Stranger Things returns to Netflix with its sophomore season this October and will feature the vast majority of the same characters as the first season. Along with the series' main quartet of protagonists — Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Will (Noah Schnapp) — we'll be introduced to new characters like Paul Reiser's Dr. Owens.
While the secrecy surrounding the production of the second season of Strange Things is at an all-time high, we do know that Owens, a Department of Energy executive, is tasked with moving to Hawkins to contain the fallout resulting from the events in season one.
Reiser, 59, is best known for his roles in Beverly Hills Cop and as the traitorous Carter Burke in Aliens.
As they pitched the second season to Netflix, the Duffer brothers coincidentally referred to Dr. Owens as "Paul Reiser," paying homage to Reiser's character in Aliens. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Reiser revealed how his Stranger Things character resembles his Aliens counterpart.
"It was sort of nebulous — is he a good guy or a bad guy? To be honest, I've only read a few of the scripts so I still don't know and I'm not sure they know," Reiser told EW. "I think part of what they were tickled by was, to whatever extent people know me from Aliens, they're automatically going, 'Oh this guy is no good.' I don't know where they're going with it but it's a fun thing to play."
After complimenting on the production value of the show and comparing it that of feature films, Reiser went on to discuss a scene that he acted in with Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) himself.
"I have a certain thing in my head that I'm playing. I did a scene a few weeks ago with David Harbour, and it was a heated scene where he's sort of holding me accountable. My lines were to the effect of, 'Trust me. Everything is fine.' I said, 'I don't believe me and I am me!'" said Reiser. "It just feels like there's such a well-worn precedent not just of Aliens but in life when a government guy says, 'No, you're fine. There's nothing to worry about here.' It's like, 'Yeah, I don't believe you.'"
In the same interview, Reiser confirmed he replaces Matthew Modine's Martin Brenner as the head of the Department of Energy in Hawkins.
"Modine's character had very few lines so he was this looming, powerful presence. My guy is much more hands-on and sort of among his many degrees is that he has a bedside manner that Modine's character did not have," Reiser reflected. "I know coming into this what this community has gone through and my job is to try and walk them through their mistrust."