Natalia Dyer Reflects on Nancy’s Stranger Things 2 Journey

The actress talks Justice For Barb, Steve’s redemption, and David Harbour’s unforgettable SAG speech.

Warning: This interview contains spoilers about Stranger Things 2.

There’s a lot to love about Nancy Wheeler in the second season of Stranger Things. Having been irrevocably changed by the insane events of last year, season two picks up with Nancy channelling all of the internet’s collective grief over Barb, and follows her relentless mission to find answers. Sure, the Nancy/Steve/Jonathan love triangle is still a major force, and heats up in earnest midway through the season (how was the pull-out?) But between drunk “it’s all bullshit” Nancy, gun-toting badass Nancy, and saving-Dustin-at-the-Snow-Ball Nancy, Natalia Dyer had a pretty great season independent of her love interests.

ELLE.com caught up with Dyer last month to talk Justice For Barb, Steve’s redemption, and David Harbour’s unforgettable SAG speech.

Justice For Barb became a meme last season, but this season it’s also Nancy’s main motivation.
“I think that was driving her in season one too, but now we really see how heavily the situation has sat on her shoulders. At the beginning of this season, we really see how how everybody has been coping with what happened at the end of season one—or not coping with it. Nancy feels such a drive to make things right, as much as she can, and in any way she knows how.”

Dyer is thrilled by Steve’s transformation from the show’s most hated character to fan favorite.
“It’s so well deserved! You really warm up to Steve this season, and one of the things the show does really well is give everybody different shades and complexities—nobody is just one way or the other. So it’s nice to see the sweeter, more nurturing side of Steve. As far as the love triangle goes, I think it goes back to the trauma of what happened in season one; it forces everyone to change, and for Nancy and Steve it makes them realize they need to be apart and work some things out on their own. It’s hard to say where that’s going to go in the future, but things are definitely a little rocky in the love triangle.”

Nancy is more ruthless in her pursuit of justice this season.
“I think single-minded is a good word. She’s much more focused. I think last season she discovered a little bit of what she’s capable of when she really goes for something, and I think this season she goes even more in that direction. She’s very driven by the search for justice, and it’s fun to play that. There’s a decisiveness and a focus to her, but also something a little reckless and dangerous about it that’s a lot of fun.”

It didn’t take long for Dyer to realize that the show was becoming a phenomenon after season one.
“I was very nervous as to how it would be received, but literally the first night that it came out, I got recognized on the street—I was living in New York at the time, so you’re on the street a lot. To see that amping up, people recognizing you everywhere, and just seeing face to face how people felt about the show and how much it meant to them, it was wild!

When people approach me, it’s a vulnerable moment for everybody. You can see that sometimes people don’t quite know what to say to you, but they want to come up to you and you can tell they’re nervous, and it’s really humbling and endearing. Generally the message is just appreciation, people saying how much they love the show. It’s wild and hard to wrap your mind around, but it’s always been positive feedback, so it’s the most you could hope for!”

Dyer’s favorite scenes to shoot are also maybe your favorites in the show—when the entire cast is together on set, as in the final episodes of season two.
“The scenes that really stand out in my mind are those days towards the end of the series when we’re all together, and all the characters are interacting. Those days are just buzzing, they’re so much fun. Everybody in the cast is so close and we all really care about each other and respect each other, and so when the camera stops rolling we’re definitely goofing off and sometimes there’s laughter ruining a take. But usually when it gets down to it we’re all focused on the work, and it’s just such a gift to be in this world with these talented people.”

The Duffers are heavily involved in every aspect of the show, but they’re also collaborative with their actors.
“They’re very open to talking about things with us—this year Matt texted me over the summer being like, ‘What do you think Nancy would wear as a Halloween costume?’ They do take that stuff into consideration, because they respect actors’ work as the people who live these characters, but they also know these characters so well that there’s always a lot to explore.”

David Harbour’s stirring SAG speech was just as powerful for everybody on stage.
“David actually ran the speech by Joe [Keery], Charlie [Heaton], and I the night before the ceremony, and we didn’t know what our chances were but were like, ‘Man, if you got the chance to deliver that, it would be so amazing.’ So when we did get the chance to go up there we were just so galvanized, and so excited, and I think you can tell with David’s delivery how exciting it was for all of us to be up there, and be up there together. For David to be the one to deliver this message resonated with all of us—it was a really magical night.”

Source: Elle

Natalia Dyer Looked Nothing Like Nancy at the Stranger Things Season 2 Premiere

We’re used to seeing Natalia Dyer rock very similar brunette waves to those her character, Nancy Wheeler, wears on Netflix’s hit show, Stranger Things. But just a few days before Season 2 dropped, the 20-year-old actress debuted a totally new hairstyle: She went blonde and added bangs.

Dyer revved up the shock factor at Thursday night’s Stranger Things Season 2 premiere in L.A. by wearing her blonde bangs curly, Taylor Swift-style, and it turns out that Swift isn’t the only one who can nail this look. She looked radiant in a lacy Christopher Kane dress and Irene Neuwirth jewels.

Photographer Kevin Tachman captured these stunning images of Dyer while getting ready for the big premiere, and she’s just as much a natural in front of the camera as she is on screen. Keep scrolling to see exclusive images of Dyer getting ready for the Stranger Things premiere, and then get bingeing, because Season 2’s nine episodes are already on Netflix.

Happy streaming!

Source: InStyle US

Stranger Things’ Natalia Dyer Has Strong Feelings about Barb’s Death, Too

We put the actress, who plays Nancy on the show, in the season’s best retro denim, and got as much intel about Season 2 as we could get. Spoilers ahead (sort of…)!

If you’re part of that small minority who hasn’t seen Stranger Things (*yet*), Natalia Dyer could easily pass as your average New Yorker. The actress, who plays Nancy on the hit Netflix show, is almost eerily chill as she arrives at our office, revealing she just walked here from her apartment and that her adorable gingham pants are actually from Zara. She doesn’t even seem to notice that people are silently freaking out as she walks around, scoping out the place. Coveteur’s crew is clearly made up of big binge-watchers.

