'Stranger Things' actress Francesca Reale reveals what it's like to audition for the hit Netflix series.
The third season of ’Stranger Things’ was one of the most-watched shows this Fourth of July. ‘Stranger Things’ season three features several new characters. One of them is Heather the lifeguard, who is played by Francesca Reale. In an interview with Parade, Real talks about her acting audition, joining the cast, and what she brought to the character.
Reale reveals when she found out she landed the role on one of the most popular shows in television history. She explains, “My initial reaction had to be completely professional and calm. I got the news in the casting office during what I thought was my callback. I had gone in to read my scene, and the casting director asked me a couple of questions about where I grew up and went to school. Then she said, ‘Alright, the role’s yours!’ I thought she was kidding. I can’t tell you how much I thought this was part of some exercise. Then I just stood there and told myself, ‘Keep calm. She’s a professional, and you want to be able to enter this office again.’ I ended up sounding like a robot and saying, ‘Thank you very much. I’m so flattered.’ And I started to exit the room slowly. Once I left the building, I had an absolute breakdown. I called my agent like, ‘Did that happen?! Oh, my God!’ I freaked out because I was so excited.”
Reale admits that the audition for the role was challenging because she was not told anything about the position or the character beyond the description, “Heather - Lifeguard at the community pool.” She explains, “My audition scene wasn’t even from the show. They had given me sides from the movie Scream. It was the scene at the beginning where Drew Barrymore is making popcorn, and the killer keeps calling her. It was incredibly hard to do, probably harder than sides from the actual script. That is such a famous scene, and I had the way Drew Barrymore did it so clearly in my head. It’s been parodied so much over the last decade. It was a lot harder to figure out how to do that in a unique way that also fit their show rather than completely mimicking a horror movie.”
Reale, who also starred in the film, ‘Yes, God, Yes’ says how she approached the character. She explains, “I wanted to make her vibe a middle ground between the Sandlot lifeguard–who was such a big icon for these child characters–and a classic mean girl trope. There was a day where I came up to the Duffers and said, ‘I created a back story for Heather. She has to work at the pool because her dad lost his job and she needs to bring in money."