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Back into the upside down!

Published : Oct 8, 2017, 12:35 am IST
Updated : Oct 8, 2017, 12:37 am IST

Actress Natalia Dyer, who plays Nancy Wheeler on Stranger Things, looks ahead to the second season of the hugely successful show.

Stranger Things
 Stranger Things

American actress Natalia Dyer  first appeared in 2009 as Clarissa Granger in Hannah Montana: The Movie. Since then, the PYT has appeared in titles such as The Greening of Whitney Brown alongside Brooke Shields and Aidan Quinn and in an indie film called I Believe in Unicorns. Natalia rose to fame for portraying Nancy Wheeler in Stranger Things; she has also been the recipient of a Screen Actors Guild Award for the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for the sci-fi show, that returns this month!

When did you realise that the show was a hit, and how did your life change after?
Natalia: I was in New York when it came out, which is a very public kind of a city to  live in, and it was, the day it came out, I was walking down the street with a friend and someone said to me, ‘You’re Nancy Wheeler!’  So, it was like, yeah, I do know — I guess I am. It was literally an overnight kind of a change, which has been crazy. I mean it’s bittersweet. 

Remind us where Season one  ended and where season two picks up?
Season one ends with us trying to adjust back to normalcy. Will came home.
Barb didn’t. Nancy ends up with Steve. And as humans do, I think when any tragedy or trauma happens, we just try to find the new normal and get back to whatever that feels like. At the end of season one, you’re seeing them fall back into what they know as much as they can. 

Talk about that guilt that she has because of Barb’s death. How is she dealing with that?
There’s a one year jump, so you don’t get to witness a lot of the grief and the coping that happens in the meantime. Nancy feels guilty, of course, because of the way that it happened and it was just a crazy experience. Just the sense that the whole time Nancy felt like she was the only one who was really looking for Barb. My personal conviction is that Nancy cut her own hair off in a sense of trying to get rid of that, emotional baggage, but I don’t think that’s in the script. 

Natalia DyerNatalia Dyer

Tell us about Will and the upside down. Is he still attached to it? 
In the end of season one there’s a semblance of everything’s all going back to normal, but then it’s like, oh, wait. Something is wrong. Something is off. And season two definitely delves into that. And we find that Will’s connection to this whole other dimension is strong, stronger than we thought, and it’s an enigma. It kind of brings us deeper into this mysterious happening. We’re starting to realise the scope of what’s going on kind of underneath us.

Talk about Nancy’s journey throughout the season. Is she back with Steve? Does she get to hang out with Jonathan?
At the end of season one, we see that Nancy’s back with Steve. With Jonathan, there was an obvious kind of connection, not entirely defined between Nancy and Jonathan. Will came back and Jonathan was very focused on repairing his family and making sure Will’s okay, while Nancy is dealing with Barb and then this anger and confusion about what’s going on. And Steve is there for her. So, they kind of go in different ways, in getting back to what their lives are. 

What’s gonna make season two bigger, more expansive, more exciting than season one?
It’s building on what we already know about the upside down and the creatures that inhabit that world. It’s like making a deeper crack into the facade of reality as we know it.

What’s it been like working with the Duffer brothers and Shawn Levy? How is it different now that we’re in season two?
It’s different and it’s not. Working in Atlanta, especially offers us a little bit of encapsulation where we kind of, just do our thing. And the Duffers haven’t changed a bit, which is great except maybe getting a little more stressed out. I think they have quite a lot on their plate. Shawn is a ball of energy anywhere he goes always. When it comes to working with the Duffers or Shawn or any of the cast really, it feels very familiar in a very nice way.

(Season 2 of Stranger Things will premiere on Netflix on 27 October 2017, worldwide)

Tags: stranger things season 2, natalia dyer