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Stranger Things creators respond to Sadie Sink’s ‘stress’ inducing, controversial kiss

‘What! No! That’s not in the script’

Stranger Things 2 - Max Mayfield, a young woman with red hair, plays an arcade game.
Sadie Sink in Stranger Things 2.

Stranger Things showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer reiterated that the two were teasing Sadie Sink and the rest of the young cast after a bit from Beyond Stranger Things revealed what some believed to be an inappropriate response to a big on-set kiss.

[Warning: The following may contain some spoilers for Stranger Things 2.]

“We're just teasing them,” Matt Duffer said at an event at Chapman University -- the two’s alma mater -- last week. “No they all love it.”

The moment may have been sweet for viewers — who watched the two deal with monsters, supernatural evil and racism for a season — it was different for Sink.

Sink, who plays new girl Max on Netflix’s insanely popular show Stranger Things, recalled her character’s first kiss with Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) on Beyond Stranger Things, Netflix’s Stranger Things 2 after show.

“The kiss was not written in the script,” Sink said, adding that when she was told about the scene, she stressed out for an entire day.

“I get there, the first day of Snowball … one of you, I think it was you, Ross, you say, ‘Ooh, Sadie, you ready for the kiss?’ I’m like, ‘What! No! That’s not in the script … that’s not happening,” Sink said. “So the whole day I was like stressed out. I was like ‘oh my god, wait, am I gonna have to … and it didn’t happen that day, but then the second day of Snow Ball.”

She was joined on the show by the showrunners, who teased her after she expressed how stressed she was about the scene.

“You reacted so strongly to this — I was just joking — and you were so freaked out that I was like, ‘Well, I gotta make her do it now,” Ross said. “That’s what happened, that’s why I’m saying it’s your fault.”

Some on the internet reacted strongly to the exchange, which they saw as ignorant of a young girl’s concerns. Kate Erbland over at Indiewire wrote that it was up to the Duffer Brothers to make Sink and the rest of the actors feel comfortable, not tease them.

“If an actor — of any age, any experience level — so clearly doesn’t want to do something, it’s up to the directors in charge to work through those concerns, all the better for art, all the better for the experience,” she wrote.

In response to this reaction, the Duffer Brothers said it was all in good fun, in line with how actors in their young teens might react to kissing. Ross said there was “drama” on both sides.

“They're 13-year-old kids and there's a lot of drama going around with the kissing on both boys and girls,” Ross said at the Chapman event. “I don't know. We had a lot of fun. They all enjoy it.”

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