Since its cancellation on July 1, Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 has already reached 1.1 billion hours of viewer time and the show “sits the No. 1 series on the UK’s most popular TV list,” according to ScreenRant (from this point). Write). In other words, it feels like the whole world has already watched Stranger Things. In fact, TechRadar reports that it has broken records left and right – second only to the mega-popular horror-thriller series Squid Game.
Chances are, you already know that Stranger Things is about a group of teenagers trying to save their town of Hawkins, Indiana, from otherworldly monsters. While the gang is made up of fan-favorite characters like Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin Henderson (Gate Matarazzo), Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink), and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), a teenage boy named Robin, Buckley (Maya Hawke) joined the motley crew in Season 3. Robin played a key role in saving the world – before Big Baddie Vecna arrived on the scene – and in the process immediately made himself popular with fans.
The daughter of Hollywood royalty Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, Hawke is no newcomer to the acting scene. She previously starred as the flower child in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and in the 2017 miniseries Little Women via IMDb as Jo March. Still, it’s her work on Stranger Things that really put her on the map. So it feels like kismet that Robin’s character has been reworked to better suit Hawke’s unique personality.
Like Maya Hawke, Robin Buckley is IRL
Since her debut on Stranger Things, Maya Hawke has developed a fast-talking pattern that sets her character, Robin Buckley, apart. Robin often engages in a hilarious monologue about why the gang’s plan is or isn’t a good idea, and her nervousness leads her into lengthy, one-sided conversations. It’s an endearing quirk, but one that showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer only wrote into the character after spending time with Hawke. “They’re such good writers,” the actor gushed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
She explained that the Duffer Brothers had noticed her habit of speaking very quickly on set when she was nervous and then turned it to their advantage. “You’ve written me so much dialogue this season,” she said. “And they said, ‘No, no! Don’t worry. You can do it in two minutes. You can do it very quickly.'”
Apparently, Hawke’s true personality helped flesh out Robin, who was initially considered “sarcastic, life-boring, down-to-earth, wannabe madonna, cool girl from school but no one notices,” Hawke told WWD. But as Hawke took on the role, she bled more and more into Robin. “I’m a super happy, exuberant person, especially on set; I bring a lot of energy with me, maybe because I’m nervous or something, but [the Duffer brothers] I sort of tapped into that and then started writing the character more along those lines,” Hawke shared. The result is a character that fans love to obsess over.
Maya Hawke wants people to empathize with Robin’s sexuality
Voice patterns aside, Maya Hawke put her personal stamp on the character of Robin Buckley in more ways than one. Fans know she’s Steve Harrington’s sidekick – and as the town’s ladykiller, there has been speculation as to whether Robin and Steve would ever get together on the show. But Robin laid the kibosh on a possible romance between the two by revealing that she likes girls, not boys.
Apparently, the twist on Robin’s sexuality was a decision Hawke and the Duffer brothers mutually agreed on. “Throughout the shoot, we felt like her and [Steve] shouldn’t be dating and that she’s gay,” the actor told The Wall Street Journal in 2019.
Robin’s sexuality wasn’t decided right away, but something that became clear as Hawke put her spin on the character. “It was kind of a collaborative conversation, and I’m really, really happy with how it went,” she said in an interview with Variety. “Sometimes we can have empathy for people on screen that we wouldn’t normally have empathy for in real life,” she added, speaking of the scene where Robin comes out. “If there’s anything I can hope for, it’s that maybe some people fell in love with Robin and that helped them fall in love with girls who love girls and boys who love boys.”