No matter how many times the cycle repeats, it’s hard not to recoil in fear each time a child star reaches the level of ubiquity that the Stranger Things cast has achieved. However well-adjusted or mature kids may seem, you can’t account for the potential side effects of being extremely famous through early adolescence.
I don’t doubt that Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, and their co-stars are well-positioned for lengthy, satisfying careers with the right moves, but they’ve certainly faced their share of ravenous weirdos who don’t understand the boundaries and privacy of children. In a new interview with Mastermind Magazine (via Entertainment Weekly), Wolfhard opened up about some of his worst fan experiences during the height of Stranger Things.
“When I was 13, some adults followed me back to my condo when I was shooting It,” Wolfhard said. “Stranger Things had just come out, and I was by myself. As I walked faster, they walked faster, and I was getting a bit antsy by the time I got to the door. Suddenly, they were like, ‘Hey, dude, can we get a selfie?’ And I was like, ‘No you can’t have a selfie! How about don’t follow children?’”
He recalled another case of a fan clearly crossing a line and following him through traffic. “I also had my taxi followed and, out of the taxi, the person continued to be pretty relentless,” he said.
Wolfhard is also an active member of the music industry, between starring in PUP music videos and playing in the band Calpurnia, and has his share of trouble during live shows. “I’ve had to stop shows because people were getting crushed, and Ryan Reynolds almost got injured in Brazil when he went to the barricade,” he said. “It was lucky that the hundred people who fell over it weren’t hurt.”
Between Wolfhard’s run-ins with bad fans and Brown getting pushed off of Twitter due to an ironic but still harmful series of memes, it’s clear that there are more tools than ever to interact with these young stars without considering their emotional well-being. And yet Wolfhard’s stories serve to remind that vampiric fans will always have analog methods for crossing the line, no internet connection required.