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PALEYFEST 2018: Five things we learned from the Stranger Things Panel

Contributed by
Mar 26, 2018

The 35th annual PaleyFest closed its two-week celebration of all things television with executive producer/director Shawn Levy and some of the cast of Stranger Things including Winona Ryder (Joyce), David Harbour (Hopper), Paul Reiser (Dr. Owens), Sean Astin (Bob), Millie Bobbie Brown (Eleven), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Natalia Dyer (Nancy), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) and Sadie Sink (Max).

Unfortunately, everyone was sworn to silence about the upcoming third season of Stranger Things aside from Levy pronouncing with excitement that, “We are going back to work next month and we’re super excited.”

The rest of the night was spent reminiscing about Season 1 and Season 2 of the mega-popular Netflix series.

Here’s a few fun tidbits of trivia we learned from the cast…

1. Teen Winona Ryder had a major crush on two people on the stage:

Opening the panel on a sweet note, Ryder admitted that as a young actor in Hollywood she had legitimate crushes on moderator Wil Wheaton and co-star Sean Astin. She remembered being paired with other actors for auditions including Astin.

2. David Harbour reveals he got to (sorta) be Ripley:

In the Season 2 episode, “Chapter Six: The Spy,” David Harbour revealed that director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) created detailed storyboards for the episode that were inspired right from James Cameron’s seminal action-horror film, Aliens (1986). And the best part, was Harbour got to essentially play the Ripley role played by Sigourney Weaver.

3. Everyone shut out the intense popularity of Season 1 to make Season 2:

Executive producer Shawn Levy says when everyone returned to start work on the sophomore season, he addressed how everyone’s lives changed between the seasons. He shares, “At the first table read, we said the world knows about us now but we’re going to hunker down and it was a willful tuning out of the outside world.”

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David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, and Caleb McLaughlin attend PaleyFest LA 2018 honoring Stranger Things, presented by The Paley Center for Media, at the DOLBY THEATRE on March 25, 2018 in Hollywood, California. 

4. Someone in the cast wears ’80s underwear:

Millie Bobby Brown said immersing themselves in the accuracy of the sets is one of their favorite parts of working on the show. She even admitted that the costuming department provided them all with era-accurate underwear – that co-star Caleb McLaughlin dubbed ‘tighty whities’ – that no one wore except co-star Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) who totally embraced them.

5. Sean Astin has a reason why Bob didn't run out of Hawkins Laboratory:

Moderator Wil Wheaton asked Sean Astin point blank why Bob didn’t run the extra five feet to get out of the lab’s front door before he was attacked, and killed, by the Demodogs. Astin says the reason was because the script said, “Bob stops.” He laughed and said he really tried not to stop but the Duffer brothers would not allow it.  Astin also said he was incredibly grateful that the Duffers wrote Bob as such a heroic everyman who got his big moment. And as a lover of period pieces, he still blown away that his childhood has made such a great period piece and that he was able to be part of it.

Closing out the night, Wheaton gave a heartfelt piece of advice to the young actors on the panel, telling them, as a child actor who was on the same path they are on now,  “Do not let this industry take your childhood away from you. You only get to be kids one time in your life. Take time to be kids.”

Stranger Things Season 3 will return to Netflix sometime in late 2018.