If television critics handed out awards like sportswriters, Sadie Sink would have been named the MVP of Stranger Things season four by unanimous vote. She was front and center in the best episode of the season, and her character, Max, helped catapult a decades-old song to the top of the charts. For her extraordinary work in the Netflix series, Sink (who also colloborated with Taylor Swift) was named to the 2022 TIME100 Next list, which recognizes “stars from across industries and around the world.”
Sink’s blurb was written by co-star Winona Ryder, who remembers the first time she saw her on TV. “It was on the great show The Americans. Although brief, it was a stunning moment — and a rare one. I wrote her name down in my notebook. I knew this was someone extraordinary, someone to watch,” she wrote. “So when the planets aligned and she came on to Stranger Things, it felt like a little secret victory.”
(Here she is, wielding a gun, on The Americans. Good show.)
Ryder called The Whale star a “creative acrobat and she’s on this balance beam that very few have the courage to walk.” She also told a story about Sink as a person, not just an actor. “At the [season four] premiere, which was her big moment,” Ryder wrote, “when I hugged her she said, so excited, ‘My brother graduated law school today!’ All these moments that are all about her and she’s thinking about her brother. Of course!”
Ryder calling you “stunning” is a bigger accomplishment than any MVP award.