We don’t know much about the origins of Demogorgon or the details of the Upside Down but we do know what goes on behind the scenes! From details about the stellar cast and best characters to truths about production of the hit TV show, here are 32 Stranger Things facts that are so surprising, they’ll turn your world Upside Down…
1. Millie Bobby Brown is British
There are a few facts about Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) that some of you probably weren’t aware of. Did you know that she’s a British starlet, born and raised in Spain? When she was seven years old, her parents decided to apply her to acting school in LA. Since then, they’ve resided in the U.S. Bonus fact? Charlie Heaton who played Jonathon is British too!
2. She Actually Shaved Her Hair!
You’ve got to rate a 12-year-old who’s brave enough to shave her hair! Millie was nervous about getting the chop so the directors told her to “have the mind-frame of Charlize Theron in Mad Max”.
3. Stranger Things is Based on Real Life (Kinda)
Ok, don’t jump the gun – there aren’t any Demogorgons or little girls with superpowers in real life, but there is a certain part of the series’ plot that’s based on reality. The Duffer Brothers were reportedly inspired by “The Montauk Project,” from the early 80’s, which was an experiment involving time travel, warfare and children being kidnapped. Creepy, we know!
4. The Cast Can Sing!
Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) and Millie Bobby Brown can sing! Millie regularly posts singing videos on YouTube while Gaten used to star in Les Miserables. Their voices are incredible – Gaten’s in particular will blow your mind!
5. Dustin Has a Disorder Called Cleidocranial Dysplasia
Gaten Matarazzo has a rare disorder called cleidocranial dysplasia which affects his teeth and bones. As a result of this condition, he wears fake teeth. Gaten has proudly used his celebrity status to raise awareness about his disorder. What’s crazy? Gaten’s condition apparently lost him 100 roles!
6. Auditioning for the Role of Eleven Was “Complicated”
You’d think auditioning for the role of Eleven would be simple considering she hardly spoke and just stared blankly in the first season. In fact, it was “complicated” according to Millie. “I didn’t actually have to stare, I cried a lot in the audition. All I said was, ‘It’s behind you!’ and that was it. It was complicated, I auditioned multiple times. I auditioned once by myself, and then I auditioned on tape, I Skyped with the Duffers, and then I flew to L.A. and actually met Finn (Wolfhard) and the Duffers, and then I found out I had to cut all [my hair] off and I got the job.”
7. Steven Spielberg Inspired the Makers of the Show
It’s no surprise that this Netflix original is full of 80’s movie references! The show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers said they were inspired by the likes of Steven Spielberg, Stephen King, and John Carpenter when creating Stranger Things.
8. Stranger Things was Rejected Over 15 Times
Yep, you read that right! In an interview with Rolling Stone, the Duffer Brothers revealed that the show had been rejected by several networks between 15-20 times. Apparently, they didn’t like that the show centred around children but wasn’t targeted to kids. “You either gotta make it into a kids show or make it about this Hopper [detective] character investigating paranormal activity around town,” one network told them.
9. Eleven’s Nose Bleeds are Real (Kinda)
The nosebleeds Eleven suffers from on the show aren’t actually CGI’d as many would assume. As a matter of fact, the actress squirts a fake blood formula into her nose before filming! The blood is only CGI’d when they’re in a rush.
10. The Cast & Crew Had to Watch 80’s Movies
Before starting the show, the kids and writers were asked to watch more classic films like The Goonies and Poltergeist – all movies that would later inspire Stranger Things.
11. The Main Title Was Inspired by 70’s and 80’s Movies
Stranger Things was very reminiscent of 70’s and 80’s movies, even down to the opening credits. Apparently the main titles were inspired by the work of Richard Greenberg, the designer behind titles like Alien, Superman, The Goonies, and The Dead Zone.
12. Stephen King Spotted Millie in 2014
Millie Bobby Brown’s talents were spotted early on by Stephen King! He was so impressed by her performance in Intruders that he tweeted about her back in 2014! Millie was always meant to shine!
Millie Brown, the girl in INTRUDERS, is terrific. Is it my imagination, or are child actors a lot better than they used to be?
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 28, 2014
13. 906 Boys and 307 Girls Auditioned for a Role
It took a lot of youngsters to find the right cast! 906 boys and 307 girls auditioned for a role in the hit TV-series! What a great casting they chose! What’s more interesting? In their auditions, the kids were told to read scripts from the classic 80’s movie, Stand by Me.
Relive some of the greatest quotes from Stranger Things and share them with your friends!
14. The Demogorgon Needs a Lot of Work
It’s always fun (and scary) seeing the Demogorgon’s face open wide like it does. Apparently, it takes 27 individual motors to do the job. In fact, the mechanism that controls the costume is hidden in a small backpack within the suit!
15. Robin has Famous Parents
In real-life, that is. The actress who plays season 3 newcomer, Robin, is the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke! That’s right! Now I bet you can’t unsee it – Maya Hawke looks and sounds just like her superstar mom!
