Noah Schnapp is one of the industry’s youngest artists to achieve prominence at such a young age. Noah is better known by his Stranger Things character name Will. The young artist recently made headlines for his improvised emotional breakdown in the Stranger Things S4 finale.
According to the Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 script, Will’s most memorable moment was unscripted. Season 4 of the hit sci-fi show was split into two volumes that aired about a month apart. Stranger Things season 4 ended in July, but fans are still deconstructing all the major moments from the epic two-part finale.
While several major reveals were made explicit in Season 4, such as Vecna’s identity as Henry Creel/One or Hawkins’ fate, other developments were more subtle. Screen Rant reported that Will (Noah Schnapp) comforts Mike (Finn Wolfhard) on the way to find Eleven in one pivotal Stranger Things season 4 scene, letting him know Eleven will always need him by substituting his own feelings for hers.
Though he is successful in cheering up his best friend, the warmth of the moment is fleeting as Will turns away from Mike and faces the window, allowing his tears to flow and covering his mouth to muffle his sobs. It’s a heartbreaking moment that finally gives fans a concrete reveal about Will’s feelings for Mike, aided by Schnapp’s strong performance.
The Stranger Things writers shared a script for the “van scene” with fans via their official Twitter account, showing a slightly different take on the moment. Though Will and Mike’s conversation is nearly identical, the script concludes, “Will gives a small smile back — but then he turns and looks out the window and that smile fades — giving way to melancholy.” Given the original script, it’s clear that Schnapp’s emotional breakdown was a genuine, impromptu reaction to Will.
The contrast between the original Stranger Things script and the actual scene adds to Schnapp’s performance. The fact that the actor improvised Will’s breakdown is unsurprising given that he is a vocal supporter of the show’s acceptance of Will’s sexuality. Though the handling of Will’s story in season 4 received some criticism, with some claiming that the once-essential character was relegated to the backseat throughout the season, Schnapp made every moment viewers spent with Will count.
Will’s sexuality storyline has previously been described as a “slow burn,” which paid off in Stranger Things season 4 during both the van scene and Will and Jonathan’s touching heart-to-heart, both of which featured minimal dialogue and were driven by the actors’ telling performances.
Schnapp is widely regarded as one of Stranger Things’ breakout stars, and his improvised moment in the season 4 finale demonstrates that he has earned the praise for his portrayal of Will. As fans eagerly await Stranger Things season 5, Schnapp’s character will almost certainly play a significant role in the story when it returns.
Stranger Things’ final season could use one of its biggest talents and give Schnapp plenty of screen time to make his own after two seasons of more understated performances from Will Byers. For further updates, stay tuned to Thirsty.
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