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Actor Joe Quinn “Listened to a Lot of Heavy Metal” to Prep for Breakout Stranger Things Character Eddie Munson

"It's impossible to not sound pretentious when you say it, but, yeah, that was my way in [to the character]."

Joe Quinn Heavy Metal Stranger Things 4
Joe Quinn as Eddie Munson in Stranger Things 4, via Netflix
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    Those of us who’ve watched all or some of the recently premiered Volume 1 of Stranger Things Season 4 have been captivated by the new character Eddie Munson, an ’80s metalhead who is also a Dungeons & Dragons freak. Munson is played by British actor Joe Quinn, who revealed in a new interview that he immersed himself in heavy metal music to prepare for the role.

    Without revealing any spoilers (except for those who absolutely don’t want to know any details), the character of Eddie leads a Dungeons & Dragons club at Hawkins High School. His appearance screams ’80s metal, with long hair and a denim jacket that has a Dio back patch and various band pins.

    Quinn, who previously had a small role on Game of Thrones, attempted to immerse himself into the Stranger Things role via Dungeons & Dragons, but it was really the music that did the trick. “I bought a book to try and understand what Dungeons & Dragons was about, and it didn’t agree with me,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Though, I knew that wasn’t going to be my way in, as it were.”

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    He continued, “I listened to a lot of heavy metal and that was my… God, it’s impossible to not sound pretentious when you say it, but, yeah, that was my way in [to the character].”

    That said, Quinn already knew his way around a guitar, having been inspired by Jack Black’s character in School of Rock. “I’ve played since I was 7, and I’ve had huge breaks,” Quinn said. “I wouldn’t consider myself a brilliant guitarist, but I can play it. That was very lucky because those scripts came out, I think, at some point in the pandemic. I did start practicing pretty furiously.”

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    Still, his character wouldn’t be complete without his hairdo, which evolved over time. Originally, show creators the Duffer Brothers wanted something that resembled David Bowie’s character in Labyrinth, but that didn’t fly with Quinn.

    “Unfortunately, I’m not David Bowie, so I didn’t think that I could pull that off,” he explained. “I wanted something that was normal, of this world, more like a mullet. But we compromised. I mean, it’s still objectively ridiculous, but it serves the character really well. It’s very useful as an actor to put something on and instantly you feel like you’re looking at a different person.”

    Stranger Things 4, Volume 1 premiered on Netflix this past Friday (May 27th), with Volume 2 debuting on July 1st. Read Consequence’s review here, and get the details on the original soundtrack here.

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