Natalia Dyer has an unexpected connection with Hannah Montana

Stranger Things and Hannah Montana could both be described as shows about girls who appear ordinary but are actually capable of the extraordinary. The Netflix series and Disney Channel sitcom don’t have much in common other than having young female leads who possess talents that will profoundly impact their lives, but there are some connections between Hannah Montana and some Stranger Things ‘ stars – including Millie Bobby Brown and Natalia Dyer – could only boggle fans’ minds.

Brown is British, so she had to perfect an American accent to portray Hawkins’ resident superhero, Eleven. While speaking with Miley Cyrus for her Bright Minded Instagram series, Brown revealed that she learned how to sound like she was ready to party in the US by watching episodes of Hannah Montana . She was also a huge fan. “I didn’t know how I was going to get your job, but I was like, ‘I want to be like Hannah Montana,'” Brown told Cyrus. Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the villainous Vecna, also greatly admires Cyrus. He told ET Canada that “Party in the USA” was the song that would break him out of his character’s deadly spell, and it wasn’t just silly – in a 2011 Teen Vogue interview, he listed it as the tune, who gets the most play on his ipod.

Dyer has both Brown and Bower to envy because she actually got to work with Cyrus. But Dyer is the biggest critic of her “Hannah Montana” moment.

Natalia Dyer has changed her voice for the Hannah Montana film

Natalia Dyer screamed a lot for her debut acting role in 2009, but not because she was being chased by a Demogorgon. In Hannah Montana: The Movie, she played a die-hard Hannah Montana fan named Clarissa Granger. Unnoticed by Clarissa, her idol witnesses her freaking out about a free concert ticket, and when Clarissa notices Hannah’s presence, she becomes downright hysterical.

Dyer spoke about the role in a video interview with Cosmopolitan. Like Cyrus, the actress is from Tennessee, so she took the rare opportunity to audition for a major production filmed in Nashville. “When that came through, it was the talk of the town,” she said. But filming the film wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience for Dyer, then 14, who recalled that it was miserably hot. Her character was supposed to be British, so she had to scream with an accent too. “I don’t think I’ve done the accent justice, but I don’t know if I can pull off a great British accent now, either,” she confessed to Cosmopolitan UK.

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The experience hasn’t caused Dyer to forswear roles that require her to play a non-American. “I’m always interested in any role that requires learning something outside of yourself, whether it’s a skill or an accent,” she told NME. Luckily, Dyer’s British boyfriend, Charlie Heaton, can help her fix her fake accent if she’s ever cast as British again.

Natalia Dyer’s acting career began with an injury

Natalia Dyer’s Stranger Things character, Nancy Wheeler, has evolved from a mild-mannered high school student whose biggest concerns are her grades and her boyfriend to a monster hunter with a sawed-off shotgun. Nancy is also a reporter for her school newspaper, and Dyer told Cosmopolitan UK that she was once interested in pursuing a career in journalism herself – when the opportunity arose to audition for Stranger Things. At the time, she was attending college at New York University, per Into the Glamor, but put her schooling on hold to film the show.

Dyer had landed a handful of film roles before “Stranger Things” sent her acting career into a whole different stratosphere, but when she first discovered her love for entertainment, she was just an 8-year-old attending sports camp on WWD. She quickly realized that sport wasn’t her thing. “I sprained my ankle the first day so they put me in drama camp where my leg took a punch remarkable improvement,” she told InStyle.

Dyer’s parents encouraged her to pursue her newfound passion, and soon she landed a starring role as a scout in a community theater production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Fast forward to today, and Dyer has achieved fame not unlike that of Hannah Montana. However, she can still empathize with Clarissa Granger. “It’s always an interesting experience on the other side, but I can definitely be a fangirl too,” she told W magazine.