5:45am PT by Chris Gardner
Barb Takes Hollywood: 'Stranger Things' Breakout Meets Casting Directors and Lands a Movie
Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer have promised "justice for Barb" in season two of Netflix's recently renewed breakout hit, but the actress who plays bespectacled high-schooler Barbara Holland is already finding justice in her career.
Shannon Purser — the 19-year-old Atlanta-area native who made her acting debut playing the character who has become a cult phenomenon, inspiring a trending hashtag on Twitter (#JusticeForBarb), various memes and even a recent spoof on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon — recently traveled to L.A. for a week meetings with top local casting directors in the industry, sitting down with executives at ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Sony, Warner Bros., TNT/TBS, and Marvel, among others.
TNT/TBS manager of casting Mike Page posted a photo on Aug. 31 of a meet and greet with Purser. "Today was our turn to meet Barb from Stranger Things," Page posted. "Such a sweet and delightful girl! Love her and love Barb! #StandWithBarb #JusticeForBarb #StrangerThings #TNT #TBS #Casting."
Purser’s manager, Matt Shelton of LINK Entertainment, tells THR: “It's been a whirlwind of an experience to have such a high level of excitement surrounding Shannon, and the types of meetings and projects coming her way. It's a true testament to the layers and nuance she was able to build into the character to help it resonate with the audience the way it has, and of course, a little luck.”
In addition to a follow-up role on The CW's Archie reboot Riverdale, THR has learned that she’s set for a small role opposite Melissa McCarthy in the upcoming feature film Life of the Party, co-written by McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone and to be directed by the latter.
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.