Stranger Things 4 is packed with surprising twists and events, and one of the big revelations this season is that Will Byers is actually gay and that he’s in love with his best friend, Mike.
While huge hints were already being dropped earlier this season, the show finally made it evident to viewers during the car scene in Volume 2 where Will showed his painting to Mike. He went on to assure his friend that Eleven will always be needing him despite his many doubts about their relationship. When Will starts to burst into tears, fans were finally convinced that his evident pain is tied to Mike and Eleven’s relationship, because he had romantic feelings for his friend.
In an interview with Variety, actor Noah Schnapp further confirmed the revelation about his character in the show, and shared his thoughts on Will’s character arc.
“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,” said Schnapp. “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.”
According to Schnapp, it was only recently that the show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, talked to him about Will and his sexuality. “Years ago in Season 1, I didn’t know where the Duffers wanted to go with this character,” he said. “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.'”
The actor also shared a heartwarming encounter he had with a fan regarding Stranger Things 4. “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 4 is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.