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Stranger Things: Meet Joe Quinn, the Englishman Aka Eddie Munson

Stranger Things: Joe Quinn, the Englishman Behind Eddie Munson

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As an actor for more than ten years, Joe Quinn (who plays Eddie Munson on “Stranger Things”) would know. The 28-year-old went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and was quickly put through the drama school’s period piece pipeline, appearing in a bunch of TV shows that couldn’t be more British if they tried. A BBC miniseries called Dickensian was about characters from Charles Dickens’s books.

"Stranger Things: Meet Joe Quinn, the Englishman Aka Eddie Munson"
Stranger Things: Meet Joe Quinn, the Englishman Aka Eddie Munson

Meet Joe Quinn, the Englishman who goes by the name Eddie Munson in Stranger Things.

Joe Quinn says that getting a part on Stranger Things was suspiciously easy. He sent in a total of two self-tapes as Eddie Munson, a showy metalhead with big hair and an even bigger obsession with Dungeons and Dragons. His agent called him soon after to tell him how happy they were for him. No endless auditions, no “chemistry reads,” and no flying in from London to meet the Duffer brothers in person. With only two tapes, he was put on one of the most popular shows in the world.

“They just gave it to me, which is bad,” he says with a straight face. ”

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The movie Howard’s End was based on a book by E.M. Forster. In between, he played a soldier for House Stark in a single episode of Game of Thrones. Did his time on the fantasy HBO show, which had a huge, devoted audience around the world, prepare him at all to jump into the huge world of Stranger Things?

Joe Quinn, the Englishman Aka Eddie Munson

He says, “I don’t think anything could have ready me for it.” “I only did [Thrones] for two days. It was crazy to be on something that big, but this one was much more of a team effort. Comparing apples and oranges.”

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At first glance, it seems strange that Quinn was chosen to play Eddie. Over video chat, he’s funny and self-deprecating. He wears a collared shirt and a simple silver chain, and his short, wavy hair is pushed away from his face.

But he changes into Eddie, the charismatic leader of the Hellfire Club, a group of people who love D&D. Eddie jumps on cafeteria tables and likes to make trouble in general. He loves to pick on Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Dustin, who are new to the club (Gaten Matarazzo). He also gives the role an air of vulnerability by leaning into the quieter moments when Eddie’s rough home life and side job selling drugs are shown.

Quinn started listening to Black Sabbath and reading about Dungeons and Dragons because Eddie is the show’s resident Dungeon Master. When you ask him how he feels about the game now, he smiles and clasps his hands. He says it in a diplomatic way: “I’m lovingly neutral.” “Playing it didn’t drive me crazy. Probably won’t in the near future.”

Quinn lost weight to look like Eddie because, he says with a laugh, “I wanted Eddie to look younger, and I’m not 18 anymore!” He also did a lot of hair fittings to find the right wig and try to keep the show’s stylists from getting too carried away. “They wanted to go as crazy as David Bowie in Labyrinth,” he says. “Unfortunately, my bones aren’t strong enough for that.”

"Stranger Things: Meet Joe Quinn, the Englishman Aka Eddie Munson"
Stranger Things: Meet Joe Quinn, the Englishman Aka Eddie Munson

He worked with a vocal coach to improve his American accent, which was the most important thing he did. It was his first time both working on an American show and playing an American character, so the pressure was on. Between takes, he kept talking to his co-stars in an accent. (Millie Bobby Brown and Charlie Heaton, two of them, are also British.)

He says, “You feel like a sociopath when you go to people’s home countries and do this voice.” He would also practice after he left the set. “I would go out to dinner with the accent and order in an American accent, which made me feel crazy. But it’s better to look like a fool in front of your friends than, you know, a lot of people.”

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