Warning: this article contains spoilers for the second season of Netflix’s Stranger Things, so avoid reading on if you’re not up to date with the show.
The second season of Stranger Things is, if you can believe it, even more terrifying and intense than the first. There’s an army of miniature demogorgons to contend with (and you thought one was bad enough, didn’t you?), not to mention the Mind-Flayer, a fearsome monster that invades the brains and bodies of its victims “just like a virus”. Then there’s Eleven’s spin-off into the world of inner-city crime, that bloody Upside Down invasion of Indiana and the death of a beloved character to deal with, too (rest in peace, Bob: we hardly knew ye).
So, yes, everyone welcomed those final and joyful few minutes of episode nine with open arms: the Snow Ball allowed the kids to get all dressed up, chill out, and have a bit of a slow-dance with each other.
As Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time filled the auditorium, we saw all the lead stars of the series pair off for the big finale. Will (Noah Schnapp) was unexpectedly asked to dance by one of his classmates – who, yes, did refer to him as ‘zombie boy’. Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) finally got that moment of normality that they’d always craved as they swayed together on the dance-floor. Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) enjoyed a heart-warming conversation with Nancy (Natalia Dyer), where she confessed to him that he is her favourite out of all of her brother’s friends. And newcomer Max (Sadie Sink) shared a smooch with Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin).
However, while the emotionally-charged scenes were well-received by viewers watching at home, one moment in particular has come under scrutiny: Sink has, in a new interview, revealed that her own ‘kiss’ was completely “unscripted” – and that it left her feeling deeply anxious.
In a behind-the-scenes movie currently airing on Netflix, the 15-year-old said: “It was not written in the script.
“One of you, I think it was you Ross [Duffer, one of the show’s creators], said: ‘Oh Sadie are you ready for the kiss?’ and I said: ‘What no that’s not in the script, that’s not happening.’
“So the whole day I was stressed out thinking, wait, is this going to happen?”
Duffer then said that the addition of the kiss (filmed in the presence of Sink’s mother) was the teenager’s “fault” because she had gotten so “freaked out” by the thought of it.
“You reacted so strongly to this,” he said. “I was just joking, and you were so freaked out that I was like, ‘Well, I gotta make her do it now.’”
Many viewers have since taken to social media to express their disappointment and disgust at the thought of young actors being made to feel uncomfortable just to get higher ratings.
One viewer went on to state that, after the recent allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, the Duffer brothers absolutely should not joke about ‘forcing’ a kiss on one of their show’s young stars.
“With all the sex c**p in Hollywood right now… [this is] creepy AF,” she said.
Earlier this year, Brown similarly revealed to Variety that her kiss with Wolfhard’s character was a “strange experience”, because it was also her first kiss in real life.
“Having 250 people looking at you kissing someone is like, ‘Whoa!’” she said.
And, just like Sink, Brown was left blindsided by the intimate moment: speaking to Variety, Matt Duffer confirmed that Eleven and Mike’s kiss was also unscripted. The stars were not made aware of the fact that they would be locking lips until the last moment.
“You’d think it’s the end of the world but I guess it’s a big deal,” he said.
“Neither of those kisses were written in the script so we kind of dropped that on them the day off and caused a major panic. But they did it.”
Stranger Things season two is currently streaming on Netflix.