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Maya Hawke doesn't think her 'Stranger Things' character needs a girlfriend: 'I feel mixed about it'

Hawke doesn't want Robin's love life to become the center of her existence.

Maya Hawke as Robin in Stranger Things. (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix)
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Maya Hawke isn't one of the O.G. Stranger Things kids, having only joined Netflix's blockbuster series in its third season. But the actress and her alter ego, Robin Buckley, is first in the hearts of the show's global fanbase thanks to her snappy wit and resonant friendship with ice cream scooper-turned-video store jockey, Steve Harrington (Joe Keery). Until recently, she was also Stranger Things's most prominent queer character, revealing to a lovestruck Steve midway through the third season that she's just not into him in that way.

Season 4 advanced that storyline further, revealing that Robin was seriously crushing on Hawkins High marching band clarinetist Vickie (Amybeth McNulty), who has an ex-boyfriend, but also notably returned her VHS copy of Fast Times at Ridgemont High paused at Phoebe Cates's famous swimming pool scene. The season ended with Robin and Vickie making PB&J sandwiches side-by-side for all the residents displaced by those Vecna-caused earthquakes.

As far as Stranger Things fans are concerned, Robin and Vickie are already an item — fan fiction starring the two is certainly plentiful online. But will Season 5 make their relationship official? Asked whether she hopes that Robin has a girlfriend when the show returns, Hawke admits to feeling "mixed" about her character's romantic future, especially if it detracts from the bond that Steve and Robin share. "It's both a great thing, and I also love characters where their love life is not the center of their existence," the actress tells Yahoo Entertainment doing a conversation about her role in Wes Anderson's new film, Asteroid City.

Watch our interview with Maya Hawke on YouTube

"That friendship with Steve is so special," Hawke continues. "And friendships have been carrying me through my life. I think they're really important and they deserve their airtime."

There's certainly plenty of time for Stranger Things masterminds, the Duffer Brothers, to figure out how to proceed. The show was expected to be in the process of shooting its fifth and final season this year, but production is delayed amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. The Duffers announced the delay themselves on the Stranger Things writer's room Twitter feed writing: "While we’re excited to start production with our amazing cast and crew, it is not possible during this strike."

Hawke confirms that Season 5 is on an indefinite hiatus, especially with a potential strike by the Screen Actors Guild looming. "We were supposed to start and then we didn't," she says. That means she's also not aware how the Duffers are planning to evolve the show's other gay character, Will Byers, played by Noah Schnapp. The fourth season heavily implied that Will's feelings for his longtime pal, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) went beyond friendship and Schnapp confirmed in a 2022 Variety interview that his alter ego is gay.

"Now it's 100% clear that he is gay and he does love Mike," Schnapp said last year. "It was a slow arc. I think it is done so beautifully, because it’s so easy to make a character just like all of a sudden be gay."

"I don't know what's going to happen," Hawke says when asked about how Will's storyline might complement Robin's when the fifth season finally goes before cameras. "I don't think the [last] season spelled it out exactly."

Hawke and Rupert Friend in a scene from Wes Anderson's Asteroid City. (Photo: Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection)
Hawke and Rupert Friend in a scene from Wes Anderson's Asteroid City. (Photo: Focus Features/Courtesy Everett Collection)

While she's waiting to reunite with her Stranger Things family, Hawke is happy to have been invited to join Wes Anderson's ever-expanding family. The writer/director is famous for building a troupe of actors who reappear across his many movies; Asteroid City, for example, features regular Anderson collaborators like Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton and Jeff Goldblum. But the deeply meta movie also makes room for new players like Hawke, Matt Dillon and Margot Robbie. And, for the record, Hawke is the first member of her family of actors — her father is Ethan Hawke and her mother is Uma Thurman — to be in a Wes Anderson picture.

"It feels like getting picked for the soccer team in middle school," Hawke says, laughing. "That never happened to me, but it's how I imagine that would feel! It feels like getting to be part of a theater troupe, but also has the added thing of making something that's going to touch a lot of people. It's hard to explain, but that adds a special magic and wonder to the experience. It's one of the best things that's ever happened to me."

Stranger Things is currently streaming on Netflix.