“If the first ‘Stranger Things’ was ‘The Goonies’, this new installment is ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street'”, say the actors Charlie Heaton and Natalia Dyer, who have presented the fiction in Madrid
“I can’t even imagine how I’m going to feel when we shoot the next season and I have the feeling, in every scene, that this is over,” confesses Charlie Heaton (Leeds, 28 years old), the actor who brings Jonathan to life in the successful ‘Stranger Things’. The fiction, set in the eighties, is already in its fourth and penultimate season and is divided into two volumes. The first, with five episodes, will arrive on Netflix on May 27. The second, with the remaining four, will be uploaded to the platform on July 1.
That is why the presentation of this new installment, which took place yesterday at the Rosewood Villa Magna hotel in Madrid, and in which Heaton and Natalia Dyer (Nashville, 27 years old), the actress who plays Nancy, participated, had a certain tone of farewell . Somewhat shy, but charming, the two were unraveling the ins and outs of a batch of episodes for which the Duffer brothers, creators of fiction, have taken their time. The pandemic forced filming to be suspended in 2020 – the third season dates from 2019 – but, far from frustrating the team, the break was seen as an opportunity not only to refine the 800-page script, but also to sign the delivery “more ambitious” of the series.
“It’s hard to talk about filming this season without touching on the pandemic,” says Dyer. “It slowed down, but it is also a very big season, with many narrative lines,” says the actress, who is full of praise for the creators, “fantastic writers, who always manage to get to incredible places.” “Everything is written,” adds Heaton, “and we go with them completely, but we do have the freedom during the performance to change things because they know that we know our characters inside out. In the end it is a very collaborative process.”
The fourth season of ‘Stranger Things’ picks up six months after the battle at the Hawkins mall. The Byers family, accompanied by Eleven, who has lost his powers, has left the town of Indiana, but it seems that a new supernatural threat is emerging in the town. The gang of friends, separated for the first time, has matured –and, in some cases, hit the growth spurt–, “but without losing its essence,” says the actor. In the case of Nancy, the actress says that the character “has found more of her own voice and has learned to listen to her intuition, so the arc of the character has been a very pleasant journey when it comes to portraying it. I think we have a fantastic female cast, with strong, well-defined women, and I’m lucky to be a part of it.” As for Jonathan, he has left Hawkins along with his family. “I split up with my girlfriend Nancy and I have a certain feeling of rejection, but I find myself with a new character, a friend who helps me get through everything, medicating me, so to speak,” he explains with a laugh about the cannabis hobby that his wife now has. character. In this sense, he assures that the arrival of Eduardo Franco to the cast has led them to do a lot of improvisation. “We made up some scenes and tried to make the whole crew laugh and we did, so it’s been a really good experience,” he says.
In the actress’s opinion, the fourth season “is the darkest and most terrifying of all”. Next to her, Heaton confirms it. “We’re getting closer to the end and this season starts to prepare us and starts to explain everything that’s happened in Hawkins over the seasons. It is by far the biggest season. We’ve all grown up, the fans, the characters and the series.” And she gives a most illuminating example: “If the first season was a great tribute to ‘The Goonies’ or ‘Count on Me’, this one is seen more in ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street'”.
Not surprisingly, Robert Englund, who played Freddy Kruger in eight films and a television series, has a role in the new installment. “Working with him has been amazing,” says Dyer. «He has brought a super positive energy to the set and, without wanting to make a ‘spoiler’, there is a moment in which he has a very brainy monologue and gives it his all. She was a masterclass », says the actress, whose character, in fact, is named after the protagonist of the Wes Craven film.
And although terror is the most enhanced ingredient in this installment, fantasy, adventure and humor will continue to be part of the explosive mix. With so many genres, sometimes in sequences of just two or three minutes, how do you manage to modulate your interpretations? “Funny you say that,” Heaton replies. Just this season has been the messiest filming. We were shooting bits of different episodes, which was a big challenge and a bit confusing because I couldn’t remember where my character was at.” Dyer goes further: “You have the feeling of doing a puzzle all the time.”
Of all the seasons they have filmed so far, both keep the first and the last. “Whenever you shoot something for the first time, it’s special,” says the actor. Aware that on promotional tours it is abused to qualify the latest as the best, Heaton assures that “people are going to be speechless when they see it. We are getting to the why of everything and that makes it even more interesting, ”says this English actor who had a hard time learning to say ‘Nancy’ with an American accent.
It is possible to think that as the series reaped successes, the pressure to offer a good product has been growing, but Heaton does not see it that way. «I think I speak for everyone when I say that we have the feeling of having created a great family and that helps a lot to not feel that pressure so much and to have more of the feeling of going back to doing what we did in the first season. It has been fun, exciting and we have felt safe at all times.
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