But that’s part of what makes Natalia so great: She doesn’t act like the massive star that fans of the show see her as, and instead laughs over her love of Anastasia and willingly endures a game of Heads Up. It also made her the perfect person to play dress-up with, as she modeled our favorite ’70s- and ’80s-inspired denim trends in the most effortlessly cool way.

And about this location: New York gallery/showroom The Future Perfect gamely let us play house in their secret space, which was designed by Leilani Zahn with lighting works and sculptures by her husband, Karl Zahn. All the furniture is De La Espada, and between the pinky-mauve hues, Zahn’s hanging brass sculptures, and that crazy floral print, it was the perfect place to imagine Nancy in an extremely glamorous alternate universe.

Along with our chat about her newfound fame, style, and, of course, the show, which finally returns for season two on Oct. 27.

Do people get angry at you for the whole Barb thing?
“People are like, ‘What about Barb?’ I’m always scared to say it because I’m scared of what the reaction will be. I’m like, ‘She—did you not? She died. You saw it. We showed it very graphically, too.’ It’s really funny, but the funniest thing about it—well, not ha-ha funny—but I think the fan response actually really shaped the second season and Nancy’s plot line. I’m not sure if the brothers or anybody were really aware of Barb’s importance. It was definitely a surprise, but important. In hindsight, you’re like, ‘Yeah, of course!’ And especially for Nancy. A huge part of her story line is losing her best friend.”

I feel like people can see a little bit of themselves in Nancy and a little bit of themselves in Barb:
“My thing is, I get like, ‘Ooh, it doesn’t look good for Nancy,’ from that perspective. But we all have those moments of being a bad friend. And Nancy had no idea. If she thought, ‘Oh, there are monsters running around out there, maybe I shouldn’t let Barb go home by herself,’ of course she would’ve stopped her. And you know, judgment’s the first thing to go when you’re drinking. But I think that’s why Barb resonated with us; we’ve all—even me, of course—we’ve all been Barb. We’ve all been the friend. And I would like to think that we’ve all kind of been Nancy, or we’re a little selfish here and there and we’re a bad friend, occasionally. It was just really unfortunate timing.”

Part of the reason the show is popular is because of its different and powerful portrayal of females. Is that refreshing for you?
“Definitely. I end up reading for a lot of roles that, on paper, come across like Nancy does on paper—like, 16-year-old, kind of going through some angsty changes, and boys, and a first sexual experience. I don’t think that age is always treated with as much respect. I always try to throw props to the writers, to the brothers, really. It’s great that they haven’t discriminated between the genders, as far as who gets to do badass things and who gets to be emotional. They’re just telling stories with these characters.”

The cast seems super close as well:
“I think everybody really cares about what they’re doing and making something good, and they genuinely respect what everybody else is bringing to the table. In my mind, that’s part of the magic of making something that is ‘successful’—genuinely wanting to be there and wanting to make something cool together. So yeah, we’re all really close, and I miss them when we’re not hanging out. Also, for the most part, most of us were relatively unknown before this came out, so we all had that crazy experience of ‘Oh my god, this is insane.’ That overnight ‘Oh my gosh, this is crazy. Does this happen to you? Me too!’ It’s nice to have that kind of solidarity in the craziness that can be fame, celebrity kind of a phenomenon.”

Are you recognized on the street? What’s that like?
“It’s really bizarre and it’s really changed my whole perspective of other celebrities. I came across this quote the other day, and it was basically like, ‘Fame is a million people having the wrong idea about you.’ All of a sudden, everybody thinks that they know you, but they forget that people you go up to, they have no idea who you are. Honestly, I feel like I could just go back to school and study that whole sociological thing. One of the most frustrating things has been people coming up—and I get that they’re nervous, sometimes they’re shaking, which is really crazy—but sometimes people run up to you and have their phone all ready, and they’re like, ‘Can I get a picture with you?’ That’s the first thing they say. And I know it’s such a delicate moment for them in a way, but also as a human, you’re kind of like, ‘Who are you?’ If that had happened to me before this came out, I’d be like, ‘No!’ It’s just a weird, strange thing…Stranger Things! [laughs]. You don’t ever want to not be grateful, and it’s nice to be liked because I think as actors, that’s the thing—at the end of the day you want to at least be respected for what you do and what you put out in the world. But sometimes you feel like all they want from you is a picture. They just want the proof that they met you, and you’re like, ‘I’m a human. I’m a person.’ So that’s been something to kind of deal with, I think for all of us. We’ve talked about it on the show. It’s hard, and do you say no? When do you say no? Do you have to say yes? Where do you draw the line? Still figuring all that out I guess. Trying to take it case by case. Kids you can’t really say no to. Kids are too endearing.”

What is your style like normally?
“I’m very much a jeans, t-shirt, tennis shoes, sunscreen, lip balm, just wash-and-go kind of a person. I think there are definitely parts of this business that pressure you to always be put together. Especially when people are constantly like, ‘Can I get a picture with you?’ And you’re like, ‘Oh, man. I look like a twelve-year-old boy right now. Great. Yeah, let’s get a picture.’ I don’t know, I can’t be bothered with it most of the time. But it is fun to do things like this photo shoot and red carpet events, where you feel so glamorous and you feel so girly and that’s nice. But yeah, I have mostly t-shirts in my closet.”

Do you have a favorite denim trend?
“I was just saying I really want to find some high-waisted, flare, bell-bottom stuff. [I like] overalls because they’re really easy. And I have maybe four denim jackets. I’m always for throwing on a denim jacket, honestly. Denim’s great, isn’t it? Somehow it ended up as this ubiquitous material that can go with anything. I’m all about easy. I’m all about casual, easy—denim is definitely a friend of mine. High-waisted, too. It’s funny to think about owning non-high-waisted pants. Everything is high-waisted in my closet. It’s just more flattering! There’s something about it that feels better, it’s more flattering, I’m way into it. It’s my favorite ’80s trend.”

