The Netflix original series, Stranger Things, is a hit — and some cast members are responding to fans who make demands on the young actors outside the show. Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler on Stranger Things, is not quite yet 15, and apparently was recently addressed by fans outside a hotel. These fans were upset that Finn didn’t interact as fully as they may have hoped, and posted a video on Twitter. Now Finn’s Stranger Things co-stars are responding, reminding viewers that the demands placed on actors can be stressful, especially for a teen.
The video is brief — only 14 seconds. In it, Finn Wolfhard appears to leave a hotel, moving toward a vehicle, and to return again from the vehicle to the door. A small group of fans shouts to him: “I’ve never met you! Can we please get a picture with you?”
The Stranger Things star turns and calls, “Hey,” acknowledging the group, but doesn’t stop for a photo. Then someone in the group can be heard saying, “How rude,” before the video comes to an abrupt end.
In a tweet posted Friday, the video is accompanied by a complaint, calling the young actor heartless, taking credit as fans for Finn’s success, and suggesting that he should have stopped for them.
“Imagine being 14 and heartless that you can’t even stop for your fans who made you famous in the first place! WOW.”
Wolfhard’s verified Twitter account was tagged in the tweet, but he hasn’t responded. Instead, his Stranger Things co-stars, Shannon Purser and Noah Schnapp have spoken up. Purser, who plays Barb Holland on the series, jumped in most firmly, letting viewers know that actors don’t owe fans their personal time, and warning anyone who can’t respect personal space to stay away.
Okay, no. No actor is under any obligation to stop for anyone. Finn is an incredibly kind human. But he's human and he needs breaks too. https://t.co/b4Lfrl1wU3— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) November 4, 2017
I experience this on a significantly smaller scale, obviously, but I've had people waiting for me in hotel lobbies, at my airport gate, etc.— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) November 5, 2017
And I'm an adult. I can't imagine being inundated with all this attention at his age. It's intimidating.— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) November 5, 2017
So, from one big sister to the world, don't you DARE make young actors feel guilty or indebted to you because they couldn't say hi.— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) November 5, 2017
They give you their art. They love their fans. Don't take advantage of that. And if you can't handle them needing space, stay away.— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) November 5, 2017
Noah Schnapp, who plays Will Byers on Stranger Things, and who, at 13 years old, shares the experience of teen fame, also weighed in.
While Finn didn’t tweet anything about the incident himself, he didn’t completely ignore the controversy online. Clicking over to his “likes” tab shows that he responded with appreciation to at least one tweet defending him — from radio personality Alex Gervasi, who was somewhat more vehement in her defense than either of the Stranger Things actors.
Why the hell are you waiting outside of a 14-year-old's hotel? You didn't make him famous. Go home and rethink your life choices.— Alex Gervasi (@AlexontheMic) November 4, 2017
Gervasi specifically responds to the (ex?) fan’s assertion that Wolfhard owes his success to this group of viewers, rather than his own hard work, long hours, and acting talent, and orders, in no uncertain terms, the individual to back off and leave Finn alone.
Between the release of Stranger Things 2, his starring role in the 2017 release of Stephen King’s It, and currently filming for the upcoming Dog Days, Wolfhard’s fame is on the rise, and it’s probably not the last time a fan will accost him in public — but it’s clear that if anyone does overstep, the rest of the cast has his back.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]