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‘Stranger Things 4's Millie Bobby Brown & others tease their characters' state of mind
Stranger Things 4 Vol. 1, which will contain seven of the season's nine episodes, is set to premiere on Netflix on May 27.
The fourth season of Stranger Things is almost here! It’s been years since Season 3 of the Netflix show dropped (almost three years, to be precise). And while only six months have passed in the Stranger Things universe since the Season 3 finale, all the characters we’ve followed to the Upside Down and back have faced some changes.
SYFY WIRE had the chance to talk with several Stranger Things cast members about what their characters are dealing with at the beginning of Season 4. How are Eleven and the Byers family adjusting to SoCal life? And how is the rest of the gang faring at Hawkins High? Read on for the actors’ answers, which set the stage for where all things, strange or otherwise, stand at the beginning of the show's upcoming episodes.
At the end of Season 3, Joyce Byers (Wynonna Ryder) has adopted Jane "Eleven" Hopper (Millie Bobby Brown) and moved out of Hawkins to protect her identity. According to Brown, however, Eleven is having trouble adjusting to SoCal suburban life.
“At the start of the season, you find us in Lenora Hills where we're going to high school, we're dealing with the struggles of bullies and our new environment,” Brown told SYFY WIRE in a joint interview with Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers. “Joyce is doing her thing, and Jonathan and Will are Eleven’s new brothers, and with Stranger Things always comes mystery, and that is a natural progression as to where the show is going to go.”
Schnapp added that Eleven and the Byers clan have some more mundane struggles before things get properly supernatural again. “You see him in a different place than you have the past three seasons,” Schnapp said about his character. “He’s finding himself in this new world and facing new struggles that we're not used to seeing with Will. I feel like fans are very used to seeing Will in the Upside Down and the supernatural forces against him but this is just high school forces against him, and the real world, and it's a new challenge for him.”
The elder Byers son, Jonathan, has his own star-crossed struggles in Lenora Hills, particularly around his long-distance relationship with Nancy (Natalia Dyer). “Where we ended last season, Nancy and Jonathan made this kind of promise to make it work ... and we find [Jonathan and Nancy] six months later, and the reality of that is playing a little different in the characters,” explained Charlie Heaton, who plays Jonathan. “I think it's more of a struggle than was expected, and the distance is changing how he feels … there's a real vulnerability there about him and his relationship. And I think one of the ways he's learned to do that, obviously, is he's met Argyle [Eduardo Franco], who's his friend and who's like his personal shrink.”
Things aren’t going so great for the gang back in Hawkins, either. “Going into high school is always really, really rough,” shared Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin. “It's a time in which people start to figure out who they're going to be and how they want to be perceived. And it's really rough to see that sometimes the people you grew up with and are friends with in middle school don't necessarily want to pursue the same interests that you do.”
And of course, there’s the whole thing in Hawkins about the Vecna, a mysterious creature that is haunting the town, not unlike how some of the characters like Max (Sadie Sink) remain haunted by what happened in Season 3.
“Max is still grieving and processing the loss of her brother Billy,” Sink shared about her character’s state of mind. “Her whole life has changed, and she feels a lot of guilt surrounding his death. She’s coping with that and as a result, shutting herself off from her friends puts her in a really sad place.”
Max and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) are also on the outs again, though McLaughlin shares that his character still cares about her. “Lucas is lost without [Max] because they have a separation that's going on, that may not be like in Season 3,” he said. “Lucas talks about how they broke up 100 times, but she ends up coming back. But this time, she may not.”
On the older kid front, Steve (Joe Keery) and Robin (Maya Hawke) are still around trying to figure things out. “Steve and Robin now work in the video store,” Keery shared, “and I have graduated from high school and am working in town looking for some direction in my life … and some love.”
“We’re kind of a buddy duo looking for love,” Hawke added about her friendship with Keery's character.
Will this buddy duo find love? Or will their dealings with the Vecna consume them? We'll potentially find out when the seven episodes in Stranger Things 4 Vol. 1 drops on Netflix on May 27. The two remaining episodes — Stranger Things 4 Vol. 2 — will drop on the streaming platform on July 1.