Stranger Things shook its audience into a stunned silence when Netflix released it in July 2016. The science fiction-horror web television series is set in Indiana in the 1980’s. It focuses on a young group of kids who meet a psychokinetic girl who helps them find their missing friend.
The show received critical acclaim for everything from characterization to acting. Netflix confirmed the renewal of the series, and we can’t wait to see what else these strange kids will get up to in the future. Here are some unusual facts about the award-winning TV show you might not have known.
1. Netflix signed “Stranger Things” just 24 hours after hearing the pitch for the show.
2. 307 girls and 906 boys auditioned for roles in the series. The process took months before the Duffer brothers finally decided on the final cast.
3. To help Millie bring the character of Eleven to life, the creators of the show told her to resemble E.T. in her performance on set.
4. During shooting, Gaten grew so fast that they were unable to use him to re-record some of the dialogue since his voice changed so much.
5. The Differs created a mock trailer to help sell the show. It included carefully chosen clips from movies such as Super 8, Halloween and E.T.
6. When searching for the perfect cast, the Duffers decided they wanted child actors with not much experience for a more natural performance.
7. Shannon Purser had no prior acting experience before her role as Barb in Stranger Things. The whole crew were very impressed with her natural acting talents and it wasn’t long before people began to recognise her on the street.
8. The younger kids on set were terrified of the huge monster in the show. The crew calmed their fears by telling them the monster was from the Pixar movie, Monsters Inc.
9. Originally, the show was set in Montauk in New York. The location was later changed to Indiana.
10. Actors Charlie Heaton and Millie Brown are both from the UK.
11. The Stranger Things soundtrack was composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, who were once members of a famous band called SURVIVE.
12. Before landing a home at Netflix, the show got rejected 20 times by other networks. But thankfully, the two Duffer brothers never lost faith in their creation.
13. To achieve a more vintage on-screen look, a layer of film grain was applied. This helped capture the 1980’s vibe of the show perfectly and proved to be very effective in post-production.
14. The actors who played Lucas and Dustin have experience acting on Broadway. They knew each other before Stranger Things and soon became close friends when they met and bonded on set.
15. Caleb asked to wear a camouflage bandana in the show. He was finally given permission to wear his favourite bandana during the last three episodes of season one.
16. The Duffer’s created a huge 30-page document that includes detailed information about the “Upside Down”.
17. The creators made a unique “look book” to sell the show. The design is inspired by Stephen King’s novels for a more sci-fi, horror vibe.
18. Over 1,200 pounds of Epsom salt was dissolved in the water of the kiddie pool so Millie (Eleven) could float.
19. The actors and writers watched a series of films to help prepare for the show. This included Stand by Me, The Goonies, A Nightmare on Elm Street and E.T.
20. Eleven didn’t have a natural bald scalp. Millie was reluctant to shave her hair off but once the Duffers pointed out how amazing Charlize Theron looked in Mad Max, Millie finally agreed to it.
21. Millie Brown shot to fame when Stephen King tweeted about her stunning performance in Intruders in 2014.
22. When the boys auditioned for their roles on the show, they performed scenes from Stand by Me. Since Stephen King’s books were a huge inspiration, this was very fitting for the show.
23. Before shooting started, the kids got to know each other by starting a group chat. This helped them to form a close bond and they quickly became friends in real life, too.
24. The Hopper trailer was quite the bargain at just $1. The art department couldn’t believe how cheap it was and quickly snatched it up for the show.
25. Two adorable twins, Anniston and Tinsley Price, both played the part of Holly on set and most of their scenes were completely unscripted.
26. When Millie (Eleven) played scenes underwater in the immersion tank, she used a Sea Trek helmet to help her breathe. This incredibly device is designed for underwater walking and proved to be very useful when shooting the laboratory scenes.
27. Winona Ryder asked for a similar hairstyle to Meryl Streep’s in Silkwood. The hair and makeup team were happy to oblige.
28. The monster is made with prosthetics, CG and animatronics. The creators wanted to make it look alive, which is why they incorporated a number of different techniques.
29. Steve and Nancy reconciled despite this not being in the original storyline. However, Joe Keery proved to be much too likeable that they had to change his character.
30. In the scene where the state trooper is guarding the morgue, he is actually reading “Cujo” by Stephen King.
31. Instead of using green screens, the show choose to build their own sets to capture that classic 80’s vibe. It worked perfectly and the show is famous for its creative, unique and authentic sets.
32. When asked to play one of the leading adult roles in Stranger Things, Winona Ryder didn’t know what streaming was. She only later discovered the true power of technology and in turn, Netflix.
33. All the kids on the show love their trusted bicycles. To achieve the retro appearance of a bike back in 1983, the show fitted old parts together and it worked perfectly.