5 Things to Know About Shannon Purser, ‘Stranger Things’ Actress up for an Emmy

She played the sweet, gone-too-soon Barb on Stranger Things, and some think Shannon Purser did it so well she’s up for an Emmy Award tonight for the category of Best Drama Guest Actress. Whether or not the actress wins, you’ll be able to wow your friends at the Emmy watching party with these interesting tidbits of knowledge regarding the girl who played Barb.

Actress Shannon Purser

Shannon Purser attends the “Wish Upon” screening at Regal Cinemas Atlantic Station Stadium 16 on July 11, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. | Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for Broad Green Pictures

Until appearing in Stranger Things, Purser was relatively unknown, so her nomination was a bit of a surprise for many – and she’s up against some stiff competition in her category. Others nominated are Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale), Ann Dows (The Leftovers), Cicely Tyson (How to Get Away with Murder), and Alison Wright (The Americans).

When asked what she imagines Emmy night to be like, Purser responded, “I’ve definitely thought about it, but am trying to keep my expectations realistic. I’m up against some really incredible actresses. I think either way it’s going to be a really cool night.”

Stranger Things’ Barb has a vocal following on Twitter, who post with hashtag #JusticeForBarb. Some proudly sport merchandise made featuring Barb, while others express their opinions on the way the character was written and treated.

Although her debut role was in Stranger Things, Purser has five other TV and film roles on her acting resume. She played the bullied Ethel Muggs in the teen drama Riverdale which was based on Archie Comics characters and aired on The CW from January through May 2017. She also plays Annabelle in Rise, an upcoming NBC series regarding a controversial high school musical. As for films, Purser played June Acosta in 2017 supernatural film Wish Upon. She stars in upcoming teen comedy film Sierra Burgess is a Loser. In the upcoming comedy film Life of the Party starring Melissa McCarthy, Purser plays the role of Connie.

Melissa McCarthy carved out a role in Life of the Party for Purser. “She’s the coolest, kindest person in the world,” Purser told Coveteur, of McCarthy. “There wasn’t really a part for me in the script, and she literally contacted my agents in Atlanta and was like, ‘I want Shannon in this movie.’ It was crazy. I think I cried when I got the phone call because I am so in love with her.” 

The website Gold Derby Awards has given Purser 10/3 odds of winning the Emmy Sunday. This is based on users predicting who will win the Emmy for the category. Ability to vote is open to anyone who creates a login.

More interesting facts about Purser and Stranger Things can be found here.