- Shawn Levy revealed that Winona was baffled by the concept of streaming
- He said the actress asked ‘what Netflix is’ at their first production meeting
- Stranger Things has gone on to become one of streaming’s biggest hit shows
While the series has become one of the streaming giant’s most popular original shows, Shawn Levy, who serves as director and executive producer on the sci-fi smash, revealed that the 52-year-old leading lady admitted to being entirely baffled by the concept of streaming during an initial meeting with the production team.
‘She opened by asking, “What is Netflix? What is streaming? Is it like TV but different?”‘ Levy recalled during an interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
‘She opened by asking, “What is Netflix? What is streaming? Is it like TV but different?”‘ Levy recalled.
‘That was the starting point… Yeah, Winona took a little onboarding to explain this emerging form of storytelling called Netflix and streaming.’
In the series, Winona plays Joyce Byers – Will (Noah Schnapp) and Jonathan’s (Charlie Heaton) anxiety-ridden, single mother who will do anything to make sure her children are safe.
She was one of the original cast members to join Stranger Things, which premiered in 2016.
By that time, Netflix had been running its streaming services for nine years – having launched on-demand online video back in 2007, evolving from its previous DVD rental service.
Even though she may not have been with the current times in 2016, Winona was able to provide her expertise on the 1980s.
Stranger Things seasons one through four take place between the years of 1983 and 1986. Winona was a teenager at the time, acting in Beetlejuice and Heathers.
Because of this, she was very in-tune with pop culture at the time and has been able to point out inaccuracies in the Stranger Things scripts.
Her co-star David Harbour, who plays grizzly town cop Hopper, testified to her ability while speaking with Harper’s Bazaar.
‘She’d tell them: “This song actually came out in ’85, and you have it in ’83,”‘ he recalled. ‘She knew all of these minute, tiny details they didn’t even know, and they had to change things in the script based on that.’
Winona and the rest of the Stranger Things cast and crew are gearing up for season five.
Now that the WGA strike is over, the writers are back to work on penning the new season.
However, filming won’t be able to start until the SAG-AFTRA strike ends.
Fortunately for the Stranger Things cast, they’ve already been promised a raise for the upcoming season.
Winon and her co-star David are set to make $9.5 million for the entirety of season five, according to Puck News.
Meanwhile, for season four, they made $2.8 million, which is over a third less.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting the new season which, due to the strike, is now set to release in 2025.
Even though season five is still in the writing phase, Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer have teased plenty about what fans can expect.
‘We know what the ending is,’ they told SFX.
‘It’s conceivable that it changes but I think it’s unlikely because it’s one of those endings that just feels, and has always felt, right. It also feels sort of inevitable.
‘Then when you come up with it, you’re like, “Oh yeah well, that is absolutely what is has to be.”
They have also hinted that there will be more character development than ever before.
‘Characters are already going to be in action, they’re already going to have a goal and a drive, and I think that’s going to carve out at least a couple hours and make this season feel really different,’ they explained.
David has also revealed that the cast receives early drafts of each season and that from what he had read, season five goes to further extremes than any other season has.
‘It’s a hell of an undertaking, too. The set pieces and things in the scripts we saw are bigger than anything we’ve done in the past,’ he said during an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused podcast.
‘You gotta imagine where it starts after where Season 4 ended, when you watch us on that hill looking at the ash and smoke… and we’re gonna start somewhere after that. You gotta imagine the world is a different place.’
David Harbour also said he knows how the series ends, and it’s going to be ‘very, very moving.’