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Noah Schnapp on Stranger Things and being an entrepreneur

Noah Schnapp is the type of creator who wears many hats. He’s an actor who is best known for his role as Will Byers on Netflix’s Stranger Things. He’s an entrepreneur and investor who recently launched the TBH snack brand, and he will soon join the Roll app as an adviser. He’s also a good student, as Schnapp has been accepted into the prestigious University of Pennsylvania. Not bad for someone who has yet to turn 18.

The multitalented actor is gearing up for the fourth season of Stranger Things, with volume 1 arriving on May 27 on Netflix. Ahead of the premiere, Schnapp spoke with Digital Trends about what fans can expect with the upcoming season, how he’s handled success at such a young age, his latest investing ventures, and what he hopes to accomplish in the next five years.

Eleven, Will, Mike, and Jonathan standing and staring in a still from Stranger Things Season 4.
Courtesy of Netflix

Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Digital Trends: Congrats on the premiere of Stranger Things. What was it like being back in New York City?

Noah Schnapp: Thank you. I mean it’s great. This one was fun because it’s close to home for me. They’re usually always in L.A., but it was awesome. They always do it crazy. It was nice being with the whole cast and the directors and being able to get excited about the season.

Is it safe to say it’s the scariest season ever?

Yes, definitely. I think everyone’s touched on that, and it’s definitely very true. It’s gory. It’s scary. And you’re going to have to look away at times. So be prepared.

I know you can’t give too much away, but is there anything we can expect out of Will this season that we’ve never seen before?

So Will’s kind of experiencing a new struggle and new environment, and you kind of see him as a fish out of water. He’s not in Hawkins anymore, but he’s in California. You’re used to seeing Will fighting a monster or the Upside Down and the supernatural kind of forces against him. But this is just his personal struggles and high school. It’s cool to see that different side from Will because we’re so used to seeing the other scary kind of antagonist against him. But this is just a normal kind of real experience that all the fans will be able to relate to.

Will Byers sits on a couch in season 4 of Stranger Things.

Would you say acting is your first passion?

Oh, yeah, definitely. I’ve always loved acting and I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s just become second nature to me. And it’s amazing. I’m very lucky that I get to do it. Every time I’m on set, it’s like I always have a revelation like, “Wow, this is my job.” It’s so crazy to me. I always love it and I love what I do so much. It’s definitely my number one passion.

You’re joining the Roll app as an adviser. For people who may not know what it is, can you explain?

The Roll app interested me. Basically how it works is it’s a place where celebrities can post any of their personal content. Anything that they wouldn’t post for Instagram or other platforms, just kind of like a peek into their camera roll. That’s where the name came from. It was interesting to me because I’m always trying to perfect what I put on Instagram and this and that. I feel like with this app, you can just post whatever and be authentic. And my fans always want to see what I’m doing and keep up with me, and I think this is the perfect place to do it. So it’s on the App Store now, and I’ll be joining it in a month or so. Just posting my content and letting fans see into my life.

@noahschnapp

I can’t dance but bye Paris ❤️

♬ Classic – MKTO

Some actors go the route of having no social media whatsoever, but you seem to embrace it. Why do you think it’s important to stay active on social media?

I definitely think social media can be overwhelming and unhealthy at times. But I think it’s important for my fans to be able to interact with me and get to see me off-screen. And they love it. It’s nice to be able to connect with them. I talk to them on Instagram and stuff and comment on some of their TikToks. It’s just a way to give back and appreciate all they do for me and all their support and yeah.

It [social media] almost humanizes you as well.

Yeah, totally.

You seem very interested in tech and investing. Was tech a huge part of your life growing up?

Of course. I mean Apple and iPhones and headphones and everything. They’ve always consumed my life. And of course, you were just talking about social media. I recently invested in a bunch of new startups and businesses and stuff to come. It’s just really exciting for me at this time of my life to expand into other things and try things that aren’t just acting, but entrepreneurship and that world.

This video of Noah Schnapp learning he got accepted to college is the purest thing in the world. Congrats Noah!! 👏 pic.twitter.com/uJRZGueizw

— Netflix (@netflix) December 17, 2021

I saw you were accepted into the University of Pennsylvania. Some people might look at you and say, “Well, he’s a successful actor. He doesn’t really need to do all this [invest] or he doesn’t even need to go to college.” Was college always a huge priority for you?

For me, ever since I was born, my dad was like, “You’re going to college.” It was always super important to me. I think at this time in my life right now, I still need some time to grow and learn and find my responsibility and stuff. I think it’s important for me to go to college and take advantage of the school there and learn something outside of the acting world. And I just love expanding upon what I already know and being able to do a multiverse of things. I think that [college] will set me up beautifully for that. I can always do acting and continue with that, but I’d also love to expand my knowledge elsewhere.

So does this mean we’ll be seeing you in a dorm room? Will people be running into you in the dining hall?

Yeah, totally! I’m going to be all around and I’m excited. I’ve met a bunch of people and everyone’s super nice and it’s awesome.

We’ve seen so many child stars gone bad. It’s just a sad truth. But you seem to have such a good head on your shoulders, especially at such a young age. What can you contribute to that positive, well-rounded mindset?

I think just growing up with a good support system, a good management team behind me, a good family, and good friends. Pretty much everyone, where I live, treats me super normal and hits me on the head when I do something wrong. So it’s good to have people who care about you and are watching you and keep me in line. So far, so good.

Noah Schnapp rests his head on some jars.

Tell me about your snack brand, TBH. First of all, where did this original idea stem from?

So like I said, I’ve been wanting to expand and do different things. I wanted to launch a business. I was looking into so many different things and taking inspiration from my passions. I was going to go into clothing or shoes and kind of fell into the snacking world. It’s always been my passion to, honestly, open a restaurant. To have a snack brand, this is just like it. I love Nutella, and I was like, “How can I change this and make it better for consumers?” I think the way to do that was to make it healthier and better for the planet. And so we did that. This spread is just kind of the first product of many to come, and it’s been a very exciting learning curve and great things are on the way. We just debuted on Amazon and we’re launching into a bunch of retail in the next few weeks. So it’s really exciting.

Can you tease any products coming in the future?

I don’t know if I’m allowed to say, but we have definitely all been brainstorming different things to go under the umbrella of the TBH brand. There are a lot of great things in there and I’m excited to launch them. They’re all kind of themed around special holidays and times of the year.

You’re an actor and now an investor. Four or five years down the line, is there anything else that you’d like to add to your résumé?

Yes, I love to be an actor. I’d love to produce things and be a director as well. Of course, I’m an entrepreneur and have many more businesses and products to launch in the future. And then who knows where else life will take me and what else I’ll be.

The first part of Stranger Things season 4 premieres on Netflix on May 27.

Stranger Things 4 | Official Trailer | Netflix

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