'Stranger Things' creators and cast talk auditions and acting process
The cast and crew of Stranger Things 2 were interviewed during a live Facebook video yesterday (January 7), posted to the show’s official Facebook page. Ross and Matt Duffer were in attendance, alongside executive producer Shawn Levy and cast members Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp and Gaten Matarazzo.
When asked about their casting process, The Duffer Brothers revealed that they saw “over 1,000” kids for the roles of Eleven, Mike, Will, Lucas and Dustin.
Executive producer Shawn Levy said; “[The Duffer Brothers] were so vigilant in not casting anyone unless they felt completely authentic to the character and it’s ended up creating this ensemble that is kind of weird and unique and it works in all its disparate, odd pieces because Ross and Matt were so determined to create something singular.”
Ross Duffer then revealed, “It’s not like there were back-ups. There wasn’t a back-up Dustin. If Gaten [Matarazzo] had been like ‘you know what? I don’t want to do it’, we’d be in trouble. We really would be. We almost lost Finn [Wolfhard] for a second but then he came back to us and all was right. He was in demand.”
Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven also revealed that she and Wolfhard were almost sick during their audition together. “We felt so nervous,” Brown said. “When went in there, it was like, I met this guy [Wolfhard] and we both felt like we were about to puke.”
She added that she and Wolfhard “immediately clicked”. “Then I met the other kids,” she continued. “Gaten made a really great impression, he just shouted and was like ‘Millie!’ and then I had Caleb [McLaughlin] who is just cool and I kind of wanted to be like him. He’s like really chilled out and I’m very nervous. And then I met Noah [Schnapp] and Noah’s my age.”
Speaking about her character of Joyce Byers, Winona Ryder said she was drawn to the role as Joyce was “very human and just not perfect.” “She wasn’t the mom in the fluffy slippers in the corner,” she added. “Joyce had a lot of guilt because she knew she was leaning on Jonathan way too much.”
David Harbour, who portrays Jim Hopper, commented that the Stranger Things actors have all been miscast in the past, adding “we’re all a bunch of freaks in some way. I just love the uniqueness of this cast.”