Stranger Things debuted several new cast members this season (opens in new tab), but none more talented than Sadie Sink. The 15-year-old plays Max (also known as Mad Max), a video game-playing, skateboard-riding, middle-finger-flipping new girl, who enchants the middle schoolers of Hawkins and eventually becomes a member of their demadog-fighting team.
Die hard Stranger Things fans may have been hesitant to embrace (opens in new tab) any new characters in the beloved show, but Max quickly cemented herself as a crucial member of the squad—she simply couldn't be more badass. We spoke to Sadie about what it was like to join the most highly anticipated second season of any series in recent history, and learned some killer stories about working on Stranger Things.
"They gave me two scenes, one of them was with the leads, and one where me and my brother are in the car about to run over the kids and I'm screaming at him. So I had to do that one, and then I had to read a fake scene. It was still my character, and I was talking to Lucas—but his name was different because they had to disguise it. It was a big scene, but it wasn't in the episode."
"Even though we didn't have many scenes together, we'd still see each other at on-set school. And we'd make sure to have sleepovers, we'd always hang out outside of school since we never really got a lot of time together on set."
"I have to be careful, because right now I have no idea what's going to happen as far as the story goes. I don't know anything. But my hopeful wish is, I would love some more scenes with the kids just being kids, and not fighting Demogorgans...to just experience what it's like to go to school. I also want some more scenes with Max and Eleven."
She was worried about fans accepting her character:
"I wasn't really scared about what the cast was going to think of me, more what the fans would think. You have this show where people know and love these characters, and all of a sudden these knew characters come in and you're like, 'Wait, wait, wait, who are these people? They aren't the original characters!' So I was nervous about what that would be like. But I think Max's storyline kind of fits in there nicely."
Fear not, the actor who plays Billy is completely chill in real life:
"Most of our scenes are really intense and happen in that Camaro. We spent a lot of time in that really hot old car. It was fun, but definitely interesting. He's such a mean character, so to see him go from fun Dacre [Montgomery] to mean step-brother Billy was pretty interesting."
She spent an entire night in an underground box for her toughest scene of the season:
"There was this one scene where we're climbing out of the tunnels—we had to climb out of this box through a rope, and it was like 4 a.m. and we're all exhausted in this middle-of-nowhere pumpkin patch. I don't even know where we were, but we were tired. We had to do one last shot where we're climbing out of this underground hole. So they built this box underground, and we were squished into it, and they'd yell 'action,' and we'd have to climb out of this hole. We were so delirious and not thinking straight."
Being on Stranger Things is like being at camp:
"[The first day] was pretty chill, there wasn't some big welcome ceremony. They were like, 'Come to the studio, you gotta start school, sign a few things, have a wardrobe fitting.' I just started school and met the kids—it's like summer camp basically, we were there for eight months."
She filmed the baseball bat scene in just three takes:
"Max gets it all out of her system in the end—I think I did the scene about three times with different angles. Banging a bat on the floor was fun and at the same time a little bit stressful, being careful not to hit anyone with it. That was the most emotionally difficult scene I've ever had to do."
Working with the Duffer Brothers was, unsurprisingly, an awesome experience:
"There's two of them so that's a little different. I've never worked on a set with two directors before, but they work so well together—it's not like there's two people telling you what to do. Their ideas are planned out, and they're not crazy strict."
Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.
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