[This post contains spoilers for season four of Stranger Things]
One of the boldest choices in Stranger Things 4 was, early on, having two new characters share a scene together. There was no Eleven, no Joyce, no Dustin, Robin, or Steve — just Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master Eddie Munson (played by Joseph Quinn) and cheerleader Chrissy Cunningham (Grace Van Dien) bonding in the woods outside of Hawkins High School during a drug deal. The two performers had palpable chemistry, so it was a shame that Chrissy was killed by Vecna shortly thereafter. Her death is one of co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer’s biggest regrets about season four.
“We always have those moments [of ‘what have we done?’],” Matt told TVLine. “We shot the quote-unquote drug-deal scene in the woods pretty late, actually, into shooting.” So late, in fact, that Chrissy’s death scene in the Munson trailer had already been filmed. He continued, “The scene came alive in a way that was just so beautiful. And so much of that was Joe and Grace. It was just one of those fortunate scenes where we were able to have two cameras rolling capturing them simultaneously. Joe was doing a lot of stuff kinda spontaneously, and we were getting these amazing reactions from Grace.”
Van Dien’s time on Stranger Things is over, but the Duffers hope to work her again:
They’ve been down this road before, “when we killed Bob in season two,” says Matt. “I didn’t want to do that. We had fallen in love with both the character and Sean Astin. And Sean didn’t want to die. Winona Ryder didn’t want him to die. But we’ll find something else to do with Grace, something else to do with Sean.”
Stranger Things 4 returns for two more very long episodes on July 1.