‘Stranger Things’ Star Noah Schnapp Confirms Will Byers Is Gay and in Love With Mike Wheeler
One of the many charms of watching Stranger Things is being able to watch the lovable young cast grow up and assume their own identities throughout the show's seasons. This is perhaps the truest for 17-year-old actor Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers in the hit Netflix series.
His character has been through the wringer over the years, from being possessed by an evil, otherworldly entity known as the Mind Flayer and then seemingly abandoned by his tween pals in favor of girls. However, Will's journey has always been somewhat different than the arcs of the other characters.
Recent seasons found Will having a hard time communicating with his friend Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard). Now, we finally have confirmation why.
Speaking to Variety, Schnapp revealed Will is indeed gay and that he has a crush on his best friend Mike.
While Schnapp previously alluded to Will's sexuality in May when he said it was "up to the audience’s interpretation," his latest revelation confirms it's now "100 percent clear that he is gay and he does love Mike."
When speaking on the new seasons, Schnapp said: "This season was a new thing for me. I had to explore him navigating his personal identity issues and struggling with growing up and assimilating into high school," Schnapp said of his character's journey in Season 4.
Schnapp also made clear that Will feels a type of way about Mike: "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."
He continued: "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."
When it came to that pivotal, emotional Season 4 scene between Will and Mike in the van, Schnapp said it was "was really important for him [Will]" because it "solidified that truth, that he loves his best friend and he doesn’t know how to tell him."
Will's journey has helped many viewers and fans. Schnapp recounted a recent experience in which a 40-year-old man came up to him and revealed that Schnapp's character "made [him] feel so good," because he "related to it so much."
As for what Season 5 of the show has in store for Will, Schnapp expressed his desire to have a "coming out scene, and I also want to see them address this connection to the Mind Flayer and how that fits into the world."
Season 4 has been a runaway success for Netflix and has broken several records, including becoming the second show on the platform to cross over 1 billion total hours viewed.