‘Stranger Things’: Eleven’s Resemblance to Joyce in Season 4 Was Intentional

In Stranger Things Season 4, fans noted similarities in stars Millie Bobby Brown and Winona Ryder’s appearances. The comparisons perhaps stem from Ryder’s character Joyce adopting Brown’s character Eleven in the new season. While the pair share similar features, there was intention behind giving them a similar look.

Joyce Byers talks on the phone and looks at her mail in Stranger Things Season 4.
Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers in ‘Stranger Things’ | Netflix

The hairstyles in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 match the kids’ emotional state

In Stranger Things Season 4, hair department head Sarah Hindsgaul wanted each character’s look to reflect their emotional state and growth. “It is part of being that age, and you look up to people, you’re trying different things, and that’s how you figure out who you are,” she said in an interview with Variety.

Hindsgaul calls Lucas’ (Caleb McClaughlin) high-top fade an expression of his “eager[ness] to fit in” with the popular kids at Hawkins High and his new role on the basketball team.

On the other side, Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) have longer hairstyles that approach the territory of their new friend and leader of the Hellfire Club, Eddie Munson. “The Hellfire Club is its own look, so I have both [Mike] and Dustin trying to fit into that, but they’re not quite there,” Hindsgaul said.

There’s a reason Eleven looks like Joyce in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4

Eleven joins the Byers family in California in Stranger Things Season 4. Her look reflects her tendency to “[melt] into her surroundings,” says Hindsgaul, which is why she was given the signature “Byers bang cut” that makes her look so much like Joyce.

“It’s funny sometimes when people come into the trailer, and we have their continuity pictures on the walls,” Hindsgaul added. “One time, Winona [Ryder] came in, and she was like, ‘Oh, that’s me,’ and then she was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s Millie!’ It’s really cute because they were so similar in their continuity photos.”

Eleven’s mismatched outfits in season 4 were also intended to blend her into the Byers family further. In a video uploaded by GQ, costume designer Amy Parris explained that Eleven would “have pieces that might have been hand-me-downs from Joyce, might’ve been borrowed from Will, maybe even hand-me-downs from Jonathan.”

The Duffer Brothers want to keep Will’s bowl cut

One character’s hairstyle didn’t change a bit in Stranger Things Season 4. Will Byers still rocks the same bowl-cut he’s had since he disappeared into the Upside Down in the first season. According to Insider, actor Noah Schnapp even begged the Duffer Brothers to change things up, but it didn’t happen.

“I’ve talked to them so many times like, ‘Hey, are we thinking about a new cut for Will?'” Schnapp told Insider. “There’s one more season left, but they’re pretty loyal to that cut. I think it is a true kind of ’80s classic haircut. So I don’t think we’re gonna lose it anytime soon.”

All episodes of Stranger Things are currently streaming on Netflix.

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