16. Eleven’s Death Scene was the Funniest to Film
Apparently the funniest scene the group filmed was Eleven’s death scene at the end of season one. They couldn’t contain their laughter – much like us when scrolling through these hilarious Stranger Things jokes!
17. Gaten Actually Carried Millie in Season 1!
Can you believe Gaten really carried Millie in the season one finale?! That little man has strength! Apparently Finn Wolfhard (Mike) couldn’t do it so Gaten offered his little helping hand!
18. There’s a 30-Page Document Dedicated to The Upside Down
Want to know more about the Upside Down? Ask The Duffer Brothers! They supposedly have a 30-page document that explains it all as well as the Demogorgon. As Ross Duffer explains, “we have all this stuff that we just didn’t have time for, or we didn’t feel like we needed to get into in season one… We have that whole other world that we haven’t fully explored in this season, and that was very purposeful.”
19. Eleven Was Inspired by E.T
Apparently Eleven’s performance was inspired by E.T! When starting out the production of season one, Millie was told to act similar to the iconic character. That would explain her alien-like tendencies!
20. Gaten Matarazzo’s Voice Change Disrupted Filming
Gaten Matarazzo’s voice changed so much during the filming of season one that they were unable to use him for additional dialogue recording (ADR) at the end of production.
21. Caleb McClaughlin Made Fashion Orders
Caleb McClaughlin, the actor who plays Lucas, was very keen on nailing the 80’s outfit! He requested to wear a camouflage bandanna during the show – as seen in the final three episodes of the first season!
22. Sadie Sink is Scared of Horror Movies
It’s crazy to think a Stranger Things cast member is scared of horror movies, right? The show is so full of frightening scenes! Believe it or not, the actress who plays Sadie Sink is actually super scared of any blockbuster that’s horror-related.
23. The Kids Had Great Chemistry Before Filming the Show
The kids are great friends behind the scenes too! They quickly got to know each other and created a bond by texting each other in a group chat before filming. When it came to filming their first scene together (the Dungeons and Dragons scene), their chemistry was “electric”.
24. Millie Bobby Brown Actually Floated in That Kiddie Pool
Eleven really did float in a kiddie pool – there were no special effects! The show’s runners followed Mr Clarke’s instructions precisely. Did you know that over 1,200 pounds of epsom salt were dissolved into that pool?! There was so much salt that Millie Bobby Brown “started getting dizzy”!
25. Nancy and Jonathan are Dating in Real Life
Indeed, we have a real-life Stranger Things love story! Actress, Natalia Dyer and actor Charlie Heaton are dating in real life – they’ve been together since 2017! You see, great things do come out of chasing Demogorgons!
26. The Makers Made Sure to Give the Show That Vintage Look
Want to know how they achieve that vintage look throughout the series? Stranger Things is shot on a digital cinema camera with an added layer of scanned film grain. We guess that’s what contributes to it being one of the most expensive TV shows!
27. This was Shannon Purser’s (Barb) First Acting Role
Stranger Things was Shannon Purser’s (Barb) first acting role! It’s a shame we had to see her go so quickly! But we’ll always recognize the star in her future movie and TV roles! She also starred in Riverdale!
28. Steve Had an Alternate Ending
Wondering what sent Nancy back into the arms of Steve at the end of the first series? The Duffer Brothers revealed that they had no original plans to reconcile the two at the end of the season. The actor that played Steve was very “likable and charming” that they ended up tweaking his character and giving him an alternative ending!
29. Little Holly is Played by Twins
Little Holly is played by twins Anniston and Tinsley Price. Most of Holly’s scenes were improvised too! According to The Duffer Brothers, “When Holly watches the family argue in in “Chapter One”… When she gets upset by Dustin and sinks into her chair in “Chapter Two”… When Joyce asks if she saw something in the wall and she confidently replies “yes”… None of that was scripted.”
30. A Van was Actually Thrown into the Air
Remember that iconic scene from season one when Eleven flipped a van over into the air? Well, Tell Tales can reveal that the scene was very much real. Not, the Eleven part, of course. Special effect coordinator Caius Man told Buzzfeed, “We towed one [van] down the street, and the van had in it two nitrogen cannons, two nitrogen sleeves that fired a high-density plastic slug out of the bottom of them to push it up into the air.”
31. Millie and Dacre Montgomery Lost their Voices
Eleven and Billie’s confrontational scene at the end of season three resulted in the actors losing their voices. There was so much screaming going on during that particular moment, we’re not surprised at this juicy behind the scenes fact!
32. Millie’s Emotions Were Real During that Hopper Scene
Were you also teary-eyed when Eleven read through Hopper’s letter at the end of the third season? Millie Bobby Brown done a great job depicting her emotions. That’s because the actress hadn’t rehearsed that scene at all – she demanded that she read the letter for the first time when actually filming the scene!
We’re sure there will be more strange and surprising facts about Stranger Things that’ll unfold as the seasons go by. Keep up with Tell Tales to stay updated!
For now, why not treat yourself to some awesome Stranger Things merchandise that all fans of the show should own?