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Choosing 'Max's song' and based on a true story: 8 things you didn't know about Stranger Things.

ICYMI: Netflix's hit show, Stranger Things has finally dropped its penultimate season's final episodes, and we're both ridiculously excited to get bingeing on the whopping four-hour-ish long, two-part finale; and filled with dread at the thought of it finishing up for another year or so.

But, before we get stuck into it, we thought we'd take a look behind-the-scenes of our favourite series - including everything that happened in the past few years it took to shoot and edit. 

A dedication of sorts.

Watch: The trailer for Stranger Things 4 - Volume 2. Post continues below.


Video via Netflix.

From method acting, to the stars director-set homework, here are the eight things you probably didn't know about Stranger Things. 

And rest assured, there'll be absolutely no spoilers included. 

... Not at least without warning. 

Sadie Sink did a form of method acting to get into the mind of Max.

If you were wondering just how Sadie Sink plays her character Max so beautifully, you may have her use of the method acting technique to thank for it.

Speaking to the LA Times, Sadie Sink explained that she kept a journal where she explored Max's thoughts and feelings over the course of the season to really understand what her character was going through.

"For a few minutes every night, I’d look at a specific scene and write about it from Max’s perspective," she said. 

"[It's] a common thing you do in theatre school growing up."

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Show creators Matt and Ross Duffer seem to share the same brain.

In an interview with the New York Times, Winona Ryder (who played Joyce Byers in the series) explained that while working on Stranger Things together, twin show creators Matt and Ross Duffer's have a particularly unconventional way of scriptwriting.

"They finish each other’s sentences. They switch roles seamlessly, communicate without words. At times, they can seem to share a brain," Ryder said.

"...Because they rarely seem to disagree, at least not vocally. When they write, they do it facing each other and in a shared Google Doc."

It makes so much sense that Stranger Things needed two brains to create such a work of art.

Choosing 'Max's song' was far from easy.

If you haven't watched episode four of season four just yet, might we suggest you skip forward to our next point? There are just a few spoilers ahead.

Okay. Now that it's just the season four—part one viewers here, can we please talk about Max's iconic escape from Vecna?

As you may well know, the one way Vecna's victims can escape its trance is by listening to their favourite song which takes them out of the moment. 

When Max is taken by Vecna - just when it looks like we're about to lose her - Dustin manages to get a pair of headphones on her head - and Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill' kicks in.

The scene is, as judged by me, one of the greatest in cinema history - only made all the more perfect by the music supervisor Nora Felder's iconic song choice.

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“It immediately struck me with its deep chords of the possible connection to Max’s emotional struggles and took on more significance as Bush’s song marinated in my conscious awareness,” Felder explained to Variety. 

“The song was important not just to the storyline, but the symbolism of the ‘deal with God’ lyric was significant, which made it perfect for Max’s theme.”

Once the song was decided, the team had to create a detailed plan to ask Bush permission for rights to it.

But thankfully Bush was already a big fan of Stranger Things, so she was more than happy to share!

Will Byers might just be gay.

There's a widely known fan theory that Eleven's adoptive brother, Will Byers is gay and struggling to come out to his friends over the course of Stranger Things, but all the more so in season four.

In episode one of the latest series, Will and Eleven have to give a presentation on someone they look up to. Will chooses Alan Turing, a gay mathematician who was prosecuted in the 1950s for his sexuality and forced to undergo chemical castration.

In episode four, Mike asks Will for advice on how to express his feelings for Eleven, and Will says: “Sometimes, I think it’s just scary, to open up like that — to say how you really feel, especially to people you care about the most. Because what if — what if they don’t like the truth?”

Audiences have theorised that he is speaking as someone who is struggling to come out.

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When asked about the theory in an interview with Variety, Noah Schnapp, who plays Byers said: 

"I feel like they never really address it or blatantly say how Will is. I think that’s the beauty of it, that it’s just up to the audience’s interpretation, if it’s Will kind of just refusing to grow up and growing up slower than his friends, or if he is really gay.” 

Millie Bobby Brown added, "Can I just say, it’s 2022 and we don’t have to label things. I think what’s really nice about Will’s character is that he’s just a human being going through his own personal demons and issues. So many kids out there don’t know, and that’s OK. That’s OK to not know. And that’s OK not to label things."

Schnapp agreed. “I find that people do reach to put a label on him and just want to know, so badly, like, ‘Oh, and this is it,'” he said. “He’s just confused and growing up. And that’s what it is to be a kid.”

Stranger Things is inspired by a true story.

... Yeah. We know how crazy that sounds. 

In its first edition, Stranger Things was actually titled 'Montauk', taking inspiration from an alleged US military experiment known as the Montauk Project. 

In 1992, an electrical engineer, Preston Nicols wrote a book called Montauk Project: Experiments In Time that detailed alleged experiments on children involving mind reading, mind control and time travel that took place during the cold war.

"We began to look at how you could interface minds with computer systems - but it soon evolved into developing a mind-control device," he said in an interview with The Sun.

"Later it was discovered that if the individual whose mind was powering the machine could think of other time periods, this machine could generate a vortex there - essentially a time machine.”

Did it happen? We're not so sure. But it's certainly an interesting source of inspiration. 

The kids were set 'movie-watching homework' to get into character.

You didn't think they could capture that effortlessly cool 80s vibe without a bit of homework did you?

In an interview with the New York Times, show creators Matt and Ross Duffer shared how the young actors and actresses got into Stranger Things distinct 80s high school horror vibe - and it was a lot of set movie watching.

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"We had them all watch “Stand by Me,” and we told them what movies to watch," Ross said.

"Finn [Wolfhard], who plays Mike, he’s a movie buff, so he’s seen everything multiple times. But these are kids who are just authentic to begin with." 

There might be some spin-off series after season 5.

And in the news we all needed, it certainly looks like season five won't be the end of the Strange Things story. 

As far as we can tell, at least one spin-off is planned.

In a letter to fans back in February, the Duffer brothers promised: "There are still many more exciting stories to tell within the world of Stranger Things".

"We do have an idea for a spinoff that we’re super excited about… but we haven’t told anyone the idea yet, much less written it. We think everyone — including Netflix — will be surprised when they hear the concept, because it’s very, very different," they explained to Variety.

"But somehow Finn Wolfhard - who is one crazy smart kid - correctly guessed what it was going to be about. But aside from Finn, no one else knows!”

Feature Image: Stranger Things.

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