The new kids on the block are here
Max (Sadie Sink) and her stepbrother Billy (Dacre Montgomery) move in to the peculiar town of Hawkins, Indiana, and they’re here to shake up an otherwise stranger season of “Stranger Things.”
“My character is specifically brought in to stir things up,” said Aussie actor Dacre. He recently reprised the role of Jason (Red Ranger) in the 2017 sci-fi film “Power Rangers.”
“Billy’s a bit of a villain. He’s a bit of an antagonist, which was a lot of fun to play around with—nothing like myself. He’s very unpredictable; he’s extremely insecure and he has a very complicated relationship with his younger stepsister,” the 22-year-old actor said.
His stepsister Max, portrayed by Broadway actor Sadie, rolls in Hawkins and eventually becomes one of the boys. Max is a “tomboy” and a “skater” who comes off as mysterious and different from the girls in town.
“[Max] doesn’t know anybody so it’s kinda my character and me in a similar situation cause we were both the new kid, both in the show and real life,” Sadie said.
They may be the newest addition to the cast, but Sadie and Dacre are no strangers to the sci-fi show.
Before “Stranger Things,” Sadie had starred in Broadway’s “Annie.” She was already friends with Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) and Caleb Mclaughlin (Lucas), which she admitted was the reason why she watched the show in the first place.
Dacre, a huge fan of the Netflix series, grew up watching “Supernatural” and “Smallville.” His passion from acting stemmed from his parents, who both worked in the film industry.
He made a short film for his audition piece and the Duffer brothers reached out to him and offered him a role in season 2.
Sadie underwent a more rigorous audition process. She came in to four audition screenings and a screen test with Caleb and Gaten. Before flying to the set in Atlanta, Georgia, she had to learn how to skateboard in three weeks. The crew sent an instructor to teach Sadie how to skate.
“[During] filming, I would do five hours of school and three hours of skateboard lessons afterward. I guess the hardest part was making it look like I’ve been skateboarding my whole life when in reality I’ve been skateboarding for a month,” she said.
Was it hard to learn how to skate?
“Yeah! I fell a lot at first. They had me in, like, these ridiculous knee pads and elbow pads and helmet. It was hard, it was long but I actually kinda learned to love it,” Sadie said.
While Sadie was busy learning to balance on a skateboard, Dacre was in Australia binge watching Jack Nicholson movies.
“That was what the Duffers had given me to work with and so to incorporate his unpredictable nature into my character. I was [searching] ‘IMDB best movies ’80s’ (laughs). It was lots of fun and I’m such a movie buff anyway. I love the whole process,” Dacre said.
The Aussie actor is hoping that he will bring a fresh element in the phenomenal series that evoked ’80s pop culture nostalgia.
“I try to come in with confidence, without arrogance, and incorporate what doesn’t already exist in the [‘Stranger Things’] world,” he said. —NIKKA G. VALENZUELA
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