With Stranger Things back on Netflix, Natalia Dyer tells us about working with Winona and how sci-fi became a cultural force for good
How does the new series differ from the first two?
It’s the first time where it’s summer in Hawkins and nobody is in school, so there are lots of activities, like Nancy [Dyer’s character] has a job. This season there’s more action, humour and fun, but it’s also quite scary. It’s a big one.
Who is your strangest co-star?
Oh, they’re all a bit strange, aren’t they? I love Brett Gelman [ who plays Murray Bauman]; he’s so off the cuff. And David Harbour [Jim Hopper] is a big, funny personality. Even when we’re filming dark things, the goofy cast make the set electric. I think actors in general are a little strange.
Have you learned a lot from Winona Ryder?
She’s very hands-on and always asking questions. Winona knows when things feel right and when they don’t, and she’s not afraid to say so. I look up to that.
Which other women in the industry inspire you?
I respect Jameela Jamil from The Good Place so much for using her platform to speak out about how women’s bodies are portrayed. I admire people who use their fame to say something that’s important.
There’s a real sci-fi resurgence at the moment. Why do you think that is?
It’s fun and everybody needs a little escape. The genre lets us all enter a mysterious world and explore things we wouldn’t normally think about.
Do you get pestered for spoilers by your nearest and dearest?
No. In fact, some of them haven’t even watched the show, which is nice in a way. My family don’t talk about it too much, but they are very supportive.
As a child you were in Hannah Montana: The Movie. Did that experience enable you to give advice to the younger cast members of Stranger Things?
Advice? I don’t know, but I do feel protective. I’m 22 and I can’t imagine having this life as a teenager – social media and everything. I’ve met all their parents and they’re very grounded people.
Is there anyone on your bucket list you’d love to work with?
Yes, lots of women – anybody from Wine Country! Those are my kind of people – the Amy Poehlers and the Tina Feys. And Mindy Kaling. That would be a lot of fun.
Stranger Things is out now on Netflix.