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Stranger Things’ Natalia Dyer is sick of seeing her co-stars “oversexualised” by tabloids

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Kayleigh Dray
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Natalia Dyer attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

“I feel protective over the younger kids,” explains Stranger Things star Natalia Dyer. 

Stranger Things’ Natalia Dyer is currently promoting her new film, Yes God Yes, in which she plays a 16-year-old Catholic girl who finds herself plagued by “lustful” thoughts after an AOL chat turns unexpectedly racy.

The film, as previously revealed by Stylist, beautifully and sensitively explores all of the conflicting feelings that surround female sexuality and masturbation: the guilt, the shame, and the pleasure. 

As such, the coming-of-age dramedy currently boasts a 93% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Teenage sexuality is funny and beautiful and awkward and embarrassing,” Dyer explained, when speaking about the movie during an interview with The Independent

“I think it’s such a strange concept to take something that feels so instinctual and turn it into something bad.”

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While Yes God Yes works hard to dismantle the taboos surrounding teen sexuality, though, Dyer was quick to shut down the media’s portrayal of her Stranger Things co-stars (Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, was listed as one of the reasons TV is “sexier than ever when she was just 13).

“There are so many layers going on here,” she said. “I generally feel like, to me, it’s oversexualising them. I feel protective over the younger kids even though they’re not kids anymore, they’re teens.

“They’re all great people and all having to grow up in very crazy circumstances. As a private person, I just feel like, leave people alone – unless you’re talking about their work or what they want to talk about.”

Stranger Things 3: pay close attention
The Stranger Things cast.

Adding that the sexualisation of young actors is a “cultural issue,” Dyer added: “It’s a very tricky and complex issue.

“There must be a bigger concept behind it as to why. Just let people be the people that they are, without any judgement.”

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Dyer is not the first to defend the Stranger Things kids, of course. Indeed, Sophie Turner famously came to the defence of 14-year-old Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler in the hit Netflix show, when a video showing him walking into his hotel, without stopping to take photos with the waiting crowd, surfaced online.

“Damn… seeing fully grown adults wait outside the Stranger Things kids hotels etc., and then abuse them when they don’t stop for them is super weird,” she said at the time.

“A. What adult in their right mind waits for a CHILD outside their hotel and B is then offended when the CHILD doesn’t stop?” 

Finn Wolfhard (second from left) with his Stranger Things co-stars (L-R) Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp and Gaten Matarazzo.

“It doesn’t matter if they are an actor… they are kids first,” Turner added.

“Give them the space they need in order to grow without feeling like they owe anyone anything for living their childhood dreams.”

Yes God Yes is available to stream on Amazon Prime for just £4.49. You can find out more about the film here.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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