Stranger Things Star Wins First People's Choice Award

Stranger Things turned the 2022 People's Choice Awards upside down on Tuesday night. The record-breaking fourth season of the hit Netflix series scored four nominations at the annual awards show honoring fan favorites in movies, television, music, and pop culture: The Show of 2022, Female and Male TV Star of 2022, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2022. While Female TV Star of the year went to Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo over Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown, co-star Noah Schnapp was named the people's choice for Male TV Star. Overall, the show has received a total of 14 PCA nominations, winning five; the win marks Schnapp's first nomination and People's Choice Award. 

The 18-year-old actor was named Male TV Star of 2022, winning out over Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Young Rock), Ewan McGregor (Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi), Ice-T (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Jason Bateman (Ozark), Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), Oscar Isaac (Moon Knight), and Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us).

As voted by fans, Stranger Things was the people's choice for Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2022 — winning out over popular picks like House of the DragonThe Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Marvel series Moon Knight and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law — as well as The Show of 2022, winning over the acclaimed Abbott Elementary and the final seasons of This Is Us and Better Call Saul.

Schnapp has played the supernaturally-plagued Will Byers of Hawkins, Indiana, since the show's first season in 2016. Over the summer, Stranger Things 4, at long last, acknowledged whether Will is gay and in love with best friend Mike (Finn Wolfhard). In an emotional scene in Season 4, Will essentially told an oblivious Mike how he felt while talking about Mike's girlfriend, Eleven (Brown). 

"I mean, it's pretty clear this season that Will has feelings for Mike. They've been intentionally pulling that out over the past few seasons," Schnapp told Variety. "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."

Schnapp continued, "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."

Schnapp will reprise his role in the upcoming fifth and final season of Stranger Things, which is expected to begin filming in 2023. The first four seasons of Stranger Things are available to stream on Netflix.