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‘Stranger Things 2’ Actor Doesn’t Think His Character Is Racist Or Gay – Forbes

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Stranger Things

This weekend, I found myself Googling “Stranger Things 2 Billy actor,” as I was curious to see who this denim-clad, Rob Lowe lookalike actually was. But as I started searching, “Stranger Things 2 Billy racist” was the first thing that came up in Google’s autofill.

I didn’t realize that was actually a question, as I thought that it was pretty clear-cut that Billy was racist toward Lucas in Stranger Things season 2, but it turns out it might be more complicated than that, at least according to the actor himself, Dacre Montgomery.

Midway through the season, Billy realizes that his step-sister is hanging out with Lucas, and tells her flat-out “There are certain type of people in this world that you stay away from, and that kid, Max, that kid is one of them. You stay away from him, you hear me? Stay away.”

I don’t really know how else to interpret that, other than Billy referencing Lucas’s skin color. He doesn’t actually know Lucas, he’s literally just seeing him from afar. Unless he’s referring to the fact that Lucas is a loser at school, or something else like that, I don’t know what else this could mean.

But Montgomery protests in an interview with the Huffington Post.

“I think he feels threatened,” he explained. “These male figures in his life, whether it’s Lucas, Steve, his dad, whoever these different characters that embody his world are… if Max is that one constant, he knows he needs to drop off and look after [her]. If any of these characters object with that person and his relationship with that person, it’s a threatened kind of behavior…Lucas, unfortunately, [becomes] a target, and I don’t think it’s about race.”

Yeah, I don’t know. To me this comes across as Montgomery not wanting to be portrayed as playing a racist character in this current…climate, shall we say. I think this may be his own interpretation rather than the writers/showrunners’ interpretation. If Billy said something like “You shouldn’t be hanging out with boys” that would ring true more, but in that scene he seems to be specifically singling out Lucas purely because how he looks. While there aren’t any other clear indicators of Billy’s latent or overt racism in the rest of the season, that one moment did stand out.

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Stranger Things

Past this, Montgomery also commented on a popular fan theory that Billy was secretly attracted to Steve, despite being portrayed as a ladies’ man.

“…I don’t think Steve — somebody touched on that the other day. ‘Now is Billy attracted to Steve?’ And I was like, ‘No, I don’t think he is.’ I don’t think it’s like this confused, homoerotic kind of thing. I think it’s literally he’s threatened by all these characters in his life.”

This one I think is more of wishful thinking fan theory. While I directly compared Steve and Billy’s antagonistic relationship in my review to the one between Maverick and Iceman in Top Gun, the most unintentionally (intentionally?) homoerotic movie of all time, neither character was actually meant to be gay there, and I’m guessing the same is true here. Granted, we know less about Billy than we do Steve, who is clearly in love with Nancy, so I suppose it’s possible Billy could be gay, but I think that wasn’t indicated as strongly as his racism, and the show leans pretty heavily on him being a womanizer, and appears to tease a possible relationship with Mike’s neglected mom in the future. Not that he has to be one or the other only, of course.

Part of the problem with all this is that Billy kind of got the short end of the stick when it came to character development in season 2. He’s more or less just a psychopath, through and through, driven to be an aggressive, abusive bully by his aggressive, abusive dad, a story we’ve seen play out in storylines like this all across fiction (and real life). Billy’s entire arc seems like it was setting up a larger role for the character next season, and I hope it’s a role that does get larger, because Dacre Montgomery did a great job with what he had to work with, and he feels like a star in the making.

So, Billy is probably racist, probably not gay, but the actor seems to think he’s neither. Interesting. My one remaining question. How do you pronounce “Dacre”?

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Source Article from https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2017/10/31/stranger-things-2-actor-doesnt-think-his-character-is-racist-or-gay/
‘Stranger Things 2’ Actor Doesn’t Think His Character Is Racist Or Gay – Forbes
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