Stranger Things is one of the most beloved and popular science-fiction shows on Netflix. Set in the 80s, This show focuses on a bunch of kids living in the fictitious town of Hawkins, with their families, and friends. The series stars an ensemble cast, most of them being teenagers or in their 20s. With a cast, this big also comes a set of rules and instructions that everyone has to follow to protect their and the show’s image and ensure brand success. Now let’s look at some of the strictest rules in the industry that are followed by the phenomenal kids of Stranger Things.
Lose any foreign accent
This rule applies mostly to Charlie Heaton, who plays the role of ever beloved Jonathan Byers in Stranger Things. Charlie is actually British but he has been doing a good job following this rule which was made to protect the whole fantasy setting and the 80s vibe of the show. Of all the words that he had to say in the course of three seasons, the word he’s had the most trouble saying in an American accent is “Nancy”. That’s right. The name of his character’s amazing girlfriend Nancy Wheeler, the name he says the most is the word he has the most difficulty saying while following the rule.
No cellphones allowed on the set
This may sound wildly impossible for kids these days but it’s a good thing that our cast has to stay in character behind the screen too. They must internalize that their characters are living in the 80s when smartphones were figments of some fantasies. This rule may also exist to prevent unwanted leakages of any sort. It would be a disaster if any of the spoilers of a show full of so many cliffhangers and suspense leaks out.
All have to show up on the set neatly scrubbed
When a show is set in the current era, sometimes actors are allowed to do their own make-up and arrive on the scene ready to shoot but since the time setting is critical in Stranger Things, the whole cast has to be made up by professionals on the set. This means that they have to arrive bare-faced at first. This rule was enforced because of Millie Bobby Brown, who plays the role of Eleven or El (Jane Hopper/Jane Ives), the main character of the series. Apparently, Millie showed up on the set one day covered in glitter. It took 45 extra minutes for the make up department to clean Millie up and everything for the day had to be postponed. What a hassle that would have been!
Keeping the plot under lock and key
The cast members of Stranger Things are perpetually reminded that they cannot speak of what they already know will happen in the show. They have to be especially careful in the interviews since the interviewers are really very good at what they do. They know the right questions to ask to get the answers they need so the cast of Stranger Things are provided with a massive guide of what things they can’t talk about and which ones to absolutely keep in secrecy.
No haircuts outside of the set
This one may sound strange but one haircut may completely derail the show’s storytelling. So, the Stranger Things cast are only allowed to have hair trims on the set, all under the supervision of an artistic director. This rule might apply to everyone but we know that this rule applies mostly to Joe Keery who plays the character of the fan-favorite, Steve Harrington more commonly known as “The Hair”. Joe walked into the audition with an overgrown and “gravity-defying” haircut which the show’s creators really liked. It fit the show’s theme perfectly so he absolutely cannot change his hairstyle for as long as he plays The Hair.
Don’t have too much muscle
While most celebrities earn their living by keeping hot bodies, the cast of stranger things is not allowed to bulk up. The muscle building and the chiseled body era was only really just beginning so not many people looked buff in the 80s so the cast has to remain sort of chubby or lanky. A problem arose for Dacre Montgomery, who plays Billy Hargrove, the one we hated and then loved. He waltzed into the show with a whipping body fresh off his role as the Red Ranger in Powe Rangers. He would have had to train hard for the role so in order to look more like a Stranger Things character Dacre had to change his diet again and gain a few pounds for that perfectly rounded look.
Keep the schedule sorted
The cast members are not prohibited from taking other acting opportunities, but they are constantly reminded to always check their filming schedule first. Given how intense it is to shoot a series like Stranger Things, most of them had to turn down other golden opportunities simply because the schedule could no be accommodated. Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler, one of the main characters, almost quit the show so he could appear in the film It. Since there was a year-long delay in the filming of the show, Finn could luckily do both.
No bad-mouthing your co-stars
This is the one rule that we wish existed in all the shows. Apparently, the Stranger Things cast are told to keep all their grievances about their colleagues within the set. Sometimes co-actors can say really mean things about each other but here, the producers remind this cast every now and then to avoid passing bad comments about the people they are working with.
No access to early episodes sent for screening
The producers have to send completed episodes to Netflix and other screening bodies who view it in advance of everybody to make sure it is TV and kid-friendly. All of these episodes are password protected and the cast members are prohibited from accessing them.
Watch social media posts
This is yet another rule to prevent spoilers about Stranger Things. This rule is aimed especially at the photos that they share. A picture can speak a thousand words, and in this case, one snap where the cast can be seen wearing some secret revealing clothes or dried up blood makeup effects can tell a lot of things that are supposed to be under lock and key.
Get really comfortable wearing 80s clothes
This rule helps the cast get in character. Stranger Things is the 80s based show and the cast has to convince the viewers that they are living in the past. One way to get the right headspace for such big requirements is to wear old clothes all the time, even at home.
Think of Eleven as an alien
This is a quite peculiar rule but it is the main reason why Eleven is everyone’s favorite. Apparently Millie Bobby Brown was instructed to act like ET plus the other members were told to interact with Eleven as if they were interacting with ET. This may be the reason why all of their scenes are so precious.
Prepare to lose voices
Every fan of the show knows why this rule exists. There is a lot of screaming in the show. Anyone at any time can go from super calm to “AAAAAAAAAAAA” in a matter of seconds and this is everyone, mostly eleven and Winona Ryder’s beautiful character, Joyce Byers. It is no longer unusual for the younger cast to start losing their voice but they have to recover quickly in time for their next shooting day. This requires a lot of self-care and probably swallowing nasty tablets and syrups to get the job done as best as possible.
Get familiar with Stand By Me
Stephen King’s novel Stand By Me deals with a group of boys who go on an adventure in the woods in pursuit of a dead body. It’s sort of the perfect pretext to the stranger things storyline and in fact lines from the novel were used to audition over a thousand kids for the five major characters. Whenever our beloved cast has trouble getting into character, all they have to do is re-reading this novel to get acquainted with how the group thinks, acts, and feels after they go after menacing characters.
The fourth season of this ever awesome show “Stranger Things” is expected to land sometime this year and we can’t wait to see our beloved cast back fighting with demogorgons and mind flayers, going on adventures, and most importantly, finding Hopper.