The Stranger Things auditions and how the cast landed their roles (2023)

Finn was the funniest.

Eventually he started directing the children.

and say like, oh you do this and you do that.

And Finn is now a director.

and I just streamed his first feature film.

He was right to lead those children back then.

because it is natural

and i was so happy to see

at the beginning of his directing career.

[Animated Music]

Hallo, ich bin Carmen Cuba, Stranger Things Casting Director,

here with Vanity Fair to talk about the casting process.

To be honest, when we released Stranger Things

We had no idea it was going to be a big hit.

We had no idea how long it would take.

You know, kind of a forecast

Imagine a future with these characters,

but actually I just wanted to get the best version

Not present.

Soon the Duffers and I were arguing

that these parties would probably not be able to

be performed by an inexperienced child.

So while part of my process involves

be in the world and see a child

that seems a certain way

and something like a conversation with your parents

and say, hey, does your kid want to act?

It wouldn't be

because it would be very tiring.

It would be every day for months

and a very specific dialogue.

This was useful because from the start

We were like, okay, this isn't a street casting.

Let's start with acting schools,

Acting teachers, kids who've been on Broadway.

The children of the Stranger Things cast

They didn't appear out of nowhere.

You've worked really hard for years.

before you find them

Hello, I'm Noah Schnapp.

I am 10 years old

Sou raro?

It's just that at some point I feel like I don't know

Like I'm trapped

Noah's audition was really something special.

because it really informed our needs

to find someone who was young and innocent

but he had a strong charisma

that would keep viewers interested

Why did these kids work so hard to find him

because he doesn't really appear much in the first season

but we knew he really had to carry the second season.

So we looked for a lot of those characters.

and stage experience

I just did a movie with Spielberg.

He really raised it every time we called him

So it was very exciting to see that first tape

and know what we would like to continue

with us in the process.

My name is Millie Brown.

(Video) 'Stranger Things' Auditions and How the Cast Landed Their Roles | Vanity Fair

I am 11 years old.

You can't see them.

I can.

I can see her.

I saw


This Millie clip is also very memorable.

because we let her do the scenes before that.

We could tell she might cry

but he hadn't done it yet.

And the Duffers just asked if we could get him to try again.

and see how upset he could be about it.

And obviously she was very excited

and it was really shocking

that someone so young could do that.

And one more thing about Millie during the audition.

is that she is British and has done everything

including Skype with the Duffers, with an American accent,

so we forgot that even she was British.

So she takes all that out of acting

when making an accent.

And at that young age it was very impressive.

as seen in the series.

Hello, I'm Finn Wolfhard.

I'm sick.

I'm late. [laughs]

Kind 4'11.

I am 12 years old.

Nancy, listen to me. What the hell Mike?


Do you remember two days ago?

with the magic trick?

When did it feel like my Millennium Falcon was actually flying?

Finn's audition was fun.

because he did it from his bed

while he was super ill.

None of this was shown.

You could tell he had energy and life.

and she was really excited to play the role.

No, I will try.

The best promise you can make.


Good, now close your eyes.


And had the same adventure

playful spirit like your character

So that was very memorable about that audition.

Hello, my name is Caleb McLaughlin.

I'm 13 years old.

I hear!

Except I didn't tie him to a rope.

He really flew.

This may be the best promise you can make.


Kaleb was fantastic.

It's someone who's been on Broadway.

We knew you had experience

and he just brought some kind of energy with him

what the other children ate.

All together have one

(Video) 10 Actors Who Auditioned For Stranger Things But Were Rejected

Energy and personality that define this group of friends

and we saw him right away at his first audition.

My name is Gaten Matarazzo and I am 12 years old.

This is probably the most serious

the most important thing there is.

swear first

the best promise you can make.

Stay there, Nancy!

You won't leave until you close your eyes.

[Nancy] Okay, okay, they're closed.


I have absolute power.


you couldn't have predicted that

or looking for someone like Gaten,

so it was a big surprise.

What he brought to the character wasn't what we envisioned.

and also made us realize that neither

no idea what it could be until we met it.

He was like the first

You created the How It Was Written part

from the beginning.

The Demagorgon is fed up with your foolish human quarrels!

Walk up to it.

bang! Call him Will!

Pica, Pica, Boom!

Start protection!

Scream with anger!

When we put them together

We had already fallen in love with his tapes.

We knew they were incredible.

