‘Stranger Things’ star Sadie Sink shares the vulnerable way she tapped into Max’s headspace in season 4, what’s in the letters

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers from Season 4 Vol. 1 of “Stranger Things”, currently streaming on Netflix.

Sadie Sink’s Max really gets through it in Season 4 of “Stranger Things.” After losing her brother, Billy (Dacre Montgomery), in the Season 3 finale, the new season begins with her wracked with guilt over what happened.

“She just asks herself all these questions and blames herself,” Sink said. Variety. “It’s not necessarily because she’s mourning the loss of their relationship, but rather to convince herself that somehow she’s to blame for all the horrible things that are happening in her life. – and the domino effect Billy’s death had on his family and everyone around him.”

On top of all that, Max’s best friend, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), has moved out of town; she broke up with her boyfriend, Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin); and she has visions of a real monster.

Here, Sink – now 20 – recounts how she got into the season’s headspace, shares her thoughts on the content of those touching letters Max wrote to her friends, and reveals if we’ll see more of the Max’s mother.

At the start of the season, Max was not well placed. How did you tap into the darkness she was going through?

I was with this character for the most formative years of my life. So I really know her very well at this point. But we never get to exploit that kind of vulnerability on the show that often, because the pace is so fast that there’s so much going on. So to have a storyline that taps into some of its more emotional sides and shows some vulnerability — which we don’t really see in previous seasons — that was super exciting. In terms of preparation, a lot of the season has been about internal thoughts and thoughts eating away at you. You don’t share with anyone.

So to understand that a bit more and get into her mind that way, I would keep a journal here and there, just write entries as her. What I hadn’t anticipated, but what really helped me get into that mindset, was the isolation of the lockdown. After confinement, I had turned 18, so when I resumed filming, I was living on my own. It was a new experience and I was alone most of the time. I think that helped me. In a weird way, there was a connection between me and Max this year with me living alone and Max living in this intense isolation.

Obviously Max misses Eleven ever since she got those superpowers, but I feel like she must also miss the fact that she had a real friend – and now she only has her ex and all her friends.

Yeah! I think what was so wonderful about Max and Eleven’s relationship from Season 3 is that Eleven is obviously different from most of the girls you see. Max is also different from a lot of the girls you see, so they kind of found each other and they worked really well together. I like to think it was one of the first female friendships Max ever really had. So for that to go away, I think it was just a really awful moment. Max could have benefited from having someone like Eleven, who she probably would have felt comfortable opening up to. Eleven probably would have benefited from having Max as she navigates this new environment and bullies into her world. Having someone like that to push her through it would have helped. They could both have helped each other a lot.

“Dear Billy” is such an emotional and well-done episode from your side. But Billy wasn’t a great guy – he was very problematic. Do you think she forgave him entirely?

It’s tricky, because he caused the most pain in his life for a very long time. And they didn’t have a brother-sister bond, nor a solid relationship between them. I think what really haunts her is the fact that she thinks it was kind of her fault – that she may have thought before, “I just want him to go away. ” So for him to actually leave, and for her to do nothing while she watches him die, she’s just asking herself all these questions and blaming herself.

She had no outlet, and she had no one to tell her it wasn’t her fault. No one was there, and no one really understands it. So it’s a really lonely, lonely battle that she’s fighting.

We got to see a glimpse of his relationship with his mother. Is this something we’ll see more of?

I am not sure. Not in season 4. Each time in this show where we have a small glimpse of what the parents do, I think it’s very interesting because for the first season, the parents were nowhere to be found! They did not know what these children were doing in their daily life at home. So whenever we see a relationship with one of the kids and their parents, it’s really exciting to dive into.

For Max in particular, I think it’s heartbreaking to see this state his mother is in and how absent she is through it all – Max does a really good job of hiding it. But not having a mother able to recognize the pain their child is going through because they themselves are in so much pain, it was kind of heartbreaking to see that dynamic.

Do you know what Max’s letters to his friends say?

I do not know! In my own downtime and daydreaming, I get an idea of ​​what she’s likely to want to say to each specific person. I don’t know anything about the plans for season 5, but I’m dying to know what’s in it. I want to have a scene where the letters are read. I think it’s so typical of Max, that she literally looks death straight in the eye, but is unable to tell someone face to face, how much he means to her or have a sincere conversation with someone. The fact that she had to put it in letters and not even be there when they were read, it was like, yeah, like it adds up. But I’d like to see what’s inside those letters.

David Harbor recently told me that he knows the ending to Hopper’s story, because he kept asking and saying he needed to know how to play it. Do you know how Max’s story ends?

No, but maybe I should use this line! I don’t know, I kinda like not knowing where her story is going and just being surprised when I read it, because Max herself doesn’t know what’s going to happen to her. I guess, why should I? I really have no idea where they go with anything. So I will be happy to read these scripts!

Finally, you starred in the music video directed by Taylor Swift “All Too Well: A Short Film”. How does the Taylor Swift fandom compare to the ‘Stranger Things’ fandom?

I think the one thing you have in common is that both fanbases are so incredibly passionate and loyal. For “Stranger Things,” they’ve been around since Season 1, and the age range is amazing. It’s like a worldwide phenomenon. And the same with Taylor Swift! They are really similar in many ways.

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