Day 6

'It's pretty scary': Canada's Finn Wolfhard dishes on the next season of Stranger Things

Season 3 of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things drops July 4. That means more portals to the Upside Down, more secret government experiments and more bad '80s hair.

'It does everything the second season does but just kind of amps it up a little bit'

Finn Wolfhard stars as Mike Wheeler in Stranger Things, the popular '80s-inspired Netflix series. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
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When the hit Netflix series Stranger Things returns for its third season in July, Canadian actor Finn Wolfhard promises it will be darker than previous runs.

"It's not like Rosemary's Baby, but it's pretty scary," he told Day 6 guest host Jorge Barrera.

The 16-year-old Vancouver actor and frontman for indie band Calpurnia revealed what viewers can expect from the latest season — and why he's lobbying politicians to loosen rules on music venues.

Wolfhard spoke to Barrera from New York City. Here's part of their conversation.

So another round in the Upside Down. How do you feel about Season 3 of Stranger Things?

I'm really, really proud of it. It's my favourite season so far. I hope everyone else thinks so too.

Season 2 was really dark. What does Season 3 have in store for us?

I mean, honestly, if you couldn't handle the darkness of Season 2, you probably won't handle the darkness of Season 3 ... It's not like Rosemary's Baby, but it's pretty scary.

It does everything the second season does, but just kind of amps it up a little bit in the best possible way. Now there's more comedy and there's more romance and adventure.

You know for a lot of people, Stranger Things is appealing because it nods to the '80s movies they grew up with — E.T. and Close Encounters and others. You were born 20 years after those came out. How do you relate to that era?

I grew up watching all those movies so there's something nice about being in something that's set in the '80s. 

It doesn't feel so out of the ordinary because I'm so used to seeing the kind of hair and the kind of clothes and the kind of shoes and kind of music, so I was already kind of used to it. 

What is it that you like about the '80s?

There's something about the independence of it. Like kids could just go off on their bikes and just be home later, you know. 

There [were] no cellphones so you could get lost and have an adventure without having your parents go crazy and worry for a while.

Wolfhard, right, speak onstage with co-stars Noah Schnapp, left, and Gaten Matarazzo, centre, during the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for MTV)

I've seen other interviews where you dig the music of the '70s and stuff, and you're into vinyl. But you're also making your own music; you have your own rock band, Calpurnia, which is named after Atticus Finch's housekeeper in To Kill a Mockingbird

Your band's EP is also called Scout, so what's up with all these To Kill a Mockingbird references?

I was a huge fan of that character from To Kill a Mockingbird, she was always my favourite character. And it also just sounded [like] a great band name. So let's just keep going with the To Kill a Mockingbird references.

When you're on stage with your guitar and singing with a band, or I suppose when you're you're acting in a cast, how do you go from one type of performance to another? Do you actually have a persona?

I definitely do have a persona onstage. I definitely am a completely different person, but I'm still having a lot of fun and there's a lot of acting that goes into it. 

But I haven't been playing many shows when I'm working on acting as much because it's tiring, number one. And number two, it's hard for your mind to makeup what it wants to do. 

So I've definitely tried separating them as much as possible and that's helped a lot.

Finn Wolfhard, Malcolm Craig, Ayla Tesler-Mabe and Jack Anderson of Calpurnia perform at the 2019 Governors Ball Festival at Randall's Island. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Speaking of doing shows and going to shows, earlier this year you posted a YouTube video that you then tweeted out adding a couple B.C. politicians and the B.C. legislature. What was that about?

Thank you for noticing that video because no one did. So the music scene is completely dead in B.C. There are some great DIY bands and, you know, I know a bunch of bands, but kids aren't into music in Vancouver. It's just not a thing. 

They go to Rogers Arena, which is the big arena, and they see the biggest people that are way overpriced. And they're being shielded away from artists that they may love and enjoy for the rest of their lives — and find an actual calling and a creative inspiration. 

So you have to be 19 and up to go to 99 per cent of shows in Vancouver, and I just think it's really dumb. And I think it's reckless on these adults behalf that are running the country. They're keeping art and music away from the youth and that's not right. 

You can go to a hockey game and people are drinking way more there and people are punching each other and getting in fights in the stands and on the ice. So I don't understand why you can't go to a little small club where they serve alcohol. 

A bunch of my favourite bands are playing this year and I can't even get in because they just won't [let me in] ... I tweeted that out too a few B.C. legislative people, and I tagged them and I know they can see it and they just didn't respond. 

I think that goes to another thing that is part of Stranger Things, right, where no one really believes Mike, Dustin, Lucas until it's too late because everybody's facing the Upside Down. 

And you talked about how these rules are keeping kids from enjoying the music and maybe hurting the music industry as a whole. But tell me about sort of the disconnect between the youth and the adults who run the world basically.

It's always been like that. I feel like since the day there were two people and they first had their first child on the earth, I feel like it was just like, 'This is my son, he's going to do what I say because I'm the first man.' 

I was raised in a household where kids' opinions were just as valued as adults and I think that was important for me. So the last few years, the music industry is getting younger and younger people are directing film and a lot of people are doing more art and being successful with it. So I think it's definitely changing for the better.


To hear the full interview with Finn Wolfhard, download our podcast or click 'Listen' above.

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