Warning: SPOILERS lie ahead for Stranger Things season 4.
After a three-year wait, Stranger Things season 4 is finally here and setting up an exciting final season. The latest chapter of the series finds Hawkins coming under attack from a terrifying new foe dubbed Vecna with seeming ties to both Eleven and the Upside Down.
Joseph Quinn is a series newcomer in Stranger Things season 4 as Eddie Munson, leader of the local Dungeons & Dragons club, the Hellfire Club, and occasional drug dealer to Hawkins High students. Eddie witnesses Vecna’s first kill and subsequently works with his Hellfire Club friends, Dustin, Mike and Erica and their group to put a stop to the dangerous new monster.
Ahead of volume 2’s premiere, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with Joseph Quinn to discuss Stranger Things season 4, his nerves at joining the Netflix series, his character’s tragic fate, preparing for his epic music sequence and more.
Screen Rant: I’m excited to talk about these final two Stranger Things season 4 episodes. I’m gonna put a disclaimer out now, we get to get into some spoilers. Are you prepared for the riots that are about to happen?
Joseph Quinn: Oh, I do not know. I’ve been texting the Duffers a little bit, and they’ve been kind of saying that they’ve been bracing themselves slightly. But yeah, we’ll see what happens. There’s nothing we can do about it! [Laughs]
What was it like for you when you got the scripts and you saw what was ultimately going to become Eddie’s fate?
Joseph Quinn: I just remember kind of thinking, “What the f – k, really?” I do not know where they come up with this stuff, truly. I thought it was so inventive and ingenious and brave. Then I quickly ran and bought the guitar, that kind of was the order of proceedings.
With the guitar mentioned, I am curious, were you familiar with playing a guitar prior to that?
Joseph Quinn: I’ve been playing since I was young, but I was into piano at the time and did not have one. I just remember kind of thinking, “Okay, I need to get as familiar with this as I possibly can,” The next day, I started practicing and did that manically until the day we filmed.
Did you actually learn to play Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” or did you just kind of familiarize yourself with the basics of guitar?
Joseph Quinn: I learned to play the song or at least as much as I was gonna need to be able to play, everything but the solo. We got this amazing guy, I think his name was Aiden, who came in to do more complex stuff because yeah, it’s pretty fast, that song, so I did the best that I could and then he did all the tricky stuff. But it was great fun, these moments are so rare in an actor’s career to have something that felt this epic and brave and being able to be trusted to try and pull it off was an immense privilege, I’m very lucky.
You and Gaten Matarazzo have had a great rapport throughout this season, but these final two episodes really hammer home that emotion between you two. What was it like for you filming those final moments with him?
Joseph Quinn: It was such a treat. He is an extraordinary, talented actor. He is 20 now, but I think the whole world has marveled at his abilities. For someone so young, he got such a presence and he’s so playful. I think being able to get into that complex, emotional stuff with him was such a great thing and to explore that fraternal love and ultimately that fraternal separation was, I would say, one of the highlights of this whole crazy experience for me being able to get into that with him. I will not forget that.
That’s amazing, that’s what you always hope for when you work on a project.
Joseph Quinn: Absolutely, joining Stranger Things is obviously mental, but you never know who you’re gonna get put together with. I’ve been so lucky with the people that I’ve been put with. In fact, I could not pick [one]but I definitely am very, very grateful for the moments I have with Gaten.
I also love your moments with Joe Keery on the show, you too had such a great banter throughout. What was it like building that rapport and chemistry with him?
Joseph Quinn: I think it’s kind of weird. You either have it or you do not in this thing, and they’re really funny people; they’re great people and they do not take themselves too seriously. I think when you’re fortunate enough to be put together with people like that, then this is just fun and hopefully the camera picks that up. He’s a funny, funny, funny boy.
One of the things that I found really fascinating about this season is that the Duffers have admitted they regret killing off Chrissy, given how much chemistry was evident between you and Grace Van Dien for your scene in the woods. How does it feel looking back on that scene with all the love from fans that has come since?
Joseph Quinn: Well, it’s a difficult negotiation, isn’t it? Again, I was fortunate enough to be working with the brilliant Grace Van Dien, and I think a less competent actress would not have made those scenes sing in the way that she did and make the audience care about her with the amount of time that she had on the screen. That’s a testament to her.
