Ahead of the release of the final episodes of Stranger Things season 4 in a couple of days, Sadie Sink has opened up about what we can expect from Max’s riveting journey.
In the world of TV, Stranger Things is all anyone is talking about right now. Since the first action-packed part of the fourth season aired in May, the Duffer Brothers’ sci-fi horror series has smashed streaming records to become Netflix’s most popular English-language series of all time and is trending on just about every social media platform (and WhatsApp chat) going.
Alongside all the usual romantic angst, supernatural threats from the Upside Down and compelling character moments from the Hawkins heroes, one thing became indisputably clear in the latest instalment: Sadie Sink is an an absolute icon.
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As Stranger Things fans will know, Max has been an integral part of the most recent run. Struggling with grief and guilt following the death of her brother, Billy, during The Battle Of Starcourt, Max became one of monstrous villain Vecna’s targets when she visits Billy’s headstone. In the ensuing fight in the Mind Lair, the gang manages to save Max’s life by playing her favourite song, Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, thus opening a portal back to the real world. Not only did Sink’s emotional performance become a viral TV moment, but it sent Bush’s 80s track back to the top of the charts.
With the release of the epic, movie-length finale within touching distance, the actor has opened up about what we can expect from Max’s journey in the final few episodes, explaining that her character will have to “be braver than she’s ever been before”.
“Max’s journey in volume two, I think, is about how she has to make some really brave choices,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
“And she has already, but I think she has to really step up and be braver than she’s ever been before. So, that was a nice side of her to see; taking charge of her own life, her own fate and kind of taking a stand, which she’s always been good at, but this is to the extreme. So, it’s nice to see that fiercer side of her, which we caught kind of a glimpse of through the last bit of episode four when she’s choosing to fight. So I guess just a little bit more of that.”
Sink went on to say that while Max had a traumatic episode falling under Vecna’s spell, her resistance will have brought home the realisation that friendship is stronger than fear.
“I think the biggest realisation that Max has is in episode four: she has that letter,” she continued. “She has that interaction with Vecna/Billy, where he’s kind of vocalising to her the darkest thoughts that she’s been having throughout the past few months, scary thoughts of her thinking that she wants to give up and thinking it’s all her fault and that everything she touches just is destroyed.
“So, to have that right in front of her and then uncovering all of the deepest, darkest, most vulnerable thoughts that she has, and then to be in a position where her life is on the line, but to see her friends showing up to her and choosing to fight, I think was a really powerful moment for her.
“The heart of the season and the entire show is based upon the idea that friendship is stronger than fear. So, I think that really comes to play in that moment for Max. Throughout every season of the show, it all comes back to friendship being stronger than fear, and I think she realises that for herself in that moment.”
While Max emerged victorious in her battle against Vecna, the villainous monster’s ability to curse people by invading their minds and retraumatising with their darkest moments, ultimately killing them, surely means that more proposed victims are lined up in the final few episodes.
When asked who she thought Vecna might prey upon next, Sink speculated that Joyce Byers (played by Winona Ryder) might succumb to his grasp.
“I mean, it really is interesting because all of these characters have gone through so much,” she continued. “They’ve had these joint experiences together and so all of them have trauma, but I think they all cope in different ways or move on in different ways or have better outlets than others.”
“I would say, I mean, Eleven is kind of an easy target, and so is Will, but I feel like Will has already been possessed, and I feel like Eleven is impossible to possess. So, besides them, maybe Joyce? Joyce has been through a lot. I worry about her sometimes, but yeah, I would probably say Joyce or Hopper, maybe.”
As we wait with bated breath to see if the beloved gang make it out alive, it remains to be seen whether listening to music will be enough to help them escape the grave danger that is sure to come in Stranger Things season four volume two. As Robin (Maya Hawke) says in the volume two teaser: “I have a terrible feeling it might not work out for us this time.” One things’s for sure: this epic showdown is going to be emotional.
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