If there was one plot twist we definitely weren’t expecting in Stranger Things Three, it was that Steve and Robin didn’t end up together. After setting them up as the perfect new couple following Steve’s break-up with Nancy, it was finally revealed in the finale that actually, Robin is gay.
According to Maya Hawke, who plays Robin in the Netflix TV show, the creators – the Duffer Brothers - were just as surprised by the change in narrative as viewers were, because Steve and Robin were actually meant to be together. That is, until Maya got involved.
‘Throughout filming, we started to feel like she and Joe shouldn’t get together, and that she’s gay,’ she told the Wall Street Journal, ‘Even when I go back and watch earlier episodes, it just seems like the most obvious decision ever.’
It wasn’t just her choice, of course, but she says that through a ‘collaborative conversation’ with the Duffer Brothers, they all decided to change Robin’s sexuality – and ultimately put to bed any chance of a romantic relationship between her and Steve.
Telling Variety that the change in narrative came five episodes in, it seems like the last-minute decision was very much spurred by Maya’s wishes. ‘I’m really really happy with the way that it went,’ she told the publication.
It just goes to show that, actually, actors have a lot more power than they think in ensuring diverse characters are represented on our screens. As a relatively fresh, young actor, the fact that Maya felt comfortable changing an entire character arc and huge relationship in one of the most popular TV shows on Netflix says a lot.
Yes, her parents are Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, but still – to ask for a more inclusive arc in her breakout role is a confident move.
We can only hope other actors take not and follow suit in asking for less normative character arcs. In this case, while we never got to see Maya develop a romantic relationship this season, the way her and Steve developed a strong, platonic friendship was beautiful to watch. And while we may have to wait a year to see their roles reprised in the next season of Stranger Things, we'll be watching out for Maya's other acting roles with much excitement - she's clearly one to keep an eye on.
Read more: The best shows hitting Netflix in August...
What's hitting Netflix in August?
The third series of the American drama-comedy, that follows several black college students at an Ivy League institution, hits Netflix at the beginning of the month.
Our favourite wrestling show, complete with Kate Nash, is back! This time, they're putting on a stage show in Vegas.
Have we ever told you that we love Tiffany Haddish? The Girls Trip star introduces the world to six of her favourite up-and-coming comedians. And we can't wait.
The first documentary from the Obamas' production company Higher Ground. The synopsis reads, 'The acclaimed film takes a deep dive into a post-industrial Ohio, where a Chinese billionaire opens a new factory in the husk of an abandoned General Motors plant and hires two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.'
The controversial show is back for a third season, just as Netflix have announced that it will be getting a fourth.
Mark Hamill, Helena Bonham-Carter and Alicia Vikander will voice characters in this animated fantasy epic, which is based on Jim Henson's cult 1982 film of the same name.
The spy film which introduced us to Taron Egerton is thankfully hitting the service this month.