You were talking a little bit about Anastasia and Princess Diaries before. Care to explain?
“I was constantly pretending as a child, and I was constantly pretending that I was a princess. I was constantly in a plastic crown and plastic high heels and a dress and demanding people call me a different name. I could spend hours and hours, by myself, pretending. I think I always kind of wanted to be something different, grander. I also grew up watching a lot of Disney princess movies, which in hindsight I’m like, ‘There aren’t always good messages for little girls in that.’ But that was very much how I grew up, watching those princess movies. There’s something very exciting and glamorous about this different life. Anastasia was one of my favorites. I actually think that’s 20th Century Fox, but she was pretty badass. She was sassy and figuring out her own life. I was pretty determined that I was something greater and bigger than just this girl from Nashville.”

And now you’ve created that!
“One of the best things about being an actor is hopefully, if the opportunity comes up, you can be anything you want to be. I always say my dream would be something like a Million Dollar Baby, where you have to really learn something else, learn to be somebody else that’s so different, that you might never, ever have learned or known. It’s such a privilege of the job if that comes up.”

GLOW season 2?
“GLOW season 2, bring me on man! I’ll wrestle. Sure, why not? I’m there. Sign me up.”

Source: Coveteur

Ladygunn Interview with Natalia Dyer

In 2016, Americans and beyond were terrified by a looming, evil presence on their television screens… And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump at the presidential debates, but rather the diabolical “Demogorgon” on Netflix’s runaway smash hit, Stranger Things—the show we all binge-watched (and rewatched) this year.

Hearkening back to the nostalgic Steven Spielberg-era family horror of the ‘80s, Stranger Things became, ironically, the least strange and most comforting escape in a world gone mad when it premiered on the streaming service over the summer. Its cast of endearing, relatable kids anchored the show’s otherwise dark and conspiratorial premise with a sense of levity and heart. Natalia Dyer was one of those kids—or rather, teenager.

Playing Nancy Wheeler, the high school-aged big sis to Mike, the Eleven-crushin’, Dungeons and Dragons player trying to unravel the mystery of his disappeared friend, Dyer’s character started off as the typical vision of any early ‘80s cinematic coming-of-age teen girl: an eye-rolling, boy obsessed princess caught between the worlds of popularity and authentic friendship. Facing incredible danger, however, Nancy quickly evolved into one of the show’s most badass feminist players alongside Winona Ryder’s desperate, relentless Joyce Byers and Millie Bobby Brown’s fierce fan-favorite Eleven.

Below, the Nashville-bred, New York-based actress and I converse about what it was like landing her life-changing gig, getting caught up on ‘80s cinema (a decade she never personally experienced), learning how to navigate the industry with grace thanks to a certain iconic co-star, and, of course, justice for Barb.

Can you tell me a little bit about growing up in Nashville and the art scene there?
I was born and raised in Nashville. Looking back on it, it’s such a pleasant place to call home. Of course it’s known for music [but] I was never in the music scene. I got started in the local community theater scene, which is really lovely. When I was younger, there wasn’t a whole lot of film work. Just little things here and there. Now, I guess, it’s starting to pick up, as is the rest of the city. It’s kind of blowing up every time I go back, which is as often as I can. My family is still there, my friends are still there. So, I go back as often as I can. It’s really exploding, lots of people are moving there. There are new things every time I go back. But it still has a very nice, mellow, Southern pace of life, which is the best thing coming from the city.

You attended the Gallatin School at NYU. How did you enjoy that?
It’s good. Technically, it’s still going! [Laughs] I had to start and stop here and there for work stuff, but it’s wonderful. It’s probably the only way I could sanely do college. I can’t see myself living in a big campus situation. And the way Gallatin works is that it’s like design your own major. There’s a lot of freedom to do exactly what you want to pursue and where your interests take you. It’s a blessing and a curse! I tend to wander with that a little bit. It’s so fun. They’re very nice to me there, very lenient with my schedule.
That’s good, because I’m sure your schedule is gonna get even crazier.
[Laughs] Yeah, I think so. I already tentatively signed up for fall classes and I was like, ‘I might have to take a leave of absence… again.’

One thing that I read about Stranger Things was that the Duffer brothers were very particular about the kids they chose for the cast, which I thought was really cool. You guys, the teens on the show and of course the younger kids, are the heart of the show. What was that audition process like for you?
It’s funny. At that point in time I was just super… I was moving out of my dorm, I was very stressed out. I remember, from the first audition I went in… but I came out of it feeling terrible about it. I don’t know, something about the vibe, I told myself, ‘There goes that one.’ So yeah, I was surprised to get a callback. And the callback felt pretty similarly bad! Magically I somehow got cast. And it was crazy and wonderful and scary and exciting. In the room, I didn’t actually meet the casting director, Carmen Cuba, who is wonderful, obviously. But I didn’t get to meet her until I was on the third audition. It just kind of crept up on me, actually, which is nice.

That’s so funny to me because I feel like you were so perfectly cast in that role, like it was tailor-made for you. What’s interesting, too, about your character is that she is not the typical victimized, damsel in distress teenage girl. There’s a lot of strength to her.
Yeah, absolutely. I’m so happy with the way Nancy turned out. The response to her is really satisfying. A lot of times, there’s a lot of damsel and victim roles around. It was nice for me to get to play a girl who finds her strength, who is really courageous and does cool things. I was really happy with that. I hope that I brought that to life in some way. Nancy is all badass. I always love to give credit to the Duffers for giving the backbone to that character.

When I was watching the show, she reminded me of another famous ‘80s Nancy character, the protagonist of Nightmare on Elm Street. Have you watched that film?
Yeah! That was actually a big part of my homework, because I hadn’t seen it. They were like, “You gotta watch this, and you gotta watch that!” It took some guts, because I know it’s kind of gory. That lovely ‘80s gore that’s kind of hilarious, but also gross when you watch by yourself. That scene is something else. Yeah, I think they actually reference that character a couple of times. It’s a different vibe, but I think there’s definitely some inspiration there.

