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According to her co-star David Harbour, the actress has had a direct impact on the show’s script, alerting showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer about any ’80s-related inconsistencies she finds.
“She’d tell them, ‘This song actually came out in ’85, and you have it in ’83,’” Harbour told Harper’s Bazaar.
“She knew all of these minute, tiny details they didn’t even know, and they had to change things in the script based on that… It’s just kind of epic how wild her mind is and how it goes to all these different corners.”
In the same interview, Ryder revealed some of the guidance she shared with the young cast members of Stranger Things, having been a child star herself in the ’80s.
“I want the kids to understand, this does not happen,” she said. “This is really unusual. And I’m always telling them, ‘The work is the reward!’ Because when I was that age, it was so hard to enjoy the fruits of my labor.”
She continued: “This business is brutal. You’re working constantly, but if you want to take a break, they tell you, ‘If you slow down, it’s going to stop.’ And then it did slow down. So then you’re hearing, ‘It’s going to be impossible to come back.’ And then that changes to, ‘You’re not even part of the conversation.’ Like, it was brutal.”
Ross Duffer also acknowledged Ryder’s mentorship of the young cast members, especially Millie Bobby Brown, who’s previously spoken about growing up in the public eye.
“I think she’s really helped them,” he said. “I know she’s specifically helped Millie [Bobby Brown] a lot to work through that. And that’s something that no one else can help with, really, because so few people have experienced it.
“It’s not something I understand. It’s not something that, you know, even a parent would understand.”
Stranger Things season four will release its final two episodes on July 1, having recently released a dramatic trailer for the remaining instalments.