But all together

Make scenes together and hang out and watch

just the dynamics on screen was exciting enough

but the off-screen dynamic really sealed the deal

because you could tell they were a team.

They played against each other.

They weren't competitive.

They were really understanding and enthusiastic.

Try to imagine what it must have been like

when they released The Little Rascals.

It looks like a version of

what I think you feel on screen when you look at them.

How is Bob the Brain doing?

Don't call it that.

I am sorry.

old habit.

He is good.

We are okay. Good.

When I first read the script

I definitely felt this attraction to Winona,

and it looked like the combination of children

With her as a mother, it was a recipe for success.

And she didn't take the test.

She just met up with the Duffers

and they spoke through him

and I think it was very surprising for them

who responded to the material and to them,

but I had a feeling she would have a connection to it

and for her, although it was just a guess on my part.

(Video) Stranger things cast who Auditioned for a Different role in the show

I'm glad it was a good guess.

And David, David is someone I've been watching for years.

You know, for me as much as I loved the famous person

who was always in an opposite scene,

I always looked at him

watch his performance

and more or less as a casting director,

Hoping that one day I would have something

Where would the famous scene be?

in front of someone less famous than him

and this really was the perfect opportunity.

And he auditioned for me in a small room in New York City.

and he acts, and immediately,

Once I sent the audition to the boys

I knew it was our hopper.

♪ You can never give up ♪

[Once] Stop!

[Elf laughs]

Do not like? Not. [laughs]

The development of the show.

It certainly brought challenges

and each season intensifies

or it will be a different version of the original challenge.

I would say after the first season

the unexpected challenge was this

There were many famous people

who wanted to be on the show

and who said i will do anything.

I will do one day.

I will do three days.

I will be an extra.

And although that sounded very tempting

The challenge was very difficult

to keep the spirit of the show

What is the combination of these children we did not know

with Winona whom we all love.

I would say that the other challenge

which is probably pretty obvious

is that our cast is so talented.

Everyone we bring to the show has

be as talented as they are

and that's a very high bar.

A good story is that Paul Reiser didn't know about the show.

but luckily her son was a super fan.

His son said: You have to.

That was very helpful.

I think we have many kinds of children

from these people that we hope to have on the show

Be great cheerleaders for us

and that's super exciting.

This year is different.

This year is my year.

I can feel it.

'86, love!

I think season four has so many great new characters.

and that the actors who got lucky

really expanded those roles

some roles that had only a few scenes

at Eddie Munson with Joe Quinn.

It was really impressive.

(Video) ‘Stranger Things’ Kids Audition Tapes - How They Got Cast

Robert England this season,

Robert actually auditioned for the role

of the mayor in the third season,

that's what we had seen the year before.

We are very grateful that you took the test.

because another thing that is fundamental in Stranger Things

is that the Duffers really get it

much about the characters through auditions.

So you don't necessarily have to sit back and say:

We are looking for someone to do this, this and that.

We kinda got these sides

the examination of material persons with,

and then they see so much more

that many directors and creators

because they learn about the character

through the hearings of the people,

This is an amazing process for me and a lot of fun.

What do you think of them, Max?

Would you like to join them?

We didn't have any materials for Vecna ​​yet.

That's when I thought of the Duffers

They were still developing the character.

The only things we really knew

where I had to be both characters

and that he had to be at least 5'10

and they have a very slender face and physique.

Please note that we are not allowed to do this

to say what's something for this show,

so I basically threw up saying something

that he needed people who fit that description.

So we used a scene from Primal Fear

and a scene from Hellraiser.

So knowing that it was Stranger Things

but not knowing what the character was and playing wrong sides.

A situation like this is always a bit chaotic.

But if someone really brings

all this information together

alone again

so it really stands out.

And with Jamie, we were really excited right away.

because somehow he combined the energy

of strange things

With these two very different films

and that's what we've always been looking for

and he brought it with him.

[our Gritos]

Stranger Things wasn't all that difficult to play.

The stuff was excellent.

and that always makes the casting job so much easier.

The other thing that made it a lot easier.

It's the fact that nobody had a clue

that anybody would watch this show

so the expectations were very low.

In a good way because of low expectations

coming from some kind of carrier,

which allowed the Duffers, Shawn Levy and me

have a lot of freedom and be really creative

and really only choose the group of children and adults

that would make the show look like this

they had it in their heads.

(Video) Stranger Things cast react to Auditions

It wasn't that hard.

It was easier to throw than Magic Mike,

and that's not just because he needed eight packs.


