Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp has confirmed the fan theory that Will Byers is gay and in love with Mike Wheeler.
In a recent interview with Variety, Schnapp discussed the popular fan theory circulating the internet since the drop of the Netflix series’ fourth season. He confirmed that his character does, indeed, have feelings for Mike Wheeler (portrayed by Finn Wolfhard).
“I mean, it’s pretty clear this season that Will has feelings for Mike,” Schnapp said. “They’ve been intentionally pulling that out over the past few seasons. Even in Season one, they hinted at that and slowly, slowly grew that storyline. I think for season four, 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. All his friends, they all have girlfriends and they all fit into their different clubs. Will has never really found anywhere to fit in. I think that’s why so many people come up to me and tell me that they love Will and they resonate with him so much, because it’s such a real character.”
The fan theory was compounded after a pivotal conversation that the two characters have in a van in season four. But Schnapp revealed that he didn’t realise the scene’s impact until he watched the scene on screen.
“I remember when I was doing the scene, I was bawling, like, going all out the whole day,” he said. “And when I saw it on screen, it was actually more subtle. I liked how they edited it together. The day was a lot of fun. I love just playing with Will. 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.”
Will’s sexual orientation has been the subject of speculation for some time, but when previously asked about the character’s feelings toward Mike, he refused to give fans a definitive answer. He said that it was up for “interpretation”.
“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,” he said. “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.”