Stranger Things star Sadie Sink on why she nearly missed out on playing Max

Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield in Stranger Things 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Stranger Things star Sadie Sink nearly lost the role of Max Mayfield – and we can't imagine anyone else playing her.

In an interview with Fashion Magazine, Sink revealed that the casting directors thought she was too old – at 14 – to play Max.

"I just begged and pleaded with them to give me more material so I could show them something fresh," she explained, adding that the part just felt "right" to her.

After the producers brought Sink in for a chemistry read with Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin, she landed the role the very next day.

Max was introduced as the new girl at Hawkins Middle School in season 2, and becomes part of the pack after Mike, Will, Dustin, and Lucas realize that she's the one who's been beating everyone's high scores at the Palace Arcade. She would go on to play a more central role in season 4, carrying a lot of the season's emotional weight (and causing a 1985 Kate Bush single to reenter the Billboard charts some 37 years later).

Sink, though not as rough around the edges as her Stranger Things counterpart, admitted that both she and Max have a tendency to put up walls: "Max’s walls look very different from mine. I don’t think I’m as cold as she is, but I can sometimes be slightly emotionally unavailable."

She went on to tell Fashion Magazine that she doesn't regret spending her teenage years in the spotlight, and that she's grateful that she gets to do it with her Stranger Things co-stars.

"It’s such a weird and specific situation that the cast and I are all in because the world knows who our characters are but we’re still trying to figure out who we are as people," she said. "I think being in the industry accelerates you and you mature faster. But for the most part, it’s just so fun because the cast is all going through it together."

For more, check out our list of best Netflix shows to watch right now.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.