Men's

Noah Schnapp Gets Nostalgic

by France
11.14.2017
The 13-year-old star of the Netflix series "Stranger Things" reflects on his already accomplished career.

Text: Brendan Sullivan

Photographer: Eric Ray Davidson

Video: Christian Coppola

Styling: Jennifer Eymère

Translation: Fabrizio Massoca

Noah Schnapp looks out the window of his caravan and wonders if anyone remembers that today is his birthday. "Everyone has forgotten my birthday" is, of course, the great childish and adolescent anguish since Molly Ringwald’s emblematic film, Sixteen Candles, directed by John Hughes in 1984. Too young to know the film, Noah would be exactly ten years old at midnight. This is an important date for him, of which with him and his friends considers a decisive step: "A two-digit age is huge," he says. Revisiting this moment is not easy for Noah - "I was so young, I had fun. I still am ..." When he ages, these important moments will fade. Nostalgia will interfere with the one he was yesterday and the one he has become. Stranger Things - like Steven Spielberg's upcoming film Ready Player One, or hundreds of articles published on Buzzfeed - surfs the wave of the nostalgia. These childhood memories of obsolete toys or objects are resuscitated in a second when the first sound of Super Mario Bros.'s chimes.  But this feeling is related to the context that the game evokes: handling a mustached Italian plumber in search of mushrooms, running after rebellious turtles equate to a day off school spent with your friends.

"A two-digit age is huge."

Three years ago, Noah could not imagine what awaited him: Bridge of Spies, where he held his first role, will soon win an Oscar for Best Picture. The following year, he would discover the world of Stranger Things, which takes place exclusively in a sentimental zone and that would launch him to stardom. The children of the series are among the best depicted in the history of cinema, as this realistic science fiction world exists (nearly) without adults. This is perfect, considering the best moments of childhood (playing video games, gorging on candy) strictly exclude adults. If everything were to stop today, Schnapp's career would already be enviable. Along with his sister, Schnapp had been enrolled at the local theater school, when his teacher spotted him at the age of ten and put him in touch with an agent. After a few smaller castings, some for "commercials for meatballs", momentum built for Schnapp. Following his role as Charlie Brown in The Peanuts (2015), he then went on to audition for a bizarre series where young children venture out in search of their mysteriously missing friend.

"I was so young, I had fun. I still am ..."

When we think of child actors, it is the stars of Disney shows, like Lindsay Lohan, who immediately come to mind. Those who smile on command against a backdrop of laughter. But for the kids of Stranger Things, they are there to work and learn their craft from their elders. "That's why working with Winona [Ryder, who plays his mother] is fantastic." Noah blushes when he remembers the day the Duffer brothers finally came up with the sound made by the monster. In one scene, Will, his character, hangs up the phone and goes out after hearing a scary sound. We always assume that, in the cinema, the magic trick of adding special effects is done afterward in editing. "I didn't see that they had installed a huge speaker right next to where I was. I was very focused on what I had to play, and they launched, at full volume, this monstrous sound, which really bombarded me." 

And if you were the only one of the band not to succeed more emotionally complex scenes? This is where Winona Ryder comes in. "I had this very complicated sequence, long, with lots of emotions to express. I asked Winona if I could talk to her and if she could help me. She understood right away. The next morning, she arrived an hour earlier to help me rehearse.”

The pleasure of watching Stranger Things depends on your ability to transform back into a child who slips under the covers, surrendering to the delights of fear. But for an actor this young, the scariest monster is the unknown.

Season 2 of Stranger Things is available on Netflix

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L'OFFICIEL x GUCCI - French lesson by Noah Schnapp

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