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

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

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


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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