Noah Schnapp Says ‘Stranger Things’ Character’s Sexuality Is ‘Up To Interpretation’

The third season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” has reignited a long-standing debate among fans about whether one of its principal characters identifies as gay. 

The third episode of Season 3 features a scene in which Will Byers (played by Noah Schnapp) tries to keep his pals, each of whom has gotten involved in a budding romance, focused on a game of “Dungeons & Dragons.” After a frustrated Will storms out, his pal Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) declares, “It’s not my fault you don’t like girls.” 

After the latest season of “Stranger Things” debuted July 4, many fans sounded off on social media about just how to interpret that dialogue. In an interview published Tuesday, Schnapp didn’t confirm nor deny that the line was a reference to Will’s sexuality, explaining, “It’s really up to interpretation.”

“All his friends have girlfriends and they’re out dating, and he just wants to have fun with his friends,” the actor told The Wrap. “You see in Episode 3, he just wants to play D&D in the basement, and now all of his friends have girlfriends and they are dating. And it’s kind of, when you hear Mike say that line, it’s really up to the audience to interpret it.”

As to how Schnapp sees the line himself, he said, “I kind of just interpret it like he’s not ready to grow up and he doesn’t really want to move on to dating and relationships yet. He still wants to be a kid and play in the basement like he did in old times.”

The 14-year-old, whose credits include “Bridge of Spies” and “The Peanuts Movie,” previously addressed speculation over his character’s sexuality in 2016, when “Stranger Things” first emerged as a cultural phenomenon. 

“For me, Will being gay or not is besides the point,” he wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post. “‘Stranger Things’ is a show about a bunch of kids who are outsiders and find each other because they have bullied in some way or are different. Does being sensitive, or a loner, or a teenager who likes photography, or a girl with red hair and big glasses, make you gay?”

Still, he said he didn’t mind the questioning, noting, “I do know we all relate to being different.” 

Whether Schnapp’s interview will quiet debate over Will’s sexuality is anyone’s guess. It should be noted that Season 3 of “Stranger Things” did introduce an openly lesbian character in Robin (Maya Hawke)

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