Many Stranger Things fans were openly weeping at the end of the third season when Jim Hopper (David Harbour) shared a tear-filled look with Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) as she blew up the gate to the Upside Down, seemingly killing her friend in the process. And it turns out that it was no picnic for the actors to film, either.
“For her [Ryder], and me as well, we just sort of didn’t want to see each other on that day. It was very late in the season, it was the last thing I shot. And so it was just me looking up at a window. And for me, in that moment, it was sort of very easy."
The Black Widow star added:
“I mean, I did some work on what I wanted to convey. But it was like the culmination of this three year journey with this actress that I adore, and I adore working with, and I’ve never experienced anything like the co-star working relationship I have with her. And so it was kind of the culmination of that. So in that way, it was easy to just have that be informed by what I have felt over these last three years as opposed to anything we could do in the moment.”
Apparently Mama Byers had a tougher time than Hop. Harbour continued:
“It’s always hard for Winona at the end of a season. I think she, like me, we get very attached to a season and then it’s like saying goodbye. And this was a big one…I love that he let go that way, that he lets her off the hook for something that she has to do for their kids. I mean, their kids are more important than them, clearly, in that moment. I love that moment.”
I don’t know if Stranger Things fans would say they loved the moment, but it was definitely effective. Hopefully there are more emotional moments to be had between Hop and Joyce when Season 4 debuts.