You’re 21, but I was born in ‘89, literally the last of the ‘80s babies. But I did grow up with a lot of the films that inspired Stranger Things. I’m sure you’ve seen some of them as a kid, too. Were there certain ones that you hadn’t seen that you watched to prepare yourself for the role?
Yeah, I definitely spent some time [watching films like] Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist, Close Encounters of the Third Kind… I hadn’t seen things like Pretty in Pink or Sixteen Candles. Our time period is a little more early ‘80s. There is a big difference between early ‘80s and late ‘80s. Early ‘80s is more of that ‘70s vibe. But yeah, I had to give myself a little bit of time to catch up. My mom, it’s funny, I think it was the biggest time of her life in the ‘80s! So I kind of grew up talking about the fashion, music and dancing… ‘80s everything with her. It was nice to experience that. It’s enjoyable, fun and [there’s] an innocence to that time period. It’s a pre-iPhone, pre-technology era. It’s nice to play around in that mindset.

That’s so true. I feel like one of the funniest scenes in the first season is when Hopper goes to the library and he’s looking for newspaper clippings.
[Laughs] Yeah! We were talking about how now it would be so silly. Now you have apps, GPS on your phone, Find My Friend—there’s a lot more mystery to play around with on the show. You don’t know everything. Now we have Google.

One of the most exciting announcements about the show in the weeks leading up to it was the casting of Winona Ryder. To anyone who grew up in the ‘90s especially, Winona is that iconic ‘80s and ’90s star. What was it like working with her? Did you take anything away from that experience as an actress?
Totally! I’m really impressed and inspired by the way she handles herself and how her life is private. She’s just graceful with how she handles her career and her exposure. Because of that, I think she’s so real in person. She’s such a cool lady and very talented. I learned a lot in terms of going forward and how to handle myself and carry myself. She has a lot of fame! And she’s had it ever since she was very young. That’s hard to deal with and I think she’s done it very well. I know that if I ever need anything I can ask her.

I agree, I think she definitely has a lot of grace and humility. It comes off, not necessarily through her characters, but just through her as a person in interviews or on the red carpet. She’s just so beloved, I think.
She is very endearing and genuine and very talented. Just so good. It’s no small thing to watch her do her thing in person. It’s a cool gift.

Something that really stood out for me in the last episode was when Will is in the hospital and everyone is celebrating having him back. Your character, however, is lingering in the doorway and there is this incredible moment where you can see both this sense of relief and sadness flicker across your face. As a viewer, I took that as, “Okay, this character is relieved that this entire ordeal is over, but at the same time her best friend is gone…” Nancy just went through all this trauma. I think that was a really poignant—and not to be condescending by any means, but an incredibly well-acted moment. Where does this season leave Nancy and what do you hope will to be resolved next season?
Thank you for that. The thing about it is just like, the course of events start off super quickly. The whole series happens over a very short amount of time. This group of characters’ lives is horribly turned upside down. They are really tumultuous times and at the very, very end when Will is back, things are great, and that’s kind of the goal of the whole thing. But this leaves Nancy without her best friend and that is definitely a huge emotional event to reconcile with, as well as the crazy experience they’ve all shared. It’s really ripe for exploring what happens next and how everybody copes with what happened, and that unknown element of what else is going on out there. And I would love to see justice for Barb! [Laughs]

I think that’s really important! You know, it’s an emotional thing for her to sit with. She didn’t know that was going to happen when she sent Barb home. That’s gotta hurt. And you know, she has the friendship with Jonathan and her and Steve. Things I’d like to see next season: I literally have no idea what’s going to happen, but [I’d love to see] how characters interact more, what their relationships are to each other. And yeah, learn more about what’s going on in that other dimension. The emotional impact of everything is what interests me.

That’s the heart of the show; that’s what keeps the whole thing pulsing. Did you have any idea that literally, in one weekend, Stranger Things would become a huge pop culture phenomenon?
Oh my gosh, no! There’s really no way to expect that kind of response. I think everyone involved knew that we were making something really, really cool. The story was really cool and they were all super excited about it. And Netflix is a really cool company to work with, work for, and be a part of. It’s very much in-sync with our generation and our society. The response has been really, really great and really nice. Everybody who I’ve talked to about the show loves it and has great things to say about it. And that’s really amazing to be part of. Also, it takes some getting used to. Living in New York, especially: The week before it came out, I was walking down the street, going to my normal coffee shop and the week after, I’m getting recognized. ‘Oh my gosh, are you Nancy?’ It’s a crazy turn of events. I could not have expected this.

It’s difficult to predict what is going to become a media juggernaut.
[Laughs] And what BuzzFeed article is gonna start it off! It’s crazy. It really just kind of accelerates pop culture. It’s beautiful and scary. It’s crazy to be an actual part of it now. And for people who grew up in that ‘80s age-group, this has really hit a sweet spot, and that’s really cool too. It’s cool to hear we got it right.

Now that this thing is out there in the world and people are so excited about it, what’s next for you?
As an actor, what I really want to say is that I’m looking forward to the future. It’s almost a hand to mouth kind of job. You don’t know when you go audition or read a script. I’m always looking for good stories and projects to be a part of and bring to life. But after this, for now, I’m enjoying life and crossing my fingers for season two. I like really good juicy stories. That’s my jam.

Source: Ladygunn

ST: Real About Instant Fame, the Upside Down, and Being Friends

The Stranger Things Kids Get Real About Instant Fame, the Upside Down, and Being Friends


It’s the Upside Down, IRL.

