Will Byers is keeping his sexuality private—even from the actor who plays him, Noah Schnapp.
Following the season four premiere of Stranger Things, fans questioned whether the teen character is LGBTQ+ after he chose gay mathematician Alan Turing as his hero for a school presentation. Additionally, Will makes cryptic remarks about being scared to "open up" to a close friend out of fears they will reject you.
Despite these apparent signs, Schnapp is hesitant to put a label on Will's sexuality. He tells Variety that he's leaving that decision up to the writers, led by creators Matt and Ross Duffer, saying, "I feel like they never really address it or blatantly say how Will is."
He continues, "I think that's the beauty of it, that it's just up to the audience's interpretation, if it's Will kind of just refusing to grow up and growing up slower than his friends, or if he is really gay."
His co-star Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, is just as happy to leave the question unanswered, remarking, "Can I just say, it's 2022 and we don't have to label things. I think what's really nice about Will's character is that he's just a human being going through his own personal demons and issues. So many kids out there don't know, and that's OK. That's OK to not know. And that's OK not to label things."
Schnapp agrees that it's not uncommon for teenagers be "confused and growing up," saying, "That's what it is to be a kid."
Executive producer Shawn Levy said in a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly that answers will come in due time. "Without getting into where we go later in season four [Volume II], I guess I'll just say that there aren't many accidents on Stranger Things," Levy said. "There is clear intention and strategy and real thought given to each and every character. So, if you came away from Volume I feeling those bread crumbs of plot and character, it's probably no accident."
David Harbour and Finn Wolfhard have chimed in too, telling Netflix Mexico that Will's love interest isn't someone fans will expect. "If you've been watching the show you should know that Will is not interested in El," Harbour teased. "He's interested in someone else in the group."
Part one of Stranger Things season four is streaming now on Netflix.