Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink Explains How Quarantine Helped Her Play Max

Stranger Things star Sadie Sink describes how going through quarantine prepared her to play Max in season 4. The 80’s inspired Netflix drama is notorious for introducing new characters each season, some of which don’t make it to the finale. A new character that defied the odds was Max Mayfield, played by Sink. Max arrived in the first episode of Stranger Things season 2, along with Joyce’s new beau Bob. While Bob died at the end of the season, Max became a core member of the kids’ group, consisting of Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, and El. Since then, she has been an important part of the series, with the season 3 storyline focusing more closely on her due to her stepbrother Billy’s status as the eventual villain.

After season 3 wrapped up in 2019, production for season 4 was on track until things hit a seven-month delay due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stranger Things season 4 eventually aired in May of this year, with the final two episodes dropping in July. Season 4 saw Max in the spotlight in an even bigger way as she dealt with the fallout of Billy’s death. The season was lauded by critics and audiences alike for its amped up horror elements, storytelling, and cast performances. Sink in particular was praised for her portrayal of Max.

In an interview with W Magazine, Sink was asked how the seven-month delay in filming affected her connection to the character of Max. She notes that the isolation of quarantine actually better prepared her to portray Max in season 4.

Sadie Sink as Max in Stranger Things season 4

Sink’s response makes perfect sense to those familiar with Max’s storyline. In season 4, the red-haired teen feels completely alone after suffering a traumatic loss. Feeling disconnected from everyone she cares about, she withdraws into herself and her music. Max’s isolation from those around her became a major through-line of the season and affected the plot in a big way. It’s easy to see how quarantine, a difficult circumstance for many during a stressful time, would have helped Sink get into a similar mindset and really understand the character’s pain through her withdrawal from her friends. The eagerness Sink mentions once the cast and crew had reunited likely went a long way toward the energy present on-screen between the Stranger Things characters in season 4. Though the momentum could have been difficult to recover, it’s clear that everyone involved with the series was ready to finish telling the rich story they had started before the filming delay.

At the end of Stranger Things season 4, Max suffers a tragic fate. She is blind and seemingly brain-dead, with all her limbs broken. Despite the devastating situation, her body is still alive, which offers some hope to fans of the character that she will return and somehow recover in the next season. The shocking conclusion of the season 4 finale had some major, permanent implications not just for Max, but for Hawkins in general. With Stranger Things season 5 slated to be the last season of the series and reports that no new characters will be added, the clock might be ticking for the beloved Hawkins gang. Luckily, series creators the Duffer Brothers have stated that there will be less of a delay between seasons this time, so Sink may be reprising her role as Max soon.







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