Hindsight can always be a bit of a motherf —- r, but there’s not really much you can do about it and there’s a lot of characters in the show already. It would have been great to have been able to work with Grace some more, but hopefully onto the next one, and I’ll see you down the road. But, as I’ve said, when it’s in the script, it’s in the can. What can you do?
Sometimes you got to take risks. That was certainly one of the biggest risks that they took this season, and it worked.
Joseph Quinn: Yeah, that moment at the end of episode 1 is a real statement of intent for the rest of the season. I do not think that people see it coming. Chrissy is very much established as a lead character in that initial episode, and I think that payoff is very, very powerful. However, it would have been great to have had her in more of the season. Thankfully, I’m not making any of those calls.
Yeah, it would have been nice. But at the same time, I was personally horrified.
Joseph Quinn: Okay, so it’s like that. I remember in the first session of ADR that I had, they were like, “Should we show you the death?” and I was like, “Yeah, sure.” They showed me and I was like, “There’s no way you’re gonna get away with that, Netflix aren’t gonna let you do that.” But they did and yeah, I think it’s f — ng horrible.
You put it perfectly there. Now that you’ve gotten a taste of the horror genre with this season, are you looking forward to hopefully exploring that further?
Joseph Quinn: Totally! I think this show is a hybrid of so many different genres. There’s a sentiment to it that is reminiscent of those great Spielberg films of the ’80s and early’ 90s, and then there is this genre spine that real horror nerds can really sink their teeth into. I would love it.
I’m not in control of anything that happens to me in my career. The only thing that you can say is that you have any power of what you say yes or no to, if you have that privilege. I’m open to anything.
One of the things that I love about Stranger Thingsand especially about Eddie, is how it’s really helped popularize Dungeons & Dragons for general audiences. Were you a fan of that game before coming on to the show?
Joseph Quinn: I was not, I’m not going to pretend to be. [Chuckles] I had obviously heard of it, I did a very minimal amount of research to build up to doing it, but yeah, I can not say that I’ve left this job with the obsession for Dungeons & Dragons, but I have the utmost respect for that community.
It’s an acquired taste, I will grant you that.
Joseph Quinn: We did this press Dungeons & Dragons game with Priah, Finn, Gaten and myself and it was so fun. I think you just need an amazing Dungeon Master, because there’s a performance to it and it was a great laugh. Maybe further down the road.
You just gotta find the right group. So as emotional as these final two episodes are, I think one of the most touching is Gaten’s scene with your Eddie’s uncle where he is having give the truth but still curve around it. Have you seen that scene, what were your thoughts on it?
Joseph Quinn: I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t seen the finale yet, I’m going to watch it tonight with my family, I’m staying at my dad’s tonight, so I think we’re gonna watch it. But I’ve heard from everyone that he nailed it, so I’ll text you tomorrow.
There we go, I’ll get your reaction then. So how are you feeling leading up to the premiere of these two episodes, especially after the first batch was so well received?
Joseph Quinn: How am I feeling? I’m certainly more encouraged than I was and it’s been such a prolonged process with the pandemic and with the ambition of the season, there was no way that it couldn’t be just a mammoth process. So I think with the first batch of episodes coming out, I was very relieved to have not ruined Stranger Things, or that kind of what I gathered from people’s reactions. So yeah, there’s been a big exhale with this next batch.
As I said, I haven’t seen 9 yet, I’m just kind of curious and intrigued to see how they tie it all together. I think it’s a remarkable achievement in storytelling to spin these three plates over nine episodes and keep them all spinning. It’s a testament to the production and to the brothers’ vision, so yeah, to be a part of it is an extraordinary thing. It is very rare and I feel very, very blessed. I think getting these two out there will draw a line under the whole experience, which will be kind of sad, but I think it will be helpful and there’ll be some closure there, which I think will be nice.
Stranger Things Season 4 Synopsis
It has been six months since the Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time – and navigating the complexities of high school hasn’t made things any easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery that, if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.
Check out our interviews with Stranger Things stars Noah Schnapp, Charlie Heaton & Eduardo Franco, Robert Englund, as well as Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Sadie Sink & Priah Ferguson.
More: Hang On, Did Stranger Things’ Other Characters Just Forget About Eddie?
Stranger Things season 4 is now streaming in its entirety on Netflix.
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