One of the biggest winners at Thursday’s Emmy nominations was Netflix’s blockbuster hit Stranger Things. The first installment of the series, created by Ross and Matt Duffer, landed an astounding 18 nominations, including Best Drama Series and individual nods for actors David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, and Shannon Purser.
EW talked to Ross and Matt about their big day and preparing to release the highly anticipated second season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I’m so happy for you guys. I’ve loved this show so much from the start.
ROSS DUFFER: I know you were like your first fan. [laughs]
MATT DUFFER: It means a huge deal when you were like, “I love this show.” I was like, “Oh wow maybe some people will like it!” I’ll never forget that.
Did you guys watch the nominations live?
MATT: I never watch anything online but I did watch these.
ROSS: I wasn’t nervous or thinking about it too much and then I kept getting texts from people being like, “Tomorrow morning! Here we go!”
MATT: I was trying to sleep and I get a text saying, “Tick tick tick,” from I won’t say who. I’m like, “Goddamnit, I was just gonna sleep through this!”
You must be psyched for David and Millie and Shannon.
MATT: Barb! I mean Barb! A lot of people put a lot of work in passion into it so to see a lot of them nominated was great.
ROSS: And for David and Shannon that’s sort of their first individual call out so, for us, that’s exciting for them to get rewarded for that.
Is there now finally Justice for Barb?
MATT: Well, it’s proof she won’t be forgotten. Shannon took this… it’s barely a three-episode role and somehow turned it into what became this iconic character so I don’t know how she did it.
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You got nominated for writing and directing the first episode, too. How does that feel?
ROSS: The whole thing is so surreal. But yeah it feels great. As much as possible we wanted to treat this as a long movie so to get rewarded for the directing as well as the writing is a big deal.
MATT: Also, the TV out is so good right now. So to be on that list and there’s amazing sh– that’s not nominated. So I feel very lucky to be in there.
Have you been in contact with the cast? Is there like a massive text chain?
MATT: There’s been a lot of texting. I heard from Caleb [McLaughlin, who plays Lucas]. I heard from Millie. I’ve heard from David. There’s a lot of children we have to communicate with so I guess that’s going to be the rest of our day. I guess we could do a massive chain.
ROSS: But anytime we’re on a massive chain though it’s terrifying. It’s like a tsunami of texts. I don’t understand how they do it.
MATT: It is dangerous to get involved in that. We won’t get any work done. We are trying to finish season two.
Does this increase the pressure for season 2? Or are you more excited?
MATT: I feel like we’ve hit maximum pressure. But, at this point, all the major decisions have been made so we’ve got to go with it. We’re feeling good about it. We just mixed and colored our first two episodes. Very few people have seen any of it so that aspect of it is very nerve-wracking but it was the same way last year.