Noah Schnapp Interview: ‘Stranger Things’
“I love going to award shows,” confesses “Stranger Things” star Noah Schnapp in our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above). “When I was six, seven years old, I would go into bed with my mom and watch all the award shows. I remember thinking the whole time ‘what if I was on that stage? How cool would that be?’ I feel so lucky that I get to go to all these award shows and meet all these amazing actors. And then we won at the SAG Awards! I got to go on that stage!”
Just this past January, it was for Season 1 of the series that “Stranger Things” took down award heavyweights “Game of Thrones” and “Downton Abbey” to claim the Screen Actors Guild award as the top TV drama ensemble. And for the most recent season streaming now on Netflix, his expanded role in the show has awards buzz percolating for Schnapp who explains, “I had a different role in Season 2. I had a lot more fun filming Season 2.”
In “Stranger Things” Schnapp plays young student Will Byers. At the end of the first season, he was rescued from a parallel dimension filled with monsters and darkness, known as The Upside Down. In the most recent episodes, Will is settling back into regular life in Hawkins, Indiana, in 1984. However, he still has to contend with the dark forces of The Upside Down which plague his mind.
Schnapp reveals in our interview his favorite scene of the series is when Will opens up to his mother Joyce (Winona Ryder) about seeing The Upside Down: “It was really emotional. I’ve never done a scene like that. I was really nervous. I remember texting Winona and asking Sean Astin for advice. They both told me not to push it. ‘If it doesn’t come, don’t force it.’ I let go to feel what Will was feeling. It was a hard scene to film. It’s my favorite scene to watch. I always replay that scene because, I don’t know, I’m proud of it.”
Another challenging scene for Schnapp was when he contended with a giant monster from The Upside Down. He says, “When they filmed the scene, it’s not like they are going to put a fake monster in the sky. I had to imagine there was this big terrifying monster coming at me. It was so hard to wrap my mind around that. This was Will’s moment of the season to stand up for himself. And this is not like Will. Will’s usually the quiet kid. It was a big scene for Will, and me as well. I had to make it up a little by myself.”
On how he wishes life was more like the 80’s, Schanpp reveals that “no one hides behind phones. When I was younger I was dying for a phone and I’d ask my mom every day, ‘Mom can I have a phone? Mom can I have a phone.’ Now I wish I didn’t have a phone. I miss being so innocent and appreciating everything. Also, in the show all the kids use walkie talkies to talk to each other. That sounds so cool! I’d love to be able to talk with my friends on walkie talkies.”
Looking forward to the recently-announced Season 3, Schnapp adds, “I’ve been dying to have scenes with Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). Hopefully I live with Eleven and maybe Hopper (David Harbour) too. Joyce might date Hopper.”