Spoilers for Strangers Things 3 follow below.
Stranger Things season 3 is chock-full of surprises, but one of the most heartfelt involves series newcomer Maya Hawke. Hawke plays Robin, one of Steve Harrington’s (Joe Keery) Hawkins High classmates and his co-worker at the Starcourt Mall’s ice cream parlor, Scoops Ahoy. Robin never misses an opportunity to take Steve down a peg, but as the season progresses, their friendship develops into a comfortable enough place that Robin reveals an essential truth about herself.
In episode 7, “The Bite,” Robin and Steve are in one of the Starcourt Mall bathrooms coming down from being drugged with a truth serum. As the two recuperate, Robin opens up to Steve about the class they had together at Hawkins High. She reveals to Steve that she likes him but when it comes to romantic feelings, she never had a crush on him; rather, she had a crush on their classmate, Tammy Thompson. It’s a huge moment for Robin’s arc in the season, making her Stranger Things’ first openly LGBTQ character.
Hawke and series creators Matt and Ross Duffer, sometimes referred to as the Duffer Brothers, spoke with Entertainment Weekly about this major Robin scene, including how it came together and why it is such an important scene to have included in the season.
“It’s sort of that John Hughes thing of putting two teen characters together in close quarters,” Matt said of Robin and Steve’s developing relationship throughout the season. “They’re forced to work together, and they start to learn more and more and more about each other and realize there’s more depth to each other than they realized.”
The development of Robin and Steve’s relationship, eventually resulting in this key scene, is part of the reason it work so well at the point it’s featured in the season. But Hawke told EW the scene is especially big in regards to Robin’s development as a character.
“She gets less sarcastic and more vulnerable and more herself, until finally, in the end, she has no choice but to be her complete self. I think that to have that scene [set] in the ’80s, and to have that scene on TV in general, I feel really honored to have got to be a part it, and I’m really grateful that the Duffer Brothers wrote it.”
Hawke also revealed Robin’s coming out wasn’t planned, remarking, “We were talking about it throughout [shooting]. It wasn’t definitive,” and later adding, “[The Duffers, executive producer Shawn Levy, and I] were trying to find what was right for Robin and right for the journey and right for the show. But that ended up being my favorite scene to film.”
To this, Matt added that Hawke and Keery’s commitment to nailing this scene began when the cameras weren’t rolling: “Maya and Joe spent a long time rehearsing it, not with us. They just went in and worked on it, like workshopped the scene on their own, and then they came and delivered. It was just one of those things that resonated with everybody on the crew.”
For more on Stranger Things 3, peruse the links to our recent coverage below:
- ‘Stranger Things 3’: Is Hopper Really Dead?
- ‘Stranger Things’ 3: How That Credits Scene Sets Up Season 4
- ‘Stranger Things’: Dacre Montgomery on Becoming Season 3’s Big Bad
- ‘Stranger Things’: Joe Keery and Maya Hawke on Season 3’s Scoops Ahoy Crew