Winona Ryder Gave Young ‘Stranger Things’ Costars Advice About Fame

Winona Ryder helped to counsel her younger “Stranger Things” costars on how to deal with the fame they experienced after the series became massively popular in 2016.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaarthe actor said that her own experiences as someone who experienced fame young made her more aware of what the child actors on “Stranger Things” were going through.

“I want the kids to understand, this does not happen,” she told Harper’s Bazaar, referencing the series’ popularity and subsequent attention on its stars. “This is really unusual. And I’m always telling them, ‘The work is the reward!’ Because when I was that age, it was so hard to enjoy the fruits of my labor.”

“Stranger Things” premiered on


in 2016 with a robust cast of child actors including Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, and Gaten Matarazzo, who ranged from ages 11 to 14 in the first season. Since then, the show has become one of Netflix’s biggest original titles. As its stars have grown up, some, like Brown, have spoken about the ramifications of becoming extremely famous at a young age.

Ryder, who plays determined parent Joyce Byers on the Netflix series, became famous in her teenage years following her film debut in 1986’s “Lucas,” which premiered when she was 14 years old. Further iconic roles in films like “Beetlejuice,” “Heathers,” and “Edward Scissorhands” turned her into an icon in the 1990s. However, with her success came fame and increased public pressure.

“Stranger Things” showrunners the Duffer Brothers told Harper’s Bazaar that Ryder’s guidance and similar experience in the industry was valuable to the show’s young stars, particularly Brown.

“She’s talked to the kids about what celebrity is like and how the press can be and the anxiety and confusion that comes along with celebrity,” Ross Duffer told Harper’s Bazaar. “I think she’s really helped them. I know she’s specifically helped Millie [Bobby Brown] a lot to work through that. And that’s something that no one else can help with, really, because so few people have experienced it. It’s not something I understand. It’s not something that, you know, even a parent would understand.”

Other “Stranger Things” stars have spoken about their worries for the series’ younger cast. David Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper on the show, told the Los Angeles Times in May that he was thankful to have become famous at age 40 rather than earlier in his life.

“Mentally and psychologically, I think getting extremely famous and being so doted on at 11 years old is really hard for the psyche to reconcile with,” Harbour said.

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