It is hard to look anywhere in Hollywood without seeing the impact of the five teenagers who have collectively become known as “the Stranger Things kids.” They’ve taken over the Emmys stage with a killer rendition of “Uptown Funk,” and even earned a cosign from Nicolas Ghesquière, the creative director of Louis Vuitton. In short, they’ve been an instant phenomenon since the moment their show debuted on Netflix this summer. And at the core of the viral juggernaut are five kids — Millie Bobby Brown, 12; Caleb McLaughlin, 14; Gaten Matarazzo, 14; Noah Schnapp, 12; and Finn Wolfhard, 13 — who are… well, just enjoying being kids.

Teen Vogue caught up with the rising stars to talk about how they balanced the very real middle school drama of Hawkins, Indiana, with the paranormal fright of the Upside Down’s monster, how they keep connected while navigating the spotlight together, and what they hope happens in season 2 of the show.

Teen Vogue: Stranger Things is really driven by the friendship between these kids. How does it feel to be at the center of it all?

Finn Wolfhard: It feels amazing.

Caleb McLaughlin: Yeah, it feels pretty cool. I didn’t even realize [the amount of] attention that everyone has been paying [to the show], but it’s pretty cool being a kid in this amazing project.

Gaten Matarazzo: Yeah, it’s definitely a good feeling to be part of such a big project and [to be] beloved characters in a big project like this. I was really honored to be part of the project.

Noah Schnapp: I went to camp and I came back, and I saw that people from across the world were watching the show, and everyone was interacting with us on social media. I was so happy and amazed by how far the show had gone.

TV: In the beginning of the story, Eleven is very much an outsider but the boys pull her into their friendship group. How did you figure out that dynamic and build off that?

Millie Bobby Brown: We created a group chat, earlier on when we all got the job, so I kind of thought I knew them already. We also had school before we actually filmed this, [so] we knew who the prankster was, we knew who the sensible one was… It just really showed on camera.

MBB: It’s really nice to talk to each other when we need each other on this group chat.

NS: I don’t think the group chat is what made us friends, I think we just became friends, and then we created a group chat together. It really did help. When they were trying to cast us, they looked for people who had the best chemistry together. It really makes sense because if we didn’t like each other, the show wouldn’t be what it would be.

When they were doing all the callbacks, the first person I met was Caleb, in LA, and we always hung out, had breakfast together. I was really hoping to do it with him, and I was happy that he got the role for Lucas, so we could work together. Then, I met everyone else later in the show, and we just all became friends, literally on the first day. We went to school, we all sat together, and we just started laughing. Then, later we started hanging out, having sleepovers. Me and Millie would make these diary things on our phones, called Stranger Things Video Diaries, and we became really close.

TV: You really are in the public eye in a major way — people are blogging up Millie’s YouTube channel and Gaten’s Instagram. How does it feel for each of you to kind of navigate all of this instant fame?

MBB: The show is so well-received, and we’re just very grateful to the press and our fans [for staying] supportive and [being] there for us. We really couldn’t have done this without Netflix and the Duffers [Matt and Ross Duffer, the show’s creators].

GM: My Instagram is really just a regular page that I made, but it’s a great feeling to know that so many people appreciate your work. … I know it’s not about the followers, but it makes me feel good that people will go out of their way to follow me and message me.

CML: I just love the fact that our fans take the time out to say “you did great.” They come up to me and say my full name and say they love my work.

FW: For me it’s sort of surreal. … My Twitter followers went up and my Instagram followers went up, and I’m getting recognized on the street, which is also very weird for me. I did a guitar cover of Nirvana’s “Lithium,” and Rolling Stone was tweeting it out, and people were asking me on their radio show to come play it. I’m like, “I’m so bad at playing guitar. Why would you ever want me to be on your radio show?”

TV: Do you lean on each other to navigate all of these experiences?

FW: We all trust each other very much. We’re all part of a big family now; it’s like we’re brothers so we have to trust each other or else it’s not going —

MBB: And sister!

FW: Yeah, sorry, and sister!

MBB: It’s kind of like, forget about me.

GM: Don’t forget about Millie!

FW: We also have the Duffers, and Natalia [Dwyer, who plays Nancy Wheeler, Mike’s sister], and we have Joe [Keery, who plays Steve Harrington, Nancy’s boyfriend]. I just miss the whole crew. We [are basically all] brothers and sisters now, it’s one of those things where we have to trust each other on set.

MBB: [The Duffer Brothers] wrote [Stranger Things] four years ago, in 2012, and they must have really imagined what these characters and what they wanted. And to see us actually have a really good friendship, it must be nice for them to see.

FW: They told me that it’s surreal for them to be writing a show that’s so well-received. Tribute to them too.

TV: Did you help the Duffers in forming who these characters were? How did you navigate adding your own interpretation to each one?

MBB: Well, they only wrote one episode when we were auditioning for the show. They really wrote to us — except for me, because I didn’t come from a laboratory and I’m not a weirdo. They wrote to mostly Finn and Caleb, because Caleb can play the serious role very well. I think they wrote to him as the most sensible one out of the group — which he’s not, in real life. He’s the goofball and I think Finn’s the sensible one and I am also. The Duffer Brothers formed a relationship with us so we could talk to them about what we thought was good.

GM: I definitely feel they wrote the characters around the people who played them. I feel like it was good that they did that because the kids playing them are able to play a role — actually, I feel like that’s why we’re getting so much better. People come up to me and say “You’re such a good actor.” In my mind, I really wasn’t acting as much as I was being myself on camera.

TV: The duality of the two different story lines co-existing together — the Upside Down and then the very real issue of school bullies and friendships — is such a wonderful thing. How did it feel to have one foot in the paranormal and one foot in reality?

GM: I think that the Duffers did a really good job in keeping it a good balance between paranormal and reality. … [And] because we only filmed for six months, I think the cast did a really good job in transitioning from a missing-person police investigation [story] to monsters trying to murder us. I think the Duffers did a really good job with that and I think that the cast did a really good job with the transition.

CML: I think Millie should answer this question because she has more experience with this type of stuff, the two dimensions.

MBB: I think Gaten sums it up. He’s on the up, really.

