After months (and possibly years) of fan speculation, actor Noah Schnapp finally confirms that Will Byers (his character) is gay and is in love with his best friend, Mike. Unfortunately for Will, Mike is straight and is in love with his girlfriend, Eleven. The heartbreak is real….
“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. 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.”
One of the most heart-breaking things about Will’s selfless journey is that he ‘comes out’ to the audience in a closeted talk with Mike during which he reassures Mike that Eleven will always want and love Mike. Mike is dealing with insecurity regarding his girlfriend needing him, due to her superpowers, but Will reminds him that Eleven still loves him, something that is proven later when Mike and Eleven reunite.
During his speech, Will takes out a painting he created and explains how it represents the bond that the group of friends share. However, he replaces himself in the story with Eleven, pretending that she was the one who requested it and that the descriptions of Mike as the heart and the leader were her thoughts rather than his own. By the end of the conversation, Will is in tears but Mike is none the wiser.
Actor Noah Schnapp declared:
“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.”
Up until now, Schnapp has refused to definitively answer the question of whether Will is gay. In a previous interview, he said:
“I feel like [Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer] never really address [Will’s sexuality] 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.”
Now that his character has come out in a more definitive way (a scene between Will and his older brother, Jonathan, confirms that Jonathan knows), Schnapp has confirmed it for the audience as well.
“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?” he said. “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. 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.”
The most beautiful part about Will’s arc is that he not only loves Mike romantically, but he loves Eleven like a sister. She is technically his adopted sister and he wants her to be happy too. Keeping his feelings in check might be painful for him, but he loves and cares about both Mike and Eleven a lot.
Heartbreak is always painful….
What are your hopes for Will’s fate in Season 5? I really hope he gets to be happy in the fifth and finale scene of Stranger Things. He deserves it….
Until Season 5 airs, check out our other articles about Stranger Things and feel free to speculate with the rest of us about what is going to happen!