Clash: Rise Of The Introverts: Natalia Dyer Interviewed

Stranger Things, social media, and struggling with fame…



I’m hovering in the kitchen of an East London house with Natalia Dyer. We’re waiting here until the room where our interview will take place becomes available. Testing the temperature of a pot of coffee that looks like it was made over an hour ago, the American actress tells me about how she’s been travelling Europe for the last few months, finishing up in London just a few days ago. Tonight she will be attending the Fashion Awards. When I ask if she’s presenting an award, she physically shudders at the thought and laughs.

“No, no, thank God,” she says.

“Good stuff,” I say. That’s strange, I thought… I always imagined famous people really loved presenting awards.

In the same way that Michael Cera became the unrivalled ‘awkward indie nerd’, or Zooey Deschanel became every director’s favourite ‘kooky love interest who wears glasses’, Natalia Dyer has emerged as a natural for the role of ‘teenage girl in midst of a dramatic and identity-defining awakening’. She’s played a girl who has her idea of romance shattered in 2014’s I Believe In Unicorns, and a girl who is only just discovering cybersex in the experimental short Yes God Yes. But it has been through her role as the monster-slaying good-girl-turned-bad Nancy Wheeler in Stranger Things that has made her a star.

“I read pretty young,” says 20-year-old Natalia, “so I often read for that coming-of-age 16/17-year-old who’s losing their virginity and discovering their sexuality, in a high school drama setting. I like that, because it is a very important, impactful, transformative and muddy time of life.”

“That story isn’t often told well,” I tell her. “When I was a teenager, those stories were coming through films like American Pie. Now, kids are getting such real accounts of their teenage years.”

“I’m sure American Pie was very real for some people,” she laughs.

Dyer grew up in Nashville and speaks with a very subtle Tennessean accent, the kind that makes you think of country music and nice people in cowboy hats saying ‘Hey y’all!’ – if you also have absolutely no real knowledge or experience of the American South, like me. She tells me she was a well-behaved, quiet and studious kid. On the side, she did community theatre, and appeared in Hannah Montana: The Movie at the age of 11 when it came to film in Nashville. But she used to get sick. A lot. She missed months of school because of asthma and other illnesses. Each year, she would get pneumonia without fail.

“I guess my immune system was just terrible. I became pretty good at entertaining myself and being in my own worlds, in my own head, playing games.”

“That must help with the acting game?” I say.

“Of course. There is an element of that which you have to grow out of as you grow up. But what’s great about acting is that I get to retain that in a professional setting. We are all kids playing pretend in a way. It’s all just working to get back to that sense of play and creativity.”

“We are all kids playing pretend in a way…”

I detect a microscopic fragment of weariness about Natalia when I bring up Stranger Things. When I ask her about the all the fun and wonderful capers they must get up to on set she says, “Yeah, I could gush about it for hours” in a way that seems to say, ‘Please. Please don’t make me gush about it for hours.’ When we do talk about the show her face becomes a glowing smile and she says things like “I miss filming when we’re not and I’m looking forward to doing it again” and “they are all very talented people” in a very charming but rather pre-programmed way, like when someone in the office kitchen asks how your weekend was.

It’s no secret that the younger (and most prominent) members of the Stranger Things cast have been through a frantic rollercoaster of fame. Within 35 days of the first season being published by Netflix, the modest and nostalgic sci-fi romp went from being an adorable baby pug of an underdog to becoming the third most watched Netflix show of 2016 (according to statistics from Symphony Advanced Media). It surpassed blockbuster shows like Making A Murderer and Daredevil, and dwarfed long-running prestige dramas like House Of Cards. It was the hit nobody saw coming, not even those working on it. The second season had a primetime advert during the Superbowl.

Something about Stranger Things breeds a certain type of fandom. Despite its adolescent characters, total sincerity and Spielberg-style accessibility, it also lends itself to being obsessed over and intellectualised through its references, call-backs, plot-thickeners, and gamer-esque culture of easter eggs (tiny clever details that reward repeat viewings and fuel fan theories). I’m not going to compare its directors, the Duffer Brothers, to Stanley Kubrick, as I’d probably get pipe-bombed as soon as I press save on this Word doc, but the Stranger Things feed frenzy has a strange similarity to the way people used to pore over Kubrick’s films – shot by shot, idea by idea, line by line – desperately searching for a secret logic or unseen narrative.

All this is to say, in the last two years its young stars have gone from being aspirational young hobby actors with distant dreams, to overnight superstars and objects of extreme adoration and manic infatuation for millions. This seems to have suited its younger protagonists just fine: Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), and Noah Schnapp (Will) have become all-singing all-dancing darlings of the American showbiz industry, performing Motown covers with James Corden, presenting the AMA Awards and doing a rendition of ‘Uptown Funk’ at the Emmys. But Natalia’s path has been a little different. She does her fair share of press, but compared to the rest of the gang she’s like a lesser spotted snow leopard.

“Do you try to not get wrapped up in the fame and the industry?” I ask. “I’m very sceptical of it. You wanna do cool projects, work with cool people, be cool characters, work on cool movies with cool storylines, but there is an element of a game or strategy to this industry. I feel sceptical of some of the politics of it, I guess. So I take everything with a grain of salt, and try to figure out what’s important to me before I put myself out there. I try to stay off social media, because I find that a little overwhelming and toxic in a way.”

