Sadie Sink from Stranger Things in Max, The Letters and Taylor Swift

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers for Season 4, Vol. 1 of “Stranger Things,” currently streaming on Netflix.

Sadie Sink’s Max really goes through this in “Stranger Things” season four. After losing her brother, Billy (Dacre Montgomery), at the end of Season 3, the new season begins with her being torn apart by guilt over what happened.

“She’s just asking herself all these questions and blaming herself,” says Sink. Variety. “It’s not necessarily because she’s grieving the loss of her relationship, it’s just convincing herself that somehow she’s to blame for all the horrible things that happen in her life – and the ripple effect that Billy’s death has caused. had in his family and everyone around him. your.”

On top of all that, Max’s best friend Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) has left town; she broke up with her boyfriend Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin); and she is having visions of a real monster.

Here, Sink – now 20 – talks about how she got into the season’s headspace, shares her thoughts on what’s in those emotional letters Max wrote to her friends, and reveals if we’ll see more of Max’s mom.

When the season started, Max was not in a good place. How did you take advantage of the darkness she was going through?

I was with this character in the most formative years of my life. So I really know her very well at this point. But we’ve never been able to exploit that kind of vulnerability in the show that often, because it’s so fast that there’s so much going on. So to have a storyline that taps into some of her more emotional sides and shows some vulnerability – which we really didn’t get to see in previous seasons – was super exciting. In terms of preparation, a lot of the season was about inner thoughts and the thoughts that eat away at you. You don’t share it with anyone.

So to understand this a little bit more and get into your headspace in this way, I would annotate it here and there, just write entries like it. What I wasn’t planning on, but what ended up really helping me get into that mindset was the isolation of the lockdown. After confinement, I was 18, so when I started filming again, I was living alone. It was a new experience, and I was alone most of the time. I think it helped me. In a weird way, there was a connection between me and Max this year with me living alone and Max living in this intense isolation.

Obviously Max misses Eleven since she has these superpowers, but I feel like she must also miss the fact that she had a real friend – and now she just has her ex and all his friends.

Yea! I think what was so wonderful about Max and Eleven’s relationship from season three is that Eleven is obviously different than most girls you see. Max is also different from a lot of girls you see, so they kind of met and worked really well together. I like to think it was one of the first female friendships Max actually had. So for that to go away, I think it was a really horrible moment. Max could have benefited from having someone like Eleven, who she would probably be comfortable opening up to. Eleven would probably have benefited from having Max while she’s navigating this new environment and bullies in her world. Having someone like that to push her would have helped. Both could have helped each other a lot.

“Dear Billy” is such an emotional episode and so well done from his side. But Billy wasn’t a nice guy – he was very troublesome. Do you think she forgave you completely?

It’s complicated, because he’s caused the most pain in your life for a long time. And they didn’t have a brother-sister connection, or any solid relationship between the two. I think what’s really haunting her is the fact that she thinks it was somehow her fault – that maybe she thought before, “I just want him to go away.” So for him to actually walk away, and for her to do nothing while watching him die, she’s just asking herself all these questions and putting the blame on herself.

She didn’t have a way out, and she didn’t have anyone to tell her it wasn’t her fault. Nobody was there, and nobody understands it very well. So it’s a very lonely battle she’s fighting.

We got to see a glimpse of his relationship with his mother. Is this something we will see more of?

I’m not sure. Not in season 4. Any moment on this show where we get a little glimpse of what the parents are doing, I think it’s very interesting because for the first season, the parents were nowhere to be found! They didn’t know what these kids were doing in their normal day-to-day home life. So whenever we see a relationship with one of her kids and her parents, it’s really exciting to dive into it.

For Max specifically, I think it’s heartbreaking when you see this state that her mother is in and how absent she is from all of it – Max does a really good job of hiding that. But not having a mother who is able to recognize the pain that her child is going through because they themselves are in so much pain, it was kind of heartbreaking to see that dynamic.

Do you know what Max’s letters to his friends say?

I do not! In my own downtime and daydreaming, I have an idea of ​​what she is likely to want to say to each specific person. I don’t know anything about what the plans are for season 5, but I’m dying to know what’s in there. I want to have a scene where the cards are read. I think it’s so typical of Max that she’s literally looking death in the eye, but still, she’s unable to tell someone face to face, how much they mean to her or have a heartfelt conversation with anyone. The fact that she had to put that into lyrics and not even be around when they were read, it was like, yeah, it adds up. But I’d love to see what’s inside those letters.

David Harbor recently told me that he knows the end of Hopper’s story, because he kept asking and said he needed to know how to interpret it. Do you know how Max’s story ends?

No, but maybe I should use that line! I don’t know, I kind of like not knowing where her story is going and just being surprised when I read it, because Max herself doesn’t know what’s going to happen to her. I think, why should I? I really have no idea where they’re going with anything. So I’ll be excited to read these scripts!

Lastly, you starred in the Taylor Swift-directed music video “All Too Well: A Short Film”. How does the Taylor Swift fandom compare to the “Stranger Things” fandom?

I think the one thing you guys have in common is that both of your fanbases are incredibly passionate and loyal. For “Stranger Things,” they’ve been around since season one and the age range is incredible. It’s like a worldwide phenomenon. And the same with Taylor Swift! They are really similar in many ways.

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