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NewsHow Stranger Things Keeps Its Cast (And Crew) Young

How Stranger Things Keeps Its Cast (And Crew) Young

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In season four, the reinvented ’80s actor is Robert Englund—best known for his role as Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare on Elm Street movies—who will play Victor Creel, a disturbed man accused of a terrible murder in 1950s Hawkins.

“I had the good fortune of directing Robert in some of his stuff for this season, and the only thing more fun than meeting and working with Robert was watching the Duffers meet and chat with Robert,” says Levy. “In fact, as I recall it, Matt Duffer came to meet Robert with a Nightmare on Elm Street t-shirt on. That’s what beautiful, gorgeous nerds the Duffer brothers are.”

Dungeons & Dragons, a popular pastime of the ’70s and ’80s, has also played a key role in Stranger Things, providing contextual names for the show’s supernatural creatures. The Demogorgon gave way to the Mind Flayer, and season four will introduce Vecna, a name straight out of the D&D Monster Manual.

“I think it’s such an interesting early decision that we made on the show to give these names to our supernatural characters and phenomena that we don’t claim to have made up,” Levy says. “It’s literally our characters in the world of the show finding language for the crazy stuff that is going on in Hawkins.”

Levy is aware that Stranger Things is often accused of over-indulging in nods to ’80s pop culture, but, since these days, more people are likely to associate the term “Demogorgon” with the show than with D&D, they can hardly be blamed for continuing the tradition. 

“I love the meta level of the fact that even the characters in Stranger Things use cultural references to understand the supernatural occurrences,” Levy enthuses. “And Vecna is a significant one both in D&D lore but also in what’s about to be Stranger Things lore. It’s literally these words that people think we made up… but no, it’s characters in Stranger Things appropriating the lexicon of D&D.

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