'Stranger Things' Star Noah Schnapp Confirms Will Byers' Sexuality

By Katrina Nattress

July 15, 2022

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

[Warning: Stranger Things Season 4 Spoilers Ahead]

The fourth season of Stranger Things was packed with action, horror, and some good laughs, but one of the most talked about storylines was a more nuanced one: Will Byers' sexuality. There are a couple pivotal scenes in the season — first with Mike in the van then with his brother Jonathan in the pizza shop — where we see Will struggling to reveal his true identity to those closest to him. While fans theorized that Will is gay, he didn't come out. But actor Noah Schnapp confirmed in a recent interview that his character is indeed gay and in love with his best friend Mike.

"I mean, it’s pretty clear this season that Will has feelings for Mike," he told Variety. "They’ve been intentionally pulling that out over the past few seasons. Even in Season 1, they hinted at that and slowly, slowly grew that storyline. I think for Season 4, it was just me playing this character who loves his best friend but struggles with knowing if he’ll be accepted or not, and feeling like a mistake and like he doesn’t belong. Will has always felt like that. All his friends, they all have girlfriends and they all fit into their different clubs. Will has never really found anywhere to fit in. I think that’s why so many people come up to me and tell me that they love Will and they resonate with him so much, because it’s such a real character."

He also broke down both memorable scenes, calling the van scene "really important for him, because it really solidified that truth, that he loves his best friend and he doesn’t know how to tell him." As for the scene with his brother, that wasn't written in the original script but during filming they knew it would be powerful.

"So this scene was actually not originally written in the script," Schnapp revealed. "It was only until after I did the scene of me in the van, where they saw me crying and the protectiveness that you see with Jonathan looking in the rearview mirror. They were like, we need a scene with that. So they wrote it as we were filming. It’s also very important for people to see that Will is not alone — because all we ever see of him is struggling and feeling depressed and that he can’t be himself. Jonathan is talking to him in code — it’s just the perfect way to tell someone like Will that he cares about him and he accepts him no matter what. I think it was really wholesome."

Elsewhere in the interview, Schnapp discussed the drama between him and Doja Cat after he shared their personal DMs on social media where she confessed to having a crush on his costar Joseph Quinn. "I’m super unserious on social media and pretty goofy, so I posted that not thinking too much of it, but obviously it hurt her feelings," he said. "So, as I should, I apologized and she was totally okay with it, and was like, 'I’m sorry how I reacted.' It was all good. I love her. I’m like the biggest fan of her music, and I told her that. I was like, you’re literally my role model. It’s all good. People make such a big deal out of everything when it’s on the internet, but, like, in reality, it’s like a two minute thing."

The show's creators have hinted that Will's character will play an even more important role in the upcoming fifth and final season. Season 4 of Stranger Things is streaming now on Netflix.

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