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Winona Ryder asked 'what is Netflix' when she was approached to do Stranger Things
Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Winona Ryder asked 'what is Netflix' when she was approached to do Stranger Things

The woman who brought Joyce Byers to life had no clue what the streaming company was.

Netflix is one of the biggest companies in the world right now and it's hard to imagine our society without it.

However, there was a time before streaming was the mainstream and there was a very clear way of making entertainment.

So you can imagine the people who first got involved with a Netflix series would have been a little curious about what was going on.

Winona Ryder was definitely one of those people when she was approached to do Stranger Things.

The Duffer Brothers shopped their idea around to loads of cable networks in 2015, hoping one of the big-name companies would snap it up.


However, the show's co-creators were told that it probably wouldn't do very well because it was focused on kids.

The brothers were introduced to Canadian producer Shawn Levy and not long after that, they were sitting down with Netflix who bought the rights to the show.

When the team then started casting for the programme, they found one future cast member couldn't really work out what was going on.

Levy told the Happy Sad Confused podcast: "She opened by asking, ‘What is Netflix? What is streaming? Is it like TV but different?’

“That was the starting point… Yeah, Winona took a little onboarding to explain this emerging form of storytelling called Netflix and streaming.”

It turns out those cable companies were very wrong and Stranger Things has become one of the biggest TV shows in the last decade.

Ryder has been phenomenal as Joyce Byers and perfectly gels with her on-screen son Will (played by Noah Schnapp) as well as the rest of the ensemble.


The show is getting ready to say goodbye with the fifth and final season.

Levy revealed there will be something in those last episodes for everyone.

“I have to credit the Duffer Brothers," he explained.

"You read the outlines sometimes and it’s massive, but then you read the scripts and you remember again and again that their instinct for anchoring the epic in the intimate, and for anchoring the darkness of genre in the warmth of these characters, it’s so innate to them.

"Season 5 gets bigger in scale but doesn’t forget who or what it is.”

We haven't yet been given a release date for the final season but you better believe that it will be one hell of an ending.

Topics: Stranger Things, Celebrity