“I try to stay off social media, because I find that a little overwhelming and toxic…”

Last year, there was outrage when Millie Bobby Brown was sexualised by fans in some areas of the Internet, despite being 13-years-old. Finn Wolfhard was castigated on Twitter when he failed to stop to take a photo with a fan on the street, and responded with his own tweets about certain sections of the fanbase who harass his co-stars.

I looked at Natalia’s social media figures this morning before we met. On Instagram, her most popular account, she has 3.3 million followers. Curiously, on Twitter she hasn’t posted anything in over a year, despite being fairly vocal until that point.

“The thought of having 3.3 million people looking at all my photos, at the age of 20, would haunt me to an early grave,” I say. She lets out a long deep exhale. “Right? Honestly, it makes everything you want to post that much scarier. You’re considering everything.”

“I’d be constantly asking myself stuff like… is this picture of ice cream I’m about to post… somehow… racist?”

“Yeah, what is wrong with this post? Something has to be wrong with it? And then you’re like I can’t, I’m not, the time has passed. And you don’t even post it. It’s not my style man, not my personality to do too much social media. It’s exhausting for me. I’m an introvert.”

It’s not the first time she’s hinted at her introversion in our conversation, but it’s the first time she’s said it outright. We are entering an age where the successful introvert is no longer an anomaly, and there’s champions from Mark Zuckerberg to Sia. But many of them are experienced celebrities who can conceal and control their relationship with fame. I’m intrigued to hear how one of the most buzzy young actresses of the last 18 months strikes a balance between fame and introversion? As famous as Mark Zuckerberg is, I don’t think there is a global army of 14-year-old kids making Tumblrs of every look he’s ever worn. (Although I wish there was.)

“I struggle with the idea of fame,” says Natalia. “I never want to come across as rude or ungrateful. People on the street want to take pictures all the time, and for me, I tend to not take pictures. It feels very exhausting, and you feel like you have to be ‘on’ all the time. I will definitely shake your hand and say thank you. But I’m trying to figure out my boundaries still with all of that. It’s hard when you have a show with a passionate and lovely fanbase like ours, because it can feel overwhelming at times. Especially with the way the show took off. It’s been very quick to be suddenly recognised on the street, and for me as an introvert that is kinda, ‘Woah…’.”

“I like that she is not perfect, nice and sweet all the time…”

There is something about Natalia’s character, Nancy Wheeler, that fans and critics seem rather fascinated with. Her evolution as a character has been one of the most unexpected and controversial of the entire show, as she repeatedly makes decisions that either elate or infuriate the viewer. “Forget Barb: Fuck Nancy” ran as the title of one VICE essay, with the subtitle, “Say hello to the worst person in season two of Stranger Things.” To which the blog, Monkeys Fighting Robots, passionately responded with an essay titled, “Nancy Wheeler’s Unpopular Feminism”. “Nancy Wheeler,” wrote American journalist Claire McNear in another essay for The Ringer, “big sister, cherished daughter, piggy-bank saver, swashbuckling #Justice4Barb-seeker, Hoosier heartthrob, relaxed-curls champion and autumnal knitwear chieftain – is the only character on Stranger Things worth a damn.”

“How do you feel about Nancy?” I ask. “Are you getting sick of her?”

“I was a little nervous about this season coming out after we filmed, because I thought everyone was gonna hate her,” says Natalia. “Yeah, objectively, she makes some decisions that when you are watching you are like, ‘Why would you do that?’ But for me, it feels very human. I did stuff like that. You ditch your friend, you get trashed,” she says, making the ‘a’ last forever.

“I like that she is not perfect, nice and sweet all the time. But she takes charge when she needs to take charge. She is fearless in a way, which is fun to play. So, no, I’m not sick of her yet. I’m just very curious as to what is going to happen next.”

Source: Clash

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

September 17 | 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

Natalia Dyer attended the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. I’ve added over 60 photos to our gallery. Make sure you check them out by clicking the thumbnails below. Enjoy!




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Public Appearances > Public Appearances from 2017 > September 17 | 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

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

Yes, God, Yes (2017, Short Film)

I’ve updated our photo gallery with 416 movie screencaptures and two promotional stills of Natalia as Alice in the movie “Yes, God, Yes” (2017). Make sure you check them out by clicking the thumbnails below. Enjoy!




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Movies > 2017 | Yes, God, Yes (Short) > Movie Screencaptures
Movies > 2017 | Yes, God, Yes (Short) > Promotional Stills

Long Nights Short Mornings (2016) | Movie Screencaptures + Posters

I’ve updated our photo gallery with 190 screen captures of Natalia as Marie in the independent movie “Long Nights Short Mornings” (2016). Make sure you check them out by clicking the thumbnails below. Enjoy!


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Movies > 2016 | Long Nights Short Mornings > Movie Screencaptures
Movies > 2016 | Long Nights Short Mornings > Posters

January 6 | 17th Annual AFI Awards

I’ve updated the photo gallery with 47 photos of Natalia Dyer attending the 17th annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Make sure you check them out by clicking the thumbnails below. Enjoy!



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Public Appearances > Public Appearances from 2017 > January 6 | 17th Annual AFI Awards