Winona Ryder's Special 'Stranger Things' Role Revealed by David Harbour

Winona Ryder seems to be a secret weapon for the Duffer Brothers on the set of Stranger Things. While she's a great actress and holds it down as Joyce Byers in the series, she is also the resident '80s trivia factory for everybody off-camera. Co-star David Harbour spoke about this in an interview with Harper's Bazaar ahead of the final episodes of the current season premiering on Netflix.

As Harbour tells the outlet, Ryder is always there to give feedback on the scripts from Matt and Ross Duffer. She does her part to keep the 1980s references and ideas in place, and correct. Accuracy is key, and this allows the show to be spot on with its tiny details.

"She'd tell them, 'This song actually came out in '85, and you have it in '83,'" Harbour said. "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...It's just kind of epic how wild her mind is and how it goes to all these different corners."

Ryder's career kicked off in the '80s, with her first role coming in Lucas, with Corey Haim, Charlie Sheen and Kerri Green. From there she was in Beetlejuice, Heathers, Mermaids, Edward Scissorhands, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Reality Bites, and many more. She experienced all the ups and downs, with those eras in her DNA.

According to Rolling Stone, it's something that the actress hopes to pass along to the young stars of Stranger Things. Ryder has taken up the role of mentor for the youngins, especially Millie Bobby Brown.


"I want the kids to understand, this does not happen...This is really unusual. And I'm always telling them, 'The work is the reward!' Because when I was that age, it was so hard to enjoy the fruits of my labor," Ryder said. "This business is brutal. You're working constantly, but if you want to take a break, they tell you, 'If you slow down, it's going to stop.' And then it did slow down. So then you're hearing, 'It's going to be impossible to come back.' And then that changes to, 'You're not even part of the conversation.' Like, it was brutal."

The effort is evident to everybody on set, including Ross Duffer. "I think she's really helped them. I know she's specifically helped Millie [Bobby Brown] a lot to work through that. And that's something that no one else can help with, really, because so few people have experienced it. It's not something I understand. It's not something that, you know, even a parent would understand," Duffer said. The final two episodes of Stranger Things season 4 premiered on Netflix July 1.