Winona Ryder reveals how ‘Stranger Things’ has changed her life ahead of season 4 opener

Joyce Byers in Stranger Things
Image via Netflix

The long-awaited fourth season of the sci-fi extravaganza Stranger Things is set to debut on Netflix this Friday, May 27 — but before eagle-eyed viewers succumb to the show’s ever-present fantasy intoxication, star Winona Ryder has explained just how important the show is, not only to diehard fans around the world but to Ryder’s career and the unpredictable effect that the series has had on her life.

In Stranger Things, the Beetlejuice star notably portrays Joyce Byers, the gutsy single mother of Jonathan and Will Byers who, after Will’s disappearance in the premiere episode of the first season, immediately hatches a plan to find him. Due to her never-ending tenacity and bravery, Joyce quickly became a fan favorite amongst viewers and was known as Will’s tough mom. And while speaking in a video interview on Variety’s YouTube channel, Ryder explained the joy of being known as “Will’s mom” and the positive effect the Netflix series has had on her.

I’ve been part of movies that have, are sort of, touchstones, you know… Beetlejuice, things like that. But this was entirely — I’ve never been part of something like this, and I remembered I’d never done a series before and I remember earlier on in the ‘90s, early 2000s, ‘look, it’s different, you’re in people’s homes, so people will think they know you because they’re not going to a theater to see you, you’re in their home.’ And that definitely sort of happened … but I truly am known as Will’s mom. I will forever be Will’s mom, and I’m very happy with that. I’ve been really blessed and lucky to have the career I’ve had, but this show has really changed my life.

Now, with the fourth season set to arrive on the streaming platform, we’ll see Joyce’s next step in her journey and the brilliance of Ryder’s portrayal of the chaotic but insanely lovable character. Folks will get to see if Joyce and Hopper finally hook up, and we’ll even get to witness Joyce acting like a mother to Eleven, who, let’s be honest, desperately needs a stable mother figure in her life.

Don’t miss Vol. 1 of Stranger Things 4, which premieres on Netflix on May 27.