Watch these previously-unseen audition tapes from the Stranger Things kids and try not to go d’aww

The kids in Stranger Things season 2 are stars. I know it, you know it, we all know it – but how were they spotted? Thankfully, Netflix have seen fit to release a bunch of audition tapes for Eleven, Mike, Dustin, Glen, and Will. Yes, it proves they’re adorable but – even from a young(er) age – they had the acting chops to boot.

As revealed on the Netflix after-show series Beyond Stranger Things, the quintet of child actors had their audition tapes played in front of them. Talk about cringe. It’s worth it for Millie Bobby Brown’s horrified reaction alone.

In the tapes, the boys play out a scene from Stranger Things season 1 where they’re trying to convince Nancy of the strange goings-on in Hawkins. Brown, meanwhile, lets loose the waterworks and sobs up a storm whilst auditioning for Eleven. No wonder she got the role, she was electric even then – no cast, no effects, no shaved head – just pure, honest-to-goodness talent. Even if, according to Finn Wolfhard, she does look like Susan Sarandon.

It’s surprising just how little has changed from audition to the finished product. It might simply be a case of each cast member absolutely nailing it first time or, more than likely, The Duffer Brothers tweaking a few things here and there to better accommodate the distinct personalities that each of them brought to the table.

If you want more Stranger Things content – and, honestly, who doesn’t? – then check out our quiz: Which Stranger Things character are you? If you don’t like the results, then console yourself with our Stranger Things season 1 recap if you haven’t got round to watching the new episodes yet.

Image: Netflix

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.