Text: Brendan Sullivan
Photographer: Eric Ray Davidson
Video: Christian Coppola
Styling: Jennifer Eymère
Translation: Fabrizio Massoca
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.
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