Winona Ryder spent almost the entirety of her teen years during the 1980s, which are arguably the most formative years of a person’s life. During such years while one’s tastes are formed and interests are born, every moment feels like a milestone. In addition to that aspect causing the days of youth to feel special (a quality in which the nostalgia-laden “Stranger Things” revels), it makes things easier to remember, too — like, say, the year a particular movie or song was released.
Ryder is clearly drawing on that memory on the set of “Stranger Things,” making sure creators Matt and Ross Duffer (who were much younger than Ryder was during the ’80s) pay attention to the period details. As Ryder’s costar David Harbour observed in a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar, “It’s just kind of epic how wild her mind is and how it goes to all these different corners.” Harbour explained how Ryder will often correct the Duffers about the musical anachronisms in some of the scripts: “She’d tell them, ‘This song actually came out in ’85, and you have it in ’83.'”
According to Harbour, Ryder’s intimate knowledge of the ’80s extends beyond knowing what year a particular song debuted, with the actress helping the Duffers stay honest on a range of period topics. “She knew all of these minute, tiny details they didn’t even know, and they had to change things in the script based on that” he told Harper’s.