NS: It’s really different when I’m in the normal world, and when I’m in another dimension. When I have to act as if I’m Will taken inside the other dimension, I’m like a totally different person. They put makeup all over me, I’m pale and I have to kind of make my voice raspy. It’s a totally different experience from when I’m in the real world, acting as just a normal kid, who has the group of friends. Obviously Will would prefer being in the normal world, but I think I prefer acting as Will in the Upside Down.

TV: Millie, you’ve probably gotten this question so often, but what was it like to shave your head?

MBB: It was fine. I couldn’t wait to get in the chair. I was very excited.

CML: I was at lunch and I didn’t recognize her after. She was like, “Hey Gaten, Caleb, Noah — ” I was like “Hey,” she was like “It’s me, Millie.” She looked so different.

FW: I remember walking into the Duffers’ office; [they] were talking to Millie about the character and stuff, and I walked in, [and] I was like, “Hey guys. Whoa.”

TV: Now that the show has been renewed for season 2, what do you hope is in store for each of your characters?

FW: Obviously everyone’s character is a year older now, and so I think they’ve adapted and grown. I want to see how they’ve adapted, because they’ve seen so many messed-up things. Especially Will who’s been in the Upside Down for about a week. I want to see where that takes us.

GM: I want to see Dustin stand up for himself a little more, become a little more confident in himself, and have more leadership moments.

NS: I’ve heard theories about Will, where he could be half monster, or he’s incubating eggs inside of him, or he turns evil. I think that’s so cool to play a character who is fighting his evil side, like he’s normal, but he’s trying to stay normal. I think that would be pretty cool to play.

MBB: No comment for Eleven for season 2. I have no idea.

Source: Teen Vogue

Natalia Dyer Explains Why Nancy Wheeler Isn’t Your Average Big Sister

Stranger Things’s Natalia Dyer Explains Why Nancy Wheeler Isn’t Your Average Big Sister
She gets real about playing one of the show’s most dynamic characters.

Natalia Dyer is straddling two worlds right now.

In one, she’s a 19-year-old student at NYU — she’s studying at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where she explains her focus as “looking at semiotics, language, and art and how they interact with each other.” But in the other, she’s one of the stars of Stranger Things, the Netflix show that blends the great high school films of the ‘80s with the horror movies from the same decade — oh, and includes a terrifying monster from an alternate reality known as the Upside Down.

Her character, older sister Nancy Wheeler, has a lot to deal with. High school is never easy; imagine what it would be like if your best friend and your brother’s best friend both went missing. And imagine navigating college while also planning to film the second season of a hit show.

Which reality is the Upside Down? That’s for you to decide. And so far, Natalia and Nancy are both handling it all just fine. Teen Vogue caught up with the actress to talk about how her character turns a classic ‘80s trope on its head, what she’s learned from costar Winona Ryder, and what she hopes to explore when we return to Hawkins, Indiana.

Teen Vogue: What initially drew you to the character Nancy?

Natalia Dyer: I see some similarities to her in high school and me in high school — just the way that she straddles groups. I was always a floater. I had a lot of different social groups, always trying to figure out where [I] really fit in. … As her character developed, she ended up just everything I could hope for — really, just, cool — and I think she’s turning into a really strong, self-sufficient girl. … That’s credit to the Duffers for being great writers, and [I] hope to get more of that in season two.

TV: It feels like the show is definitely driven by female characters. How does it feel to be a part of that?

ND: Right? Between Winona and Millie, it’s cool to see strong leading ladies. They’re very cool parts to play, and you don’t find them everywhere. You usually find a girl-next-door kind of thing.

I think what I really like [about Nancy] is she doesn’t just stay the love interest. Of course, there’s this whole love triangle thing that people are very interested in, but she has goals and drive and she’s on a mission.

TV: The older sister character is such a mainstay trope in ‘80s movies — Jeannie in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Lisa in Dirty Dancing, for example. But Nancy sort of flips the script. Have you watched a lot of ’80s movies prior to taking on the role?

ND: I had never seen the classics with Molly Ringwald, like Pretty in Pink or Sixteen Candles, or ’80s horror, like Poltergeist, Close Encounters, and Nightmare on Elm Street. I went back and watched all of those. It’s a different kind of movie, for sure. That was fun, going back in time.

I think the show does a lot of that: picking certain archetypes from the ’80s and delving deeper into the realness of those characters, and making them more human and more complex, and really exploring the relationships and not necessarily just the plot line.

TV: What is it like to be working with the Duffers? Do you get to help develop Nancy?

ND: We definitely talk and just hang out. They’re super cool and super approachable. They do ask for our opinions about what we think and what we might think could happen and [where] we think the character [is] going. I trust the writers of the show to make a really good arc. They’re very open to collaborating, I think, which is a gift.

TV: How did you and Joe develop the dynamic between Nancy and Steve, and with Charlie for her dynamic with Jonathan?

ND: A lot of it’s just kind of there. I will say that, in the original pilot, Jonathan was the clear choice because Steve was just such a jerk. They ended up rewriting it because Joe is a very charming, nice guy and he’s just too likable. They wanted to keep him around and explore his character. So she ends up with Steve at the end, and I think that’s where she should be. I’m not going to deny that there’s obviously some kind of chemistry between Jonathan and Nancy. I don’t think either of them know what it is, but I’d be excited to see where that goes in season two. We’ll see. Again, I literally have no idea.

TV: There’s this really great moment in the first episode, where Nancy tells Steve “no” when he’s trying to go further than she’s comfortable with. What does that scene mean to you?

ND: It’s definitely not that surface relationship thing where she’s a dainty girl and [he’s] the cool guy and he takes advantage of her. Again, in the original pilot, he totally did and it was not good. It was really dark, actually. There’s a little more there now. I think it’s more interesting, and it is nice and refreshing to see her say, “Slow down,” and he listens. And that’s great.

TV: Nancy spends a lot of time navigating the different social circles of high school. Do you have any advice for anybody who is going through that shift themselves?