How did people audition for Stranger Things? ›

Stranger Things 2023 Registration

An application link for the Netflix Stranger Things Season 5 auditions 2023 will be updated soon on, where you can submit your application. It should be highlighted that Atlanta-based actors will have the best chance of landing small roles in the series.

How did the Stranger Things kids get their roles? ›

The young cast of Stranger Things is all grown up. But before the hit Netflix series premiered in July 2016, they were still just kids and had to go through an audition process like any other.

How did Finn wolfhard get casted for Stranger Things? ›

The following year, he appeared as Jordie Pinsky in the series Supernatural. In 2016, Wolfhard began portraying Mike Wheeler in the Netflix series Stranger Things. He auditioned for the role via video after seeing an open casting call.

Is Stranger Things looking for actors? ›

So far as we know, The casting for Stranger Things 2023 has started. Although Duffer Brothers and casting directors are not looking for any actors to be in leading roles in Stranger Things Season 5 audition, you can still appear for auditions for other acts in the drama.

How do kids get chosen as actors? ›

The best place to find auditions and casting calls for kids is through an online casting platform like Backstage, at least at first. Once a child actor has secured representation, their agent will have direct connections to casting directors and can submit them for bigger roles with major networks and studios.

How do you get picked to be an actor? ›

Get Cast Today
  1. Train to become an actor. There are no formal educational requirements for actors, but training is a good place to start. ...
  2. Prepare your headshot, acting résumé, and demo reel. ...
  3. Submit to auditions and casting calls. ...
  4. Gain experience to improve your résumé and reel. ...
  5. Get signed by an agent.
28 Nov 2022

Do Stranger Things kids wear wigs? ›

The same goes for Stranger Things, which is an extremely wig-heavy production. Over 250 wigs were used in the show's fourth season, with principal characters having at least three wigs, including ones for fight scenes and water work. Stunt doubles also required their own sets of wigs.

What do actors need for auditions? ›

For auditions, you need to arrive a few minutes early, and with a reel, headshot, and résumé in hand. Reel: Your demo reel will frequently be what gets you in the door. A résumé is great, but if the casting director isn't familiar with you, for all they know, your credits could be made up.

How many total kids auditioned for the children roles in Stranger Things? ›

Casting the kids' roles was difficult, and in total the team auditioned 906 boys and 307 girls before deciding on their final cast.

Who auditioned for Stranger Things and didn't get it? ›

Stranger Things 4 Star Robert Englund Actually Auditioned For Season 3 And Didn't Get The Part. While Robert Englund plays an important role in Stranger Things 4, he tells GameSpot about his previous audition for the show that didn't go so well.

How did Millie Bobby Brown get an agent? ›

After a showcase performance, an agent spotted her talent and approached the family offering to represent her. Kelly and Robert's faith in Millie was so great that soon after, on the advice of the agent, the Brown family left Orlando for Los Angeles where there would be even more opportunities for her.

How do you cry on command? ›

Make a crying facial expression, alter your breathing pattern to match an actual crier's uneven and heavy breathing, add whimpering noises… any mechanical thing someone would do while crying. You can even exercise a little before the scene to make your breathing heavier and realistic.

How can I become an actor at 11 with no experience? ›

Consider these options.
  1. Take acting classes. ...
  2. Enroll in a formal acting program. ...
  3. Join a local theater group. ...
  4. Research and practice acting techniques. ...
  5. Watch performances and take what resonates. ...
  6. Consider taking on special skills. ...
  7. Learn how to audition.
7 Oct 2022

Is Will Byers hair a wig? ›

Schnapp stars as Will Byers, and though his hair was cut into the iconic 80s bowl-cut for season two, he had to wear a wig in order to pull off the same look.

What casting agency does Stranger Things use? ›

Casting Taylor Made, the background casting agency that has been working with the show since its first season, is currently looking for new talent to appear in scenes. The company, owned by Heather Taylor, revealed it will cast adults between the ages of 18 and 100 and minors between the ages of 0 and 17.

Do parents get paid for child actors? ›

Different states have different laws governing who owns the income a young actor makes. But if your child lives in, works in, or works for a company based in California—even if the project shoots elsewhere—the law is very clear about to whom the money belongs: 100 percent of the income belongs to the child.

Is being a kid actor easy? ›

Know that it's not easy being a child actor. If you're going to push your child into this field, you need to be realistic about what they can achieve. Talent is important in any industry, but being talented isn't enough. Child actors need to be able to work well under pressure, take direction, and be patient.

