Noah Schnapp Confirmed Will Is Gay and in Love with Mike

Since Stranger Things premiered on Netflix in 2016, we’ve seen Noah Schnapp’s character Will Byers get kidnapped by the Demogorgon, deal with a psychic connection to the Mind Flayer, and adjust to teenage life and the changing dynamics going on in his friend group. In season four, a new aspect of Will emerged more fully; the teenager from Hawkins appeared to have a crush on his friend Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), and now Noah is confirming that Will is indeed gay and in love with Mike.

Noah expanded on the storyline in a new interview with Variety, saying that he initially dodged the question and said Will’s sexuality was “up to the audience’s interpretation” because he didn’t want to spoil the fourth season, but the character arc has been there since the first episodes of the Netflix series. “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. Even in Season 1, they hinted at that and slowly, slowly grew that storyline,” Noah explained to the outlet. “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. Will has always felt like that.”

Noah has known about Will’s journey since he began playing the character and has heard from fans how meaningful it has been to them. “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,” he shared. “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.”

The shift in Will’s storyline from supernatural darkness to more personal moments has given Noah more to work with when it comes to his portrayal of Will. “I was used to acting him [dealing] with the Mind Flayer, the supernatural aspects and the darker, kind of non-personal stuff. This season was a new thing for me,” He shared. “I had to explore him navigating his personal identity issues and struggling with growing up and assimilating into high school. It was new for me.”

Noah also shared that there’s more in store for Will next season. “The Duffers are saying for next season that they’re going to focus more on Will and build that storyline,” he told Variety. “They’re still working it out, but they have their end goal. There’s so many different things they have to address. Obviously, we hope for 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. And I’ve always been wondering, why was Will the first victim and the first one captured? I just want to see it all tie in and all work out. So I’m excited to see what happens.” 

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