Linnea Berthelsen Says Trust Your Instincts

It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with Stranger Things; we cannot stop pouring over every detail of the second season. In continuing with our series of Stranger Things interviews, we decided to chat with Linnea Berthelsen, star of what could arguably be some of the most divisive episodes in the show’s history. Whether you love her character or not, you cannot deny that Berthelson is, in a word, bitching as Eleven’s sister Eight. We chatted with Berthelsen in New York about how she got the part, her favorite foods, and what it was like to act alongside such a talented young cast. Suffice to say, we’re now big Berthelsen fans; let’s just say we’ve found our new kickass muse…

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

My ideal food day in Los Angeles would be to go out in the morning to have coffee and a delicious omelet at a cool cafe in the Silver Lake area. For lunch, I would find a poke bowl place and enjoy it in a park. Lastly for dinner, I would look up the best French restaurant in town and treat myself to some coq au vin and good cheese for dessert.

Can you tell us a bit about how you got your role on Stranger Things? What was your reaction when you heard you got the part?

They found me through a self-tape audition, which I got through my Danish agent. I auditioned and was then invited to screen test in Atlanta with Millie. Shortly after that, I got cast on the show. I was really excited, proud and nervous when I found out. I think it took me a week to fully understand it.

Did you always know you wanted to be an actress? Did you ever want to be anything else?

No, I didn’t always know that. I thought I wanted to become a doctor until my late teens.

Were you a big fan of Stranger Things Season 1? How did it feel to be cast as Eleven’s sister?

After watching Season 1, I instantly became a big fan of the show and a big fan of the Duffer Brothers. They are amazing. It was all so exciting. Eleven is one of my favorite characters, and I think it is really exciting to get to play her sister.

How are you like Eight? How are you two different? 

We are similar because I am very determined and driven. We also both love Eleven. I don’t even know where to start with the differences. I do not lack empathy. I smile every day, which is definitely something you can’t say about Kali. I care a lot about other people. I do not wear much make-up, and I really prefer my own Copenhagen apartment over a warehouse in Chicago.

What foods do you love? Which do you dislike? 

I love sushi, French and Thai food. I’m not really picky, but I don’t like chili or blue cheese.

What was it like coming onto a show with kids as someone a bit older? 

It was incredible. It was such an amazing experience to learn from their approach, and it is really nice to have a young vibe on set. They are the most polite, cool and fun young adults.

What do you like to do outside of acting?
I like reading, coffee dates, politics, documentaries, dancing, etc. All kinds of things.

What’s been the best advice you have received? The worst? 

“Trust your instincts,” is the best advice I’ve received. “Don’t become an actor, it’s a tough industry,” is the worst.


Your character dealt with trauma, were you able to draw from personal experience in playing that?

No, I don’t have any personal experience with traumas like that. I was able to research and draw from other peoples’ experience. I empathize with Kali, though. I know what it means to feel really strongly about something, to deal with difficult emotions and loss. I found a way to connect with her pain through my research and my personal understanding of these emotions.

What’s your favorite part about being on Stranger Things Season 2?

My favorite part about being on Stranger Things Season 2 is getting inspired from top professionals and incredibly creative people. Most people that are involved with Stranger Things are artists in some way, and it’s amazing to be in a position where you can ask questions and learn from the best.

Is there more to come from you in Season 3? 

I don’t know. We will see what the amazing creators of Stranger Things have planned for us all.

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