Caleb McLaughlin Wants You To Embrace Your Face

Photographed by Danielle Kosann

The long-anticipated release of Stranger Things’ second season this Friday is our own personal holiday. While we can’t necessarily take the day off to binge watch, we did the next best thing: We sat down with a few of our favorite boys from the show (Finn Wolfhard a.k.a Mike was Monday, Gaten Matarazzo a.k.a Dustin was yesterday!) and though they’ve got plenty on their plate between fighting Demogorgons and finding Eleven, they found time to become honorary Potatoheads.

Up today is Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas on the show: As if we needed more reasons to feel uncool this week. We jumped around in DUMBO with this guy, who’s not only an amazing actor, but also an inspiration to teenagers who he tells to #EmbraceYourFace and #BeYourBiggestFan. He’s also got a penchant for dancing and mac & cheese…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

For breakfast, I’d have a plain bagel with egg, cheese and turkey bacon. For Lunch, it’d be a Caesar salad with grilled chicken. For dinner, I’d like chicken fettuccine. 

What foods do you really like and which do you strongly dislike? 

I love mac & cheese and peanut butter sandwiches. I dislike olives and squash.

When did you know that you wanted to be an actor?  

After performing on Broadway [in The Lion King] for a few months, followed by landing my first TV role on Law and Order, I knew it I wanted to be an actor.

Did you ever want to be anything else?  

A basketball player.

What’s the fad in your age group right now?  

Honestly, I have no idea because things change so quickly. I’m homeschooled so by the time I find out the latest fad, it’s old!

How are you similar to your character, ‘Lucas’ on Stranger Things? How are you different? 

Lucas and I both believe in friendship. Lucas is more skeptical than I am.

You say you and Lucas believe in friendship, are you good friends with your cast members? What do you like to do together? 

Yes, we are good friends. We love hanging out when we travel together- we go swimming, hang out in someone’s room, go to the movies and eat together- basically kid stuff. When we’re not together, we keep in touch through our group text, “Stranger Text.”

Do you ever get scared while filming?  

There were a few times when the directors caught us by surprise to get a natural reaction, but not really. 

What’s been your favorite thing about being on Stranger Things?

My favorite thing has definitely been having the opportunity to experience the 80’s. It’s cool to experience a time period my parents grew up in.

When you were growing up, did you have your own personal demogorgon, in other words something either real or not real you were really scared of? 

Like most kids, I used to be afraid of the dark. 

What’s your all-time favorite song? 

It’s hard to say what my all-time favorite song is, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder lately. I really like ‘Visions’ by Stevie Wonder.

Do you have a favorite app, what is it and why do you love it? 

I would have to say Instagram. It’s a way for me to connect with my fans and let them know what’s going on.

You’ve got a great Instagram following, any tips you can give us on taking a good Instagram? 

I don’t think I’m an expert on that, but I would say, have your Instagram reflect who you are as a person. 

What things outside of school and acting do you love? 

I love sports, dancing, gaming and traveling. 

Can you tell us a little about #EmbraceYourFace and #BeYourBiggestFan? Why are they important to you? 

The birth of Embrace Your Face came when I went to the supermarket with pimple cream on my face (I’d just left set). I went live on Instagram from the supermarket and told all of my followers to “Embrace Your Face!” Teenagers having pimples is the most normal thing to have. Embrace your face! And as a result of this, I received so many letters and messages from people from all over the country, thanking me for #EmbraceYourFace. People have told me #EmbraceYourFace allowed them to feel good, take photos of themselves and just love the skin they’re in. I’ve even had people tell me #EmbraceYour Face stopped them from suicide. #EmbraceYourFace is very important to me.

So many people ask me about my journey. I always tell people you have to be your biggest fan when no one believes in you – you have to believe in yourself. YOU have to be your biggest fan! You as an individual have to be your biggest cheerleader! 

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7 thoughts on “Caleb McLaughlin Wants You To Embrace Your Face

  1. For a young man he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. His parents really instilled in him a belief that has made him strong willed.
    It’s very refreshing to see & hear from a young man that behaves decently. I really enjoyed reading about his accomplishments. The interview was really interesting and I look forward to seeing him in the future.

  2. Well I’m impressed Caleb. My name is actually PaviElle McLaughlin. We have the same last name and we both LOVE Mac and cheese!!

  3. Absolutely adore this fella. His character is fresh and independent. Can’t wait to see Season 2, just to see what he gets into next

  4. Great interview I know he’s a great kid because I grew up with his father,uncle and aunt they were always respectful and well mannered. So I wouldn’t expect anything less from Caleb.

  5. You’re amazing Caleb!!! I can’t wait to see what other stuff you’ll be featured on in the future!! I’m 16 too and seeing what you have accomplished in your life makes me feel amazing lol

  6. I love Lucas’s character growth in season 2. He’s the younger male version of Barb for his friends. I’d love to see Caleb in a musical. His lip sync performance on lip sync battle was legendary and so was his spoof of being in a Motown band on the late show. I’m eagerly to see whatelse he can do.

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