'Stranger Things' Star Natalia Dyer Opens Up About Sexual Discrimination Storyline in Season 3
"[Nancy has] grown into a woman who's confident and she knows she's smart, but this is one of the first times that the world is pushing back," Dyer says of her character on the Netflix series.
In the third season of Netflix's Stranger Things, which released on July 4, viewers see Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) landing summer jobs at The Hawkins Post, only to have Nancy be faced with workplace harassment and sexual discrimination by her older male reporters in a storyline that still rings relevant in the current #MeToo climate.
Dyer sat down with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to speak about the importance of her character's storyline, saying, “It was happening then, it's still happening, but I think to see that in a show that’s very fun and there’s a lot of fun elements and it's a fun thing to watch, I'm glad they threw that in there and gave Nancy this chance to push up against a different kind of conflict. Because she's grown into a woman who's confident and she knows she’s smart, but this is one of the first times that the world is pushing back."
She goes on to explain that while Nancy is "so angry" with being belittled by her male superiors and never taken seriously, it also helps her to grow.
"It’s so relatable. And, of course, it's a period show — and to see that and be like, 'Oh yeah, the '80s.' But to recognize that people are obviously still feeling this so much. It's easy for a woman, for me, to go in there. I know what this feels like," she says. "Of course, I do know what this feels like to be looked down upon by older men and underestimated, and I think that's a very relatable thing. So I'm very curious to see how people will react."
Dyer also spoke about her hopes for Nancy beyond season three as she heads into the next adventure. (Stranger Things has yet to be renewed.) "I really like the direction she's going in," she says. "I keep being very adamant. I'm like, 'Nancy cannot go to college.' Nothing against college, but if you went through all of this stuff, how could you go sit through [class]?"
She adds, "But who knows? The [Duffer brothers] always pull through and write amazing storylines for everybody, and they think of things you could never think of. But I can't see Nancy backing down."
Season three of Stranger Things is streaming now on Netflix.