eleven's favorite brand, Eggos, the thespian these days will have to have the egg-less variety as she's gone vegan, a dietary change egged on by Harrelson, she says, and "one of the bests decisions" she's ever made. "That was the one thing that was so hard for me when I first went vegetarian," she told W, though adding that she "lost it" after happening upon a vegan version of chicken and waffles while filming Stranger Things 2 in Atlanta. She also bonded with Millie Bobby Brown, the British actress who plays Eleven, including holding sleepovers "because they're the only girls" and taking a sponsored trip to Cabo this past summer (which they Instagrammed, natch). And the two even took to posting a duet of "Cups (Pitch Perfect's 'When I'm Gone')."

Sadie was born to play Max

Given all she's accomplished so far at such a young age, the choice of Sadie for Max was "a bit of a no-brainer," writer-director Matt Duffer told USA Today. Though Sink did have to go through a lengthy process to nab the role: an audition followed by a series of secret callbacks and screen tests to make sure her chemistry with the boys was just right.  But once she was cast as Mad Max, Stranger Things 2 came with other challenges, like her first big onscreen kiss. "Not everybody has their first kiss in front of 200 extras and their mom. That's the part about it that sucked," Sink confessed.