For seasons, we’d speculated. Lots of Stranger Things fans had speculated. Noah Schnapp had danced around the subject of Will’s sexual orientation, and so had series creators the Duffer Brothers. Finally, as if we needed any further confirmation, we’ve got it: “Now,” Schnapp tells our sister site Variety, “it’s 100-percent clear that he is gay and he does love Mike.
“But before, it was a slow arc,” he adds. “I think it is done so beautifully, because it’s so easy to make a character just like all of a sudden be gay… They are writing this real character and this real journey and real struggle, and they’re doing it so well.”
Particularly moving was the Season 4 moment in which Will told Mike how people who are different like himself Eleven can feel like they’re a mistake. “This scene was really important for [Will], because it really solidified that truth,” says Schnapp, “that he loves his best friend and he doesn’t know how to tell him.”
Mike didn’t get what Will was really saying, but big brother Jonathan did. So later, he reassured his younger sibling that he had him and always would. “This scene was actually not originally written in the script,” Schnapp says. “It was only [written] after I did the scene… in the van, where they saw me crying and the protectiveness that you see with Jonathan looking in the rearview mirror. They were like, ‘We need a scene with that.’
“So they wrote it as we were filming,” he continues. “It’s also very important for people to see that Will is not alone — because all we ever see of him is struggling and feeling depressed and that he can’t be himself. Jonathan is talking to him in code — it’s just the perfect way to tell someone like Will that he cares about him, and he accepts him no matter what. I think it was really wholesome.”
Find out everything we know so far about Season 5 in the photo gallery above.