Warning: The following contains spoilers for Stranger Things’ Season 4 finale. If you haven’t finished your binge yet, you might want to avoid this interview like it was the Creel House.
Death becomes him. Though we — and many a viewer — were gutted by Eddie’s passing in Stranger Things’ harrowing Season 4 finale, portrayer Joseph Quinn was in high spirits when TVLine spoke with him about his all but instantly beloved character’s last stand, his dashed Season 5 hopes and playing the spoiler in Dustin and Steve’s bromance.
TVLINE | How does it feel to know that you’ve gotten what may be the most heartbreaking death in the history of Stranger Things?
Whoah. That’s quite a claim. It feels lovely. [Laughs] It’s such a brilliant kind of arc, and to be able to have had a part in it is such a gift. I feel really lucky.
TVLINE | Knowing how Eddie’s story was going to end, did you feel pressure to make him super-lovable from the start so that the gut punch would really knock the wind out of us?
I think the writing does that, really, throughout. He is so empathetically written. You’re a bit perturbed and a bit put off by him initially, and then, slowly, as he’s ingratiated into the gang, the writing kind of makes him… I don’t know. There’s something that people kind of warm to. And it’s a tragedy when people that we love leave us, so there are enormous feelings.
TVLINE | Was there any temptation as you were going along to suggest things go a different way? “Hey, um, maybe those bat bites weren’t all that deep!”
[Laughs] I would have loved to have come back, but the grownups decide.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about the drug-deal scene. Did you go into it with the goal of making us feel like Eddie and Chrissy were kind of on the outskirts of falling in love?
Yeah, that’s the way I saw it. She had to feel safe enough with him to go back to his trailer. And he’s sort of an intimidating guy when first we meet him, so I think it makes sense for there to be some kind of romantic intrigue there. And also to stoke the suspicion of Mason Dye’s character, it felt like the right thing to do there.
TVLINE | What was it like being kind of “the other man” in Dustin and Steve’s bromance?
That was the thing I found the most daunting! People love that dynamic, and it’s so brilliant the way [Gaten Matarazzo and Joe Keery] bounce off each other. And being his sort of “side Joe,” as it were, I didn’t know how people were going to respond to that because it felt like a pretty closed gang. But they were so brilliant and welcoming, and they wound up being one of the things I enjoyed most.