iPhone 14 Pro vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra HP Pavilion Plus Planet Crossword Pixel Watch Apple Watch Ultra AirPods Pro 2 iPhone 14 Pro Camera Best Android Phones
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Accept

'Stranger Things' Star Noah Schnapp Confirms Will Byers Is Gay and Loves Mike

The young actor says the plotline was hinted at from the first season but is obvious now.

Four 1980s teens crouch in the desert in Netflix series Stranger Things.
The California pizza van crew includes Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, and Eduardo Franco as Argyle.
Netflix

Will Byers has always been an important part of Stranger Things, since it was his abduction in season 1 that started off the whole mystery of the Netflix show. And in season 4, it became apparent to many that Will was struggling with a secret. Now actor Noah Schnapp, who plays Will, revealed to Variety that his character is indeed gay, and secretly has feelings for his best friend, Mike, who's in a relationship with Eleven.

"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?" Schnapp said in the interview. "Now that he's gotten older, they made it a very real, obvious thing. Now it's 100% clear that he is gay and he does love Mike."

Schnapp and co-star Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike, have a touching scene in season 4. Outwardly, they're discussing Mike's relationship with Eleven, but reading between the lines, it appears Will is trying to tell his longtime friend how he feels about him.

"I remember when I was doing the scene, I was bawling, like, going all out the whole day," Schnapp said. "This scene was really important for him, because it really solidified that truth, that he loves his best friend and he doesn't know how to tell him."

Schnapp said Matt and Ross Duffer, the twin brothers who created Stranger Things, have spoken to him about their plans for the character in the show's final season, though he admits they won't tell him too much, because "I'm always spoiling stuff."

How people will respond to his sexuality isn't the only worry for Will.

"It's this multifaceted trauma that goes years back, because he was taken by the Demogorgon and then his friends, they never acknowledged him, and now he's scared to come out and doesn't know if they'll accept him," Schnapp said. "And then Eleven is like his sister, but he doesn't want to hurt her because if he says he likes Mike, that's gonna hurt her feelings. There's all these things running in his mind. So I kind of just have to make sure that I'm conveying the depth of all his traumas."

There's no release date yet for the fifth and final season of Stranger Things, though some details about it have trickled out, including the bad news that more deaths are on the way.