Stranger Things Season 4 drops multiple hints about Will's (Noah Schnapp) sexuality, but in an interview with Variety published on Monday, Schnapp and Millie Bobby Brown stopped short of confirming that Will is gay.
“I feel like they never really address it or blatantly say how Will is,” Schnapp said. “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.”
In the first episode of Stranger Things Season 4, Will and Eleven (Brown) must give a school presentation about a hero they look up to. Will chooses Alan Turing, a gay mathematician who was prosecuted for his sexuality and forced to undergo physical castration in the 1950s. Throughout the season, Will also becomes upset that his best friend Mike (Finn Wolfhard) is giving all his time and attention to his girlfriend, Eleven (Brown), instead of him. Later, Will physically recoils from a girl who seems interested in him, but the show never states outright that Will is gay or struggling to come out.
“Can I just say, it’s 2022 and we don’t have to label things,” Brown told Variety. “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 okay. That’s okay to not know. And that’s okay not to label things.”
Schnapp added, “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’s just confused and growing up. And that’s what it is to be a kid.”
“It’s such an amazing role for Noah to play,” Brown said. “And to be that role model for kids out there who don’t know what they’re going through growing up.”
“Will is kind of like a zebra in a field of horses,” Schnapp continued. “He kind of stands out. It’s just nice to see that and have that shown on Stranger Things for fans to connect to and be able to relate to. Because so many of our viewers are young kids who are at that stage in their life.”
In a promotional video for Stranger Things, other cast members were asked about a fan theory speculating that Will and Eleven are in a secret relationship and hiding it from Mike.
“If you’ve been watching the show, you should know that Will is not interested in El,” said David Harbour. “He’s interested in someone else in the group.”
“Yeah, you'll see soon who he's interested in,” added Wolfhard.
However, Season 4, Volume 1 does not give any definitive answer about who Will is interested in.
Stranger Things is currently streaming on Netflix. Season 4, Volume 2 will debut on July 1.
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Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.