Can I become an actor at 11? ›

Talk to your parents.

If you're under 18, you won't be able to work as an actor without your parents' permission, so it's important to get them on board with your plans. Explain how much you enjoy acting, so they understand that it's something you're extremely passionate about.

How do you know if acting is for you? ›

Reasons You Should Be an Actor
  • You want to act all of the time. You wake up in the morning and all you think about all day every day is acting. ...
  • You want to connect with other characters. ...
  • You feel you could be a messenger. ...
  • Audiences want to watch you. ...
  • It's fun to do it! ...
  • You keep learning about who you are on a deeper level.
3 Mar 2022

How do actors remember their lines? ›

When a certain line is accompanied by action, movement, the actor will be able to recall the line every time. Another useful technique is to associate the words with emotions. Evoking an emotion associated with the scene makes memorizing the words easier.

How do I break into acting with no experience? ›

How to become an actor with no experience
  1. Consider local gigs. ...
  2. Take acting classes. ...
  3. Further your formal education. ...
  4. Join a local theater. ...
  5. Learn about the industry. ...
  6. Build your resume. ...
  7. Take a professional headshot. ...
  8. Start auditioning.

Is Lgbtq in Stranger Things? ›

Noah Schnapp Confirms His Stranger Things Character Will Byers Is Gay. In a new interview, Schnapp cleared up any ambiguity about Will's sexuality and his feelings for Mike.

Is there any 18+ content in Stranger Things? ›

Mature Content in Stranger Things

There is kissing, sexual references, and talking about sex in Stranger Things Season 4. There is talk about boobies and liking boobies and a flashback scene of characters making out. A male character has his shirt off in some scenes.

Does Stranger Things have 18+ scenes? ›

6. There's a whole lot of kissing and some mild sexual language. With teen hormones running rampant, there are plenty of makeout scenes, some talk about sex, intimate scenes that are nudity-free, and a few suggestive remarks.

How do you win an audition? ›

Here are five ways you can always ensure an audition win. Too many actors rely solely on their reps for relationship building and establishing allies.
In the quiet time before an audition, remind yourself that at the end of the day, you don't need anything from this experience.
  1. Stand Out. ...
  2. Be Brave. ...
  3. Let Go. ...
  4. Follow Up.
6 Apr 2021

How do you pass an audition? ›

Tips for Auditioning
  1. Be prepared.
  2. Be kind to everyone and smile.
  3. Be on time for your appointment.
  4. Use your waiting time wisely.
  5. Dress appropriately.
  6. Introduce yourself.
  7. Don't watch the directors.
  8. Mistakes happen.

Do actors get paid for auditions? ›

Film and TV actors might be contractually entitled to collect half-a-day's pay when they audition but aren't hired, though very few ever collect.

How much do the kids in Stranger Things get paid? ›

Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Noah Schnapp (Will) started out earning 20,000 dollars per episode in 2016. Now, the figure is up to 250,000 dollars.

How can I audition for Netflix? ›

Backstage is your source for finding Netflix casting calls and auditions. Search and audition for dozens of roles for your chance to get cast in Netflix, including Stranger Things, The Good Place, Ozark, Netflix original films, and more.

Can a 10 year old be in Stranger Things? ›

The Common Sense experts say the show is fine for kids 13+, while both parents and kids agree the show is appropriate for ages 12+.

How did Sadie Sink get her role in Stranger Things? ›

Luckily, it worked! And the casting team asked her to come back for a chemistry read with Gaten Matarazzo (who plays Dustin Henderson) and Caleb McLaughlin (who plays Lucas Sinclair). The three obviously worked well together, as the next day, Sink found out that she got the job, and the rest is history.

How much did Stranger Things pay the actors? ›

Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler)

Like Brown and the rest of Stranger Things' child stars, Wolfhard, who plays Mike, started the series with a $20,000-per-episode salary. Though he and his costars received $60,000 bonuses after season 1 became a massive success, that salary continued for season 2.

What is the most famous line in Stranger Things? ›

Perhaps the most famous quote from Stranger Things, “Friends don't lie” has been a beacon of guidance for young Eleven.

What agency is Zendaya with? ›

Disney Channel Star Zendaya Signs With CAA – Deadline.

