Weird stuff is packedfull of so much Pop culture references from the 80s that it’s hard to keep up—unless you’re Winona Ryder, who apparently has an encyclopedic knowledge of film, music, books and more.
This is according to a new profile for Harper’s Bazaarin which co-star David Harbor reveals that Ryder has corrected some of the series’ “minor historical errors” creators, Matt and Ross Duffer. “It’s just kind of epic how wild her mind is and how it goes to all these different angles,” Harbor says. “She would say to them, ‘This song actually came out in ’85, and you got it in ’83.’ She knew all these tiny, little details that they didn’t even know, and they had to change things in the script based on that.”
The Duffer brothers themselves share Winona’s talent and her movie buff bonafides helped shape Joyce Byers as a character. “We initially only thought of Joyce as this strong, devoted, concerned mother† But then Winona suddenly adds a whole new flavor to it, and we thought how much fun we could have with her, getting involved in the supernatural.”
The memorable Christmas lights scene from season one, where an exhausted Joyce finally makes contact with her missing son, can be traced back to Close Encounters of the Third Kind (“When Richard Dreyfuss’ Character Becomes Obsessed and Makes a Hillock Out of His Mashed Potatoes”), a favorite children’s film of both Ryder and the Duffers.
There really is no one more qualified to make a statement about 80s pop culture than Winona Ryder, someone who not only lived through the decade but was one of its icons. But fans will probably enjoy knowing how protective and excited she is about the era. For example, she had been lobbying for a while Kate Bush long ago in the show this season fan favorite Running up that hill scene. “I’ve been obsessed with her since I was a little girl,” the actor said earlier USA today† “I’ve also been hinting at the set for the past seven years with my Kate Bush T-shirts.” In Winona (stay) we trust.