ND: I have a 12-year-old sister who’s just starting to get into that whole [part of life where] kids are mean and your face is breaking out and it’s a lot of stress and a lot is out of your control. I just tell her, I get it. It’s going to get better. … It’s so cliché, but you really need to take care of yourself and take pride in your individuality, because honestly, when you get older, that’s going to be so much more important than hanging out with the cool kids.

The hardest thing is not caring about other people’s opinions. Especially in this day and age … it’s this culture of friends and likes. [But likes aren’t] an ultimate definition of who you are and how popular you are and how much people like you. It’s not real. That’s the thing I try to tell her. Social media: It’s not real life. I only caught the tail end of it in high school. It can be good and it can be fun, but you can’t let it get toxic. Your friends are real. You’re real and what you think of yourself [is real], not others’ opinions.

TV: What do you hope would happen in season 2 for Nancy, in general?

ND: I think there’s a lot of room for Nancy to explore a relationship with her younger brother after this. I think after going through this experience with Mike, it could bring them together in a really nice way, so I hope that relationship gels.

TV: Another relationship to explore could be the loss of Barb. Seeing the friendship take its course — even for a few episodes — is something a lot of people could relate to. What was that like?

ND: We all are Barb in some way or another. Personally I feel like maybe I’ve been in that kind of a situation, where [you have] to prioritize your relationships. Sometimes it gets confusing and you make poor decisions in those moments that just don’t always have such high stakes as Nancy’s.

TV: That’s just one instance where the show straddles these two worlds — the paranormal monsters and the very real issues people deal with. Do you have a preference of one over the other?

ND: I’m not much one for horror stuff, but my favorite part about the script and the show is the relationships. I’m really drawn to relationship stories and human emotions. I think it’s interesting to see how all these different pieces of the puzzle fit together, and how these different generations interact with each other around this event that happens.

TV: What was it like working with Finn and the rest of the kids?

ND: They just keep such a young playful energy around all the time. Sometimes when you get them all together, it can be like, “Wow, we actually have to film this scene, guys. I know we’re having a blast, but we’ve got to get down to business.” They usually do. It’s fun. They’re great. They’re obviously all still very much kids, which is really nice.

TV: How are you handling this instant stardom?

ND: I worry about the Internet sometimes and all of that attention. You never get used to it. It was very much an overnight kind of thing. One day, you’re just walking down the street and you’re just like, you, and then the next day, after Stranger Things comes out, it was like, “Oh, you’re Nancy.” I don’t know if you ever get used to that really, being recognized, being known by strangers, but it’s cool. Thus far, it hasn’t been anything bad.

I know there’s this “Natalia Dyer official” Instagram account that’s not me. That’s the other thing — you have all these people making fake accounts of you all of a sudden. It’s like, why me? I’m normally a really cautious, keep-to-myself person with social media, but you do want to reach out to fans. I just try to be careful with it and not take it too seriously.

TV: Has Winona Ryder given you any advice?

ND: I haven’t specifically asked her for advice or anything, but just by observing the way that she handles herself and her life and the precautions she takes, I think she’s really graceful with being able to keep something sacred and go out when she needs to and support work when she needs to. She doesn’t have a big ego or anything, and I think she likes to choose work carefully. I respect that for sure. Taking time for yourself, that’s what fuels your practice. It’s such a tumultuous business and career to go after that you have to give yourself some self-love time, some recuperation time.

TV: You’ve been working for awhile, but in some ways this might be the Juggernaut that’s going to inform the rest of your career. Do you ever think about that?

ND: It’s zero to 60 right now. I’m really interested in playing cool characters and telling cool stories, just being a part of that in any capacity. Whenever I can find good stories to bring to life, that’s all I’m after, I guess. The goal is to be able to live off of something you love to do. If I can do that, then that’s what I’m going to do.

TV: Is there any one dream character that you would love to play?

ND: I don’t know that this would ever happen, but I would love to do something like a Million Dollar Baby, because if you get cast in a film that’s about a boxer or a wrestler or something, they usually show you how to do things. Something like that, where I would actually get to learn how to do something new and cool and so different from what I do in my normal life, would be amazing. It’s all about getting to live in those different experiences.

TV: Did you ever expect people would be enamored with Nancy?

ND: Really, I had no meter to gauge what the reception would be. I know that she’s kind of goody-two-shoes, then there’s the whole Barb thing. That’s something I did not expect, is how much people really took to Barb. I get it. … It reminded me, just seeing the reaction, how powerful female friendship is and how important that is, those female alliances.

Source: Teen Vogue

September 27 | MTV Total Registration Live in New York City

I’ve updated the photo gallery with new pictures of Natalia and her co-star Shannon Purser attending the event MTV Total Registration Live on September 28, 2016 in New York City. You can watch the video here.




GALLERY LINK
Public Appearances > Public Appearances from 2016 > September 27 | MTV Total Registration Live in New York City
Screen Captures > Events > September 2016 | MTV Total Registration Live One-Day Voting Event

Everything You Need To Know About The ‘Stranger Things’ Star

Who Is Natalia Dyer? Everything You Need To Know About The ‘Stranger Things’ Star

Have yet to binge on Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things? Well, then scrap any weekend plans you may have and enjoy that I-must-watch-another-episode feeling as you lay awake at 2am, gripped by this ‘80s-set sci-fi thriller. For mega-fans (including team Grazia), the sleeper hit reminds us all of Winona Ryder’s immense talent taking on any role (from goth icon in Beetlejuice to a suburban mum whose youngest son goes missing). But there’s another female character from the show everyone’s got their eye on – Natalia Dyer aka Nancy Wheeler. Yes, there’s a love triangle element, but Nancy is no damsel in distress in the show, her arc a thrill to watch each episode.

You may not know the Nashville-born star yet, but you definitely will soon as Netflix has finally confirmed ST will be returning in 2017 (phew!). Until then, here’s everything you need to know about the hottest new talent to watch…

How old is Natalia Dyer?
Instead of the usual 20-something actress playing a high-school student, the US star is actually close in age to her character, at 19-years-old.

