Following its release on July 15, the world has been totally swept up and transported back to the 80s thanks to Netflix's new series, Stranger Things. The show, which stars Winona Ryder, is the perfect tribute to the 80s, offering nostalgia value for some, and a brilliant insight to a bygone time for others.
The series starts with the disappearance of a boy into thin air, and follows the efforts of his friends, family and the local law enforcement as they attempt to find him. However, soon it becomes clear that this is no regular disappearance, and there are some sinister supernatural forces at play.
Not only has the series manage to bowl us over with its amazing story, but it also has a brilliant cast (including some wonderfully talented young kids) and a killer soundtrack. Basically Season 2 cannot come soon enough. But, alas the problem with binge watching a new show is that we doom ourself to a long wait between seasons. So while you sit, regretting how quickly you consumed the first season of Stranger Things, check out these 9 pieces of trivia about the series you might not have known:
1. One of the young stars' voice changed dramatically during filming
Gaten Matarazzo's (Dustin) voice changed so much by the time production ended on the series that the sound team were unable to use him for any addition dialogue after filming!
In addition to that, you may not have realized that the reason Dustin has the medical condition Cleidocranial dysplasia in the series, is because Gaten Matarazzo has the condition in real life. Cleidocranial dysplasia can cause abnormal development in the bones in the skull and clavicle area and explains why Dustin has no front teeth and also why he can do that weird shoulder trick in Episode 1.
2. Winona Ryder wanted Joyce's hair to resemble Meryl Streep's in 'Silkwood'
Seeing as Stranger Things was set in 1983, it's apt that Winona Ryder wanted Joyce's hairstyle to be modeled after Meryl Streep's hair in the 1983 film Silkwood. In fact, aside from hair, the similarities between Ryder and Streep's characters are quite striking with both fighting hard to expose the truth.
Silkwood was based on the true story of Karen Silkwood, a woman who was put through torment, before possibly being murdered, for investigating and reporting health and safety concerns at the Kerr-McGee plutonium plant.
3. All the boys auditioned using scenes from an '80s classic
Stranger Things is very much a coming of age story for Mike, Lucas and Dustin and, so it seems totally appropriate that the Duffer brothers had the boys audition using scenes from one of the best coming-of-age films of all time, Stand By Me.
Released in 1986 (but largely set in 1959), Stand By Me not only has similar elements to Stranger Things (Stand By Me follows a group of friends as they search for the body of a missing boy), but it was also based on a Stephen King novella. This is notable because the Duffer brothers took a lot of inspiration from both Kings books, and also the film adaptations of his work.
4. Two of the Stranger Things kids are from the UK
Yep that's right, while they did an amazing job nailing the American accent required for the series, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathon) are both from the UK!
12-year-old Millie was actually born in Spain to British parents, and lived in the UK before moving to America when she was seven. Meanwhile Charlie has starred in a number of British shows and films including Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew, Casualty and DCI Banks.
5. The crew had to give the monster a Pixar spin for the youngest cast members
The monster in Stranger Things is no picnic to look at, so it seems unsurprising that it upset the youngest members of the cast, Anniston and Tinsley Price who shared the role of Holly Wheeler.
Fortunately though, the girls — who you may also remember from their time on The Walking Dead — were put at ease when the crew likened to monster to something from one of their favorite movies, DIsney Pixar's Monsters, Inc.
6. But aside from being a little scared, these girls are naturals
In an EW interview with Stranger Things creators and directors, Matt and Ross Duffer (who are also twins themselves!) revealed that despite their young age, Anniston and Tinsley are obviously total pros, with their best moments on the show being totally improvised!
The first improvised moment was in Episode 2 when Holly sinks into her chair after being upset by Dustin, and then again in Episode 3 when Joyce frantically asks her if she saw something in the wall, and Holly confidently replies, "Yes." The Duffers admit they don't know which twin was acting is which scene, but regardless they were impressed!
7. Charlize Theron inadvertently helped with the look of one character
Aside from her strange demeanor, one of big giveaways in the series that Eleven isn't your regular 11-year-old was the fact that her hair was very short.
In order for Eleven's short hair to look realistic, Millie Bobby Brown had to shave her head in real life. While Millie was obviously scared at the prospect, after the Duffer brothers showed the pre-teen a picture of Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road, she agreed.
8. The water scenes in the series took a lot of work!
Some of the most harrowing scenes in Stranger Things are those when Eleven is submerged in the sensory deprivation tank, as well as the make-shift kiddie pool version. But not only were they intense scenes to watch, they also required a lot of effort to put together.
In order to communicate with Millie while she was in the tank, she wore a small radio earpiece underneath her Sea Trek helmet (a helmet which allows people to walk underwater), which allowed the directors to talk to her. The helmet weighed a crazy 75 pounds out of water, but lucky just 15 pounds when submerged. And speaking of pounds, it took a whopping 1,200 pounds of epsom salts to help Eleven float in the kiddie pool in Episode 7.
9. Some of the crew had worked together before
Winona Ryder (Joyce) and Matthew Modine (Dr. Brenner) had previously worked together once before, way back in 1989 when they shot the music video for the Roy Orbison song A Love So Beautiful.
In addition to this, both Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) knew each other from their time working on Broadway (Gaten performed in Les Miserables while Caleb performed in The Lion King).
Have you see Stranger Things yet? Tell me what YOU thought below
Source: Netflix, Entertainment Weekly