In the first batch of episodes in Stranger Things 4, there seemed to be several hints that Will Byers was gay, and that he had feelings for his longtime best friend, Mike. In Stranger Things 4 Vol. 2, the show made it a lot clearer, with Will delivering a passionate speech to Mike about his importance to those that love him, seemingly talking about himself but telling Mike the conversation was about Eleven. The way that he broke down in tears after the speech seemed to confirm things, but actor Noah Schnapp is making sure there is no longer any misinterpretation.
While speaking to Variety about Stranger Things 4, Schnapp noted that there have been hints about Will's sexuality and feelings toward Mike since the very first season. Even though the show didn't say it outright, Schnapp set the record straight and confirmed that Will is gay.
"Obviously, it was hinted at in Season 1: 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," Schnapp said. "Now it's 100% clear that he is gay and he does love Mike. But before, it was a slow arc. I think it is done so beautifully, because it's so easy to make a character just like all of a sudden be gay. People have come up to me – I was just in Paris and this, like, 40-year-old man came up to me and he was like, 'Wow, this Will character made me feel so good. And I related to it so much. That is exactly who I was when I was a kid.' That just made me so happy to hear. They are writing this real character and this real journey and real struggle and they're doing it so well."
Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer have always had Will's story in mind, but they didn't talk to Schnapp about it until recently. Now, Schnapp can look back at the earlier seasons and see all the signs he initially missed.
"Years ago in Season 1, I didn't know where the Duffers wanted to go with this character," he added. "So I was kind of figuring it out along with the audience. But now that I've spoken to them and seen the show, I know what they want to do with it. They obviously don't tell me anything, either. I'm always spoiling stuff, so they will never share anything with me. So it's a lot of figuring it out on my own. And kind of realizing later on, like, 'Oh this makes sense and this was intentional.'"
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