Stranger Things’ Noah Schnapp Is Grateful For His “Normal” Summer Job

“It’s kind of kept me grounded.”

'Stranger Things' Noah Schnapp, who portrays Will Byers in the Netflix show.
Getty Images/Brian Stukes

When he’s not battling the Mind Flayer and playing Will Byers in Netflix’s cult sci-fi series Stranger Things, Noah Schnapp shares a real-life job with several of his fictional mates on the show. Though you’re unlikely to find the actor watching over Hawkins Community Pool any time soon, Schnapp really does have a summer job as a lifeguard. “It’s kind of a ‘just for fun’ thing,” the 17-year-old told Flaunt. “I’ve kind of grown up with a normal life and normal friends and stuff outside of Stranger Things, so it’s kind of kept me grounded.”

The actor was raised in Scarsdale, in the Northern suburbs of New York City. When he was just 10-years-old, he made his big screen debut in the Oscar-winning Steven Spielberg film Bridge of Spies alongside Tom Hanks, and was cast in Stranger Things in 2015, back when it was still a hopeful new pilot series.

Fans of the show have been quick to note that Schnapp now shares an occupation with Stranger Things’ Billy Hargrove, a local lifeguard who falls victim to the evil of the Mind Flayer — and frankly, it’s the unexpected crossover moment we never knew I needed.

Beyond pool duties, Schnapp also spoke about heading to the University of Pennsylvania to study business, and explained the logic behind his surprising degree choice. “I was thinking of going for acting,” he started, before adding that he eventually decided it was time to switch things up. “Acting was just kind of repetitive, and I wanted to try something new,” he said, citing a similar move by his Stranger Things co-star Millie Bobby Brown, who has enrolled for an online university course in human services.

“She’s doing the same thing with her schooling. She’s kind of learning about other things,” Schnapp said. “I thought it would make more sense to do something different. And business was a pretty clear next thing for me.”

This shift in direction comes after the actor set up his own snack brand TBH – a vegan hazelnut chocolate spread which is completely free from palm oil. The ingredient is widely used (the World Wildlife Foundation estimates that 50% of all packaged foods contain it) but its production contributes to both deforestation, and poor worker treatment. “I refused to imagine a world without my favourite snack,” Schnapp writes on his brand’s website, “so I started working on TBH, an honest hazelnut cocoa spread that is better for you and better for the planet… oh and it’s frickin’ delicious.” We reckon Schnapp would be an ideal fit for The Apprentice, don’t you?