Carey Elwes’ Stranger Things character is a far cry from Westley, the farmhand turned pirate made famous in the cult classic 1980s film The Princess Bride. The actor, who shot to fame in the beloved 1987 Rob Reiner film, says he could not say no to playing Mayor Kline on the third season of Stranger Things. Like fellow Stranger Things cast members Winona Ryder, Matthew Modine and Sean Astin, Cary Elwes is returning to the era that he was first famous in, but his character is unlike any other he has ever played before.
The new season of the Netflix hit introduces Cary Elwes as Hawkins mayor, Larry Kline, described by The New York Post as “a corrupt, cocaine-sniffing, ’80s politician who lives in a large house with garish, animal-print décor.”
Elwes told The Post that it was a no-brainer for him to sign on to Stranger Things 3 because he was already a super-fan of the show. The 56-year-old actor said he “binge-watched” the first two seasons of the Netflix sci-fi hit with his wife and daughter, and that he became “invested” in the characters he has watched grow up.
Elwes also revealed that his corrupt character serves as a foil for fan favorite Police Chief Hopper (David Harbour).
“Kline is a wonderful foil for Hopper. The chief is somebody who does care deeply about the community. It’s a nice contrast to have a mayor who doesn’t… I watch a lot of CNN. You can go to any part of the world and there are politicians who are — let’s put it this way — more interested in themselves than their community.”
Cary Elwes told The New York Times that Stranger Things creators, Ross and Matt Duffer, allowed him to base his character on a number of real-life politicians. Elwes also admitted that he was only told what his character would be doing for Season 3 and nothing further, but that the main takeaway on Mayor Kline is that “he was one of those politicians more interested in getting the constituent’s votes than in the community as a whole.”
A Stranger Things promo, which you can see below, features Cary Elwes announcing “Mayor Kline’s Fourth of July Spectacular” at Hawkin’s newly installed Starcourt Mall – a venue that will presumably be a focal point this season.
Elwes told The Ringer his “mouth dropped” when he walked on the set of the fictional mall for the first time. The set of a 1980s shopping mall featured masterful recreations of long-gone ’80s shops, including Sam Goody, Waldenbooks and Wicks ‘N’ Sticks, as well as the fictional Kaufman Shoes. An old school mall-based movie theater featured posters for Back to the Future, Cocoon and Fletch – films that were all in theaters during the summer of 1985, the era in which Stranger Things 3 takes place.
Stranger Things 3 is available on Netflix on July 4.