Her big break was in a major Disney movie
If you’re a die-hard Miley Cyrus fan, you may remember Natalia appearing in Hannah Montana: The Movie in 2009, her first ever acting role at the tender age of twelve. But ever keen to break out of the Disney Channel teen mould, she showed off her darker side in indie drama Believe in Unicorns which debuted at SXSW festival in 2014, playing a teen runaway.

Are Natalia Dyer and Emmy Rossum related?
Um, no. But the rising star could totes pass as the 29-year-old actress’ younger sister. The chestnut hair, the big eyes…even their smiles are identical.

She did her 1980s research before filming
The show is pretty much a love letter to eighties cult classics from The Clash (Warning: ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ will stay in your head for days after) to Steven Spielberg references peppered throughout. But as she was born in 1997 – playing a character in 1983 – she turned to her mum’s old year books, bought Charlie perfume and binged on slasher horrors from that era for inspiration. Although rather than all-out Madonna vibes (or her on-scren BFF Barb’s geek-chic) Nancy’s fashion in ST is more understated in a series of preppy outfits.

Is she single?
Natalia remains tight-lipped on her personal life, including if she’s in a relationship or not. Although in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan US she revealed a clue to any rumours of romance right now. ‘Nancy’s got a lot more on her plate by the end of the show than just worrying about who to date.’

Does she have Instagram?
Sadly, not. While you’d be hard pressed to find a Hollywood star not on Instagram, Natalia eschews all social media. Even having a browse on her co-star, Charlie Heaton’s Instagram @charlie.r.heaton (who plays Winona Ryder’s introverted older son) there’s not a selfie in sight on-set. Although, as her status appears on the rise that may soon change. Watch this space…

Source: Grazia

The New Potato: On Stranger Things, Sushi and Good Advice


GALLERY LINK
Photoshoots & Portraits > 2016 | Session #3 – The New Potato

On Netflix’s Stranger Things, Sushi and Good Advice

Netflix’s Stranger Things has undoubtedly been one of the most talked about shows of the summer. In fact, when we interviewed singer-songwriter Joy Williams last month she told us that the sci-fi drama was The New Potato. If you can tear yourself away from binge-watching the intriguing thriller for a moment, we advise you to turn your attention to this interview with Natalia Dyer, who plays Nancy Wheeler on the series.

We caught up with Dyer in New York to discuss the success of Stranger Things, her beauty routine, and her favorite foods (because, of course). We also photographed her at one of our favorite – and, in keeping with the theme, slightly spooky – spots in NYC, Gallow Green at The McKittrick Hotel (where Sleep No More takes place). Scroll through below to find out Dyer’s ideal food day and most-loved restaurants, and if this interview leaves you with a craving for sushi like it did for us, just click here Potatoheads!

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
I’d probably start the day off with avocado toast from Bluestone Lane with vegemite and prosciutto and their cold brew coffee. Lunch would likely be sushi. I love a good spicy tuna roll and lots of sashimi. Dinner would also likely be sushi. Ideally, I’d finish it all off with a cookie from Levain bakery.

How do you always start your day? What’s your go-to breakfast?
My days usually start and end with a big glass of water. In the mornings, I’ll usually try to get up and moving, even if it’s just a walk to a coffee shop. When I have time for a good breakfast my go-to is the toast from Bluestone.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I generally eat healthy and feel great after a good sweat. But I think the most beautiful thing is being happy – it really shows when someone is genuinely happy – so I do try to practice everything in moderation and listen to what my body wants.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The worst?
The best: Question everything. That one comes from my dad. I think especially in today’s information overload it’s important to source your facts and to form your own opinions. He also told me to drink coffee black. The worst: “You should get bangs.”

What’s the most exciting thing about working on Stranger Things? Have you been surprised at the great response it’s gotten?
The most exciting thing about working on Stranger Things is getting to work on Stranger Things. The cast is great, the story is great, the crew and production team are great. You would think with that formula I’d have been better prepared for such a massively positive response, but I was still very much surprised.

What were you most excited about when you found out you got the role?
One thing I was excited for was doing a period piece. It’s fun to do research and prepare yourself to live in a different piece of history than your own.

Anything you can tell us about Season 2?
You can expect some new characters to join the party.

People are always talking about millenials and what they’re looking for. What’s something – in your opinion – misunderstood about millennials?
I guess I think generalizations are a misunderstanding from the get go.

What’s your go-to lunch on set?
The food on set of Stranger Things was always fresh and varied, so usually it’s just the lunch du jour. On set I usually keep meals on the lighter side and snack constantly. You definitely need to keep your energy up when you’re on set all day, but believe me, it’s no fun monster-hunting after a huge meal.

What’s your idea of the perfect smoothie? The perfect salad?
For a smoothie, lots of berries, lots of greens, almond milk and a little cardamom. For a salad, right now it’s definitely poke.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each?
I love New York because it has a million food options. For a dinner with friends I love Rubirosa or Nom Wah Tea Parlor. And Otafuku is great! My hometown of Nashville has great food as well. When I’m there, you’ll find me at Sunflower Cafe or Fido. Argosy and Victory Sandwich Bar in Atlanta have also become favorites of mine.

Do you like to cook? What’s a go-to for you? If not, what’s your go to takeout?
I enjoy cooking but I almost never do it in New York. Takeout is always sushi. When I’m visiting home in Nashville, it’s all about roasted vegetables like kabocha squash and baking cornbread.

What are the hair and makeup items you cannot live without?
My hair is really fine so Oribe Dry Texture Spray is a necessity. When I’m not working I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup, but right now I am really digging Urban Decay’s lipstick in Carnal. It’s a lovely, versatile shade. I’ll put it on my cheeks or eyelids too.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato right now?
The new potato is not taking yourself too seriously. And synth music.

Source: The New Potato