9 Things To Know About Caleb McLaughlin, Star of 'Stranger Things'

9 Things To Know About Caleb McLaughlin, Star of 'Stranger Things'

The rising star talks to VMAN about preparing for Stranger Things, his personal style, and the dreams he hopes to achieve.

The rising star talks to VMAN about preparing for Stranger Things, his personal style, and the dreams he hopes to achieve.

Text: Danielle Combs

When it comes to Stranger Things, the most popular number is rightfully, Eleven. But in another sense, the core number happens to be four. The Netflix series, which premiered its entire second season on October 27, draws from many influences and can cite a number of different origins, but the core of the show resides within the friendship of four young individuals: Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson and Will Byers—played by Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo and Noah Schnapp, respectively.

In season two, several new figures emerge in the town of Hawkins, while the older teens and adults step up to the plate with captivating stories of their own. But the four friends—often referred to as “The Party”—remain the driving force of action. Mike remains hell bent on finding the missing Eleven, Lucas and Dustin find themselves battling over the arrival of Mad Max, and Will struggles with the Upside Down. In an exclusive interview for VMAN, star Caleb McLaughlin sits down with us to discuss his passions, goals and what to expect from season two.

Your parents were always involved with performing and you started acting and dancing at a young age, but was there a moment when you realized that you really wanted to be an actor full-time? Or did you just always know?

Caleb: It wasn't my dream to be an actor. I just wanted to be Simba on Broadway because it looked like so much fun. But after performing on Broadway for a few months and then landing my first TV role on Law And Order: SVU, I knew this is what I wanted to do!

What has been the most challenging part of having to adjust to fame with the massive response that Stranger Things has received?

Caleb: The most challenging part of my life is being more conscious of what I say or do because I'm a public figure now.

Stranger Things 2 is supposed to be even more intense for your character Caleb. What was your process like going into the second season? 

Caleb: The process was really exciting and intense at the same time. The expectation for Season 2 was high so I was focused on giving a great performance.

You love video games and so many people love Stranger Things. What do you think it is about fantasy that attracts people, or what do video games do for you?

Caleb: Playing video games for me is an escape and it's so much fun! It gives me a chance to experience a different world. It's a fun to hang out with friends online.

Your social media is extremely uplifting and your advice for other young actors is to always remain positive. Why is it important to you to always remember to be positive in acting and in life?

Caleb: It's important for me to stay positive and always be my biggest fan. It's important for me to believe in me! When no one is cheering me on, I will be cheering for myself. My parents taught me this at an early age. It's important to give positive energy to help other people.

Is it important to you to remember to still be a kid, even though you’re constantly working and on Netflix’s biggest show?

Caleb: No, I don't have a problem being a kid. I don't know who else to be. That's what I am, I'm a kid.

You’ve had some pretty great red carpet looks like at the Emmys. Where do you get your style inspiration?

Caleb: I've always been very particular about my personal style from a young age. My parents encouraged me to have my own sense of style. I would say Russell Westbrook is my style inspiration. He is fashion forward and he takes a lot of fashion risks which I like.

You’ve also worked on other projects on Broadway and The New Edition Story. What other kinds of opportunities do you hope to work on in the future? 

Caleb: I would love to do a feature film and become part of the Marvel family.

You’ve done two projects set in the ‘80s now. What other time periods would you like to travel to through acting?

Caleb: I'm open to travel to any time period because it would give me a chance to expand my acting skills.

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Credits: PHOTOGRAPHED BY JASON BARBAGELOTT AND VAN VAN ALONSO PRODUCED BY MAXWELL N. BURNSTEIN STYLED BY JESSE JAMZ GROOMER TASHA BROWN FOR EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS USING BOBBI BROWN

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