The new season of “Strangers Things” introduces the show’s first openly LGBTQ character, and fans couldn’t be happier.
“Stranger Things 3” Spoilers Ahead
In the seventh episode of “Stranger Things 3”, the character Robin, played by Maya Hawke, comes out to her co-worker Steve, played by Joe Keery.
Up until that point in the season, the plot appears to be setting the two up as love interests, and Hawke spoke about the twist in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“The great thing about ‘Stranger Things’ is it has such a reach and so many people watch it in the middle of the country. Even a little gesture like having a gay character is a big deal,” she said. “It feels wonderful to have a piece of that humanity involved in this giant action-packed drama. It’s such an amazing thing the Duffer Brothers did, stopping the whole show — there’s an action scene going on [elsewhere in the episode] — and it stops for a seven-minute conversation between two people who really care about each other. It’s a really beautiful thing. I feel really lucky that I got to play that.”
The actress, daughter to Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, also commented on how Robin’s coming out was built into the character’s journey over the course of the season.
“Robin starts the season with a lot of hard walls. The more she gets involved with this mystery, the more herself she becomes,” she explained. “The reason she has all these hard walls is that she doesn’t feel like she fits in. She feels like an odd one out. She’s gay, and nobody knows that. There’s a lot she’s bored by, and there’s a lot she’s too nervous to express about herself that makes a person put up a lot of walls.
“But once these other characters start to reveal themselves to her, and once she gets to be on the front of a mission, her personality really comes through because she feels like herself. She can use her abilities and be useful, and nothing makes a person feel better than being useful.”
Both her parents could not be prouder. “Some of you may have missed her in last year’s BBC production of Little Women. Some of you may have missed her work at Juilliard. I know many missed out on numerous high school productions — heck I even missed a few and I’m her father,” her father wrote on Instagram. “Some of you may know her music, some may not. But Ladies & Gentleman, get to know MAYA HAWKE. She’s the real thing.”
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Some of you may have missed her in last year’s BBC production of Little Women. Some of you may have missed her work at Juilliard. I know many missed out on numerous high school productions — heck I even missed a few and I’m her father. Some of you may know her music, some may not. But Ladies & Gentleman, get to know MAYA HAWKE. She’s the real thing. #StrangerThings
Thurman also added a post of her own congratulating her daughter, captioning the picture of Maya floating in a pool, “My victorious loving mermaid daughter. A weekend of triumph on ‘Stranger Things’. Congratulations beloved.”
GLAAD is giving the “Stranger Things” storyline its stamp of approval to the show. “GLAAD is thrilled to see Netflix continuing to be a home for great LGBTQ characters,” the organization’s director of entertainment media, Jeremy Blacklow, tells The Blast. “Maya’s character of Robin on ‘Stranger Things’ is yet another step forward for LGBTQ storytelling in the teen drama genre. And the fact that show is so widely watched around the world by such diverse audiences means that its impact is all the more significant.”
Meanwhile, fans of the show took to social media to celebrate the character’s coming out.