Noah Schnapp Talks About Will Byers’s Sexuality on “Stranger Things”
*Spoilers for Stranger Things 4 below!*
Fans who have seen Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) grow up over the course of the past four seasons of Stranger Things have noticed that the kid who once survived the Upside Down and the Mind Flayer has struggled to find common ground with his old Dungeons and Dragons crew who have now gone on to have relationships of their own. And the reason why doesn’t seem to involve his past other-dimension kidnapping.
With a lack of love interest so far, we are left with the big question — is Will Byers gay? Here’s what we know so far:
After the first batch of season four episodes premiered on May 27, viewers began to question whether the teen character is a part of the LGBTQ+ after he chose gay mathematician Alan Turing as his hero for a school presentation.
Later on in episode 4, Will also makes ambiguous remarks to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) about sharing thoughts and feelings, saying “Sometimes, I think it’s just scary, to open up like that — to say how you really feel, especially to people you care about the most. Because what if — what if they don’t like the truth?”
And despite these potentially clear signs, Schnapp isn’t ready quite yet to put a label on Will’s sexuality. In an interview with Variety, Noah revealed that he’s leaving that decision up to the writers, led by creators Matt and Ross Duffer, saying, “I feel like they never really address it or blatantly say how Will is.”
“I think that’s the beauty of it, that it’s just up to the audience’s interpretation,” he adds, “If it’s Will kind of just refusing to grow up and growing up slower than his friends, or if he is really gay.”
Then, co-star Millie Bobby Brown chimed in. “Can I just say, it’s 2022 and we don’t have to label things,” she said. “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. So many kids out there don’t know, and that’s OK. That’s OK to not know. And that’s OK not to label things.”
Schnapp agreed with her sentiments saying, “I find that people do reach to put a label on him and just want to know, so badly, like, ‘Oh, and this is it.’”
“He’s just confused and growing up. And that’s what it is to be a kid,” Noah says.
While Brown and Schnapp leave Will’s sexuality up for interpretation, fellow cast members have provided differing viewpoints on the matter. During a promotional video for Netflix Mexico which was posted on May 23, Finn Wolfhard and fellow cast members David Harbour, Winona Ryder, and Caleb McLaughlin are questioned about fan theories for the show, including one that theorizes that Will and Eleven have a secret relationship in California and are hiding it from Mike.
This idea was quickly shot down by Harbour who said “If you’ve been watching the show, you should know that Will is not interested in El,”
He says “He’s interested in someone else in the group,” later adding that “Will wants to be in the basement with Mike playing D&D for the rest of his life.”
Wolfhard further clarified that Will and Eleven’s bond is “like brother and sister” and hints that audiences will “see soon” who Will is “interested” in. But that revelation, if it is coming, did not happen during Vol. 1 of Season 4, which ends on Episode 7.
Hopefully, we will get to see this person during the final two episodes of “Stranger Things” Season 4, which will debut on July 1.
Until that moment arrives, Noah and Millie seem pretty content with the way Will Byers is evolving, with Brown telling Variety that “It’s such an amazing role for Noah to play,” adding that he gets to portray “that role model for kids out there who don’t know what they’re going through growing up.”
“Will is kind of like a zebra in a field of horses,” Schnapp says. “He kind of stands out. It’s just nice to see that and have that shown on ‘Stranger Things’ for fans to connect to and be able to relate to. Because so many of our viewers are young kids who are at that stage in their life.”
Abby is an editorial assistant at Seventeen, covering pop culture, beauty, life, and health. When she’s not busy watching the latest true crime docuseries, you can find her strolling through Sephora, thrifting the perfect dress, or jogging with her pup.