Stranger Things actor Noah Schnapp has confirmed in a new interview that his character Will Byers is gay and is in love with his on-screen best friend Mike.
Speaking to Variety, the actor said it’s “pretty clear this season that Will has feelings for Mike”, and explained the signs have “always been there” throughout the Netflix drama.
“Obviously, it was hinted at in season one,” Schnapp said.
“It was always kind of there, but you never really knew, is it just him growing up slower than his friends? Now that he’s gotten older, they made it a very real, obvious thing.
“Now it’s 100 per cent clear he is gay and does love Mike.”
Pivotal Stranger Things scene Noah Schnapp’s favourite to film
Fans have theorised about Will’s sexuality for a long time. The show’s recently-released season four contained even more allusions that the character might be gay.
Several fans believe a scene where he opens up to his friends during a car ride was one of the strongest hints.
In the scene, Mike admits to his fears that Eleven may not love him anymore, to which Will replies, “When you’re different, sometimes you feel like a mistake.
“But you make her feel like she’s not a mistake at all. Like she’s better for being different and that gives her the courage to fight on.”
Schnapp explained to Variety the scene was one of his personal favourites of the season.
“I remember when I was doing the scene, I was bawling, like, going all out the whole day,” he said.
“And when I saw it on screen, it was actually more subtle. I liked how they edited it together.
“The day was a lot of fun. I love just playing with Will. This scene was really important for him, because it really solidified the truth, that he loves his best friend and he doesn’t know how to tell him.
“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. They all fit into their different clubs. Will has never really found anywhere to fit in.
“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.”
‘It’s okay not to label things’
Noah Schnapp’s new take is the first time the actor has given a definitive answer about the character. He’s previously said Will’s sexuality was up for audience interpretation.
Speaking in May, Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown also gave her take, saying that it’s “okay not to know.”
“I think what’s really nice about Will’s character is that he’s just a human being going through his own personal demons and issues,” she told Variety.
“So many kids out there don’t know, and that’s okay. That’s okay to not know. And that’s okay not to label things.”
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