What agency is Sadie Sink with? ›

EXCLUSIVE: Sadie Sink, known for her fan-favorite starring role as Max Mayfield on Netflix's Stranger Things, and soon-to-be seen in Darren Aronofsky's praised Venice Film Festival drama The Whale, has signed with WME for representation. Sink began her career on Broadway in the title role of the Annie revival in 2013.

Is Millie Bobby Brown adopted? ›

Brown was born in Marbella, Málaga, Spain, on 19 February 2004, the third of four children born to British parents Kelly and Robert Brown, a real estate agent. She was born with partial hearing loss in her left ear and gradually lost all hearing in that ear over several years.

How do actors kiss? ›

The stage kiss: In this technique, one actor cups the other's face in a way that appears natural and romantic before drawing them in. Right before they connect, the former places their thumb over the latter's lips so that no direct mouth-to-mouth contact occurs.

How can you cry blood? ›

What causes bloody tears?
  • hormone changes.
  • menstruation.
  • inflammation.
  • conjunctival injuries.
  • trauma.
  • blocked tear duct.
  • high blood pressure.
  • blood disorders, such as hemophilia.

Is crying on cue a talent? ›

Crying on cue is often considered the gold standard of acting because it can show how an actor commands their emotional instrument.

What is the youngest age to start acting? ›

There is no age limit when it comes to child actors which means there is no specific age when kids should start acting. It's never too early for your kid to start acting or start attending acting classes. Kids can become actors as babies and under the age of 4.

Where is the easiest place to become an actor? ›

8 Best Cities for New Actors to Call Home
  • Los Angeles, CA. LA is another city synonymous with acting. ...
  • Las Vegas, NV. Viva las actors! ...
  • Atlanta, GA. Another unsurprising option, the TV and film industry has been booming in Atlanta thanks to tax incentives. ...
  • San Francisco, CA. ...
  • Chicago, IL. ...
  • Stamford, CT. ...
  • Austin, TX.
18 Jan 2022

Can you audition without an agent? ›

There are many listed auditions for theatrical productions, student films, larger films, etc. An actor need not have representation in order to submit himself.

Who is the crush of Will Byers? ›

A week before the release of season 4, David Harbour and Finn Wolfhard appeared to confirm that Will has a crush on Mike. Now, Finn has discussed Will's affections for his best friend in a new interview, and it sounds like Volume 2 might dive deeper into Will's feelings.

Who is Will Byers in love with? ›

Noah Schnapp has now confirmed that Will is gay and in love with Mike. Noah Schnapp as Will Byers and Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler in Stranger Things season 4. Noah confirmed that Will is in love with his best friend Mike Wheeler, played by Finn Wolfhard, but doesn't want to hurt Eleven's feelings by confessing it.

How did they hide Eleven's hair? ›

Welcome or not, the buzz cut is an extraordinary achievement by Stranger Things hairstylist Sarah Hindsgaul and her team, who created Eleven's shorn locks via a painstakingly designed wig. What's more: The unforgivingly close-cropped wig had to fit over Brown's own long hair.

Does Stranger Things do open casting calls? ›

So far as we know, The casting for Stranger Things 2023 has started. Although Duffer Brothers and casting directors are not looking for any actors to be in leading roles in Stranger Things Season 5 audition, you can still appear for auditions for other acts in the drama.

Who is Millie Bobby Brown's agency? ›

In January 2017, she made her modeling debut in Calvin Klein's By Appointment campaign. The following month, she was signed to the agency IMG Models.

What agent is Millie Bobby Brown signed to? ›

'Stranger Things' Star Millie Bobby Brown Signs With WME

Sources tell Variety the young star was being courted by all the big agencies, and WME landed her in a very competitive situation.

What casting agency did Stranger Things use? ›

Casting Taylor Made, the background casting agency that has been working with the show since its first season, is currently looking for new talent to appear in scenes. The company, owned by Heather Taylor, revealed it will cast adults between the ages of 18 and 100 and minors between the ages of 0 and 17.

Is Will Byers straight? ›

Noah Schnapp Confirms His Stranger Things Character Will Byers Is Gay. In a new interview, Schnapp cleared up any ambiguity about Will's sexuality and his feelings for Mike.

Who auditioned for Robin in Stranger Things? ›

21. Bridgerton actress Nicola Coughlan told Buzzfeed that she initially auditioned for the role of Robin in Stranger Things before booking the role of Penelope Featherington years later. Maya Hawke ultimately nabbed the part, with Coughlan saying Hawke was "was far better than I ever would have been."


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