Spoilers for Stranger Things 3 to follow.
Netflix series Stranger Things has delivered plenty of gut-punching, heart-wrenching, misty-eyed moments in its past two seasons. Strangers Things 3, which arrived on July 4, features arguably one of the most emotionally impactful scenes to date.
Centered around Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Hopper’s (David Harbour) adoptive father-daughter relationship, the scene is one of the last ones of the season. With Hopper speaking in voiceover, Eleven reads a speech her dad had prepared about how it was tough for him to accept that she was growing up, but he would because he wanted her to be happy. It was a speech Hopper always intended to give but never got around to doing. Worse still, it unclear if Hopper will ever be able to have that kind of a heart-to-heart with her considering Stranger Things wants us to believe Hopper is dead.
For Brown, who recently opened up to Entertainment Weekly about her role in Season 3, filming this scene was particularly hard. Brown revealed that “they had prerecorded David and they played it out loud,” as they filmed the scene.
Brown continued, explaining she “didn’t want to read that speech. I didn’t want to hear about it. I didn’t want to rehearse it. I just immediately wanted to put a camera on me and find the way I react.”
Capturing Brown at that moment, as she heard and read the letter through Eleven’s eyes for the first time on set, allowed for one of the most authentic and emotional moments to occur. Filming the scene was tough for Brown because she was acting as Eleven, who was in mourning for Hopper, and processing the notion of actually losing Harbour as herself, in real time as the camera rolled.
“The way I reacted was pure devastation and sadness, and a distraught child that just lost her father or so she thinks. So it was definitely a raw emotion, especially because David Harbour and I are really close. He is just one of the greatest men. I think something I admire about David is he respects girls and women so much. It felt so … I’m so gutted and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is horrible.’ So the emotions were raw in that scene for sure.”
That wasn’t the only emotional scene Brown had to film for Season 3, either. She shared with EW what it was like to film the final scenes showing the Byers family — Joyce (Winona Ryder), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), Will (Noah Schnapp), and Eleven, now a member of their family — packing up and moving out of Hawkins.
“It was as emotional as it looked. We all said, ‘Let’s just imagine that this the end of filming forever.’ And we all start immediately crying as soon as they said, action. It felt really genuine and it was like saying goodbye to best friends.”
Even though filming the final episode of Season 3 seemed to put Brown through the wringer, she did hint this about Eleven’s future on the show: “I know things here and there, but nothing deep or something I could tell you about.” Fingers crossed Season 4 ends up happening if only so we can know what this comment from Brown means and we can find out more about what’s next for the rest of the Hawkins, Indiana gang.
For more on Stranger Things 3, peruse the links to our recent coverage below:
- ‘Stranger Things 3’: Maya Hawke & The Duffer Brothers on Robin’s “John Hughes” Moment
- ‘Stranger Things 3’: Let’s Talk About That Credits Scene
- ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3: Dacre Montgomery on Becoming the Show’s Big Bad
- ‘Stranger Things’: Everything We Learned About Season 3 On Set at the Starcourt Mall