One of the many joys of ‘Stranger Things‘ has been witnessing each of the young cast members practically mature into young adults before our eyes. This is especially true of Noah Schnapp, the group’s youngest original member.

Will Byers, his character, has been through it all: dragged into the Upside Down, controlled by a demonic monster known as the Mind Flayer, and, perhaps worst of all, supposedly forgotten by his best mates as they encountered girls and developed beyond their days of playing Dungeons & Dragons.

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Will never had, and during the fourth season, battled to explain why to his best friend, Mike Wheeler played by actor Finn Wolfhard.

Fans speculated Will to be gay and scared of coming out from the start. When Variety approached Schnapp and his co-star Millie Bobby Brown about it in May for Season 4 Volume 1, Schnapp replied that Will’s sexuality was “up to the audience’s imagination.”

In a follow-up interview with Variety this week, however, the 17-year-old actor is clear that he felt forced to evade the topic in order to avoid revealing Will’s emotionally complicated journey in the season’s final two episodes, as constructed by creators and executive producers Matt and Ross Duffer.

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Schnapp explained, “I mean, it’s pretty clear this season that Will has feelings for Mike. They’ve been intentionally pulling that out over the past few seasons. Even in Season 1, they hinted at that and slowly, slowly grew that storyline.”

“I think for Season 4, it was just me playing this character who loves his best friend but struggles with knowing if he’ll be accepted or not, and feeling like a mistake and like he doesn’t belong. Will has always felt like that. All his friends, they all have girlfriends and they all fit into their different clubs. Will has never really found anywhere to fit in. I think that’s why so many people come up to me and tell me that they love Will and they resonate with him so much, because it’s such a real character,” the actor added.

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Recalling the scene of the conversation that Will and Mike have in the van, where Will essentially confesses to his best friend, Schnapp said, “I remember it was just all day. We started in the morning and went straight through, past lunch, for hours and hours. I remember when I was doing the scene, I was bawling, like, going all out the whole day. And when I saw it on screen, it was actually more subtle. I liked how they edited it together. The day was a lot of fun. I love just playing with Will. This scene was really important for him, because it really solidified that truth, that he loves his best friend and he doesn’t know how to tell him.”

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The fandom has always accused Mike of not being a good friend to Will, which Schnapp defended saying, “I think it’s kind of Mike dealing with his own stuff. In Season 2, they were best friends and they were so close, and then obviously Mike has all his eyes on Eleven. Will is dealing with a little bit of jealousy there. He just wants his best friend back and wants it to be like what it was in Season 1 when they were playing D&D in his basement.”

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Discussing where their relationship is headed, Schnapp assured, “But Mike’s growing out of that and only cares about Eleven right now,” before adding, “I’m interested just to see where the Duffers go with that in Season 5, and how they close out that storyline.”

You, as well as the fans, Noah. You, as well as the fans.