Ah, to be 15 years old and already have so many of your fellow celebs loving your work that you can cite a favorite celebrity fan encounter.
And in the case of Stranger Things star Caleb McLaughlin — currently starring in BET’s three-night musical miniseries The New Edition Story — his favorite fan meetup was with one of the most famous men in the world: Barack Obama.
“He was like, ‘I see you guys. I’m keeping up with you guys. I see your dance moves. I saw you guys at the Emmys. You guys are good. I’m hip and stuff,’” McLaughlin tells Yahoo TV. “He’s like, ‘You guys, I like how the boys have the bond… I like how you all stick together.’ I’m like, ‘Whoa, this is so cool!’”
The meeting happened when former President Obama invited McLaughlin and his castmates from the hit Netflix series to the White House last October, but the then-POTUS is far from the only notable name to geek out over McLaughlin and company. Daniel Radcliffe gushed about how talented the cast is during a radio interview in England, Stephen King compared the show to his greatest hits in a tweet, and The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus asked the kids to take a selfie with him in December when they all attended the Critics’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles. Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Hart, Ryan Gosling, Timothy Olyphant, Aaron Paul, Shonda Rhimes, Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner, and Emma Stone are also self-professed obsessives of the supernatural series.
And they’re just like us, we’d bet, in impatiently waiting for Season 2, which is nearing the end of filming in Atlanta. McLaughlin said he and his castmates are focused on making sure the sophomore season lives up to those first eight episodes.
“Filming Season 2 is definitely a lot of pressure, because the first season was so phenomenal,” says the actor, who also guest starred on Blue Bloods and Shades of Blue last year. “You just want to do really good. We just want to do a really good job on the next one. That’s the most nervous part about it. I’m having great feelings about the second season, though, so it’s pretty good filming it.”
He’s also getting used to living in the ‘80s, in TV land, anyway, as both Stranger Things and The New Edition Story are set in that decade.
“Actually yeah, pretty much, because I’m reliving my parents’ lives,” says the actor, who’s been sharing his New Edition dance skills with his Stranger Things co-stars. “They’re telling me, ‘Yeah, this is exactly how it was in the ‘80s.’ That’s so crazy, but it’s cool.”
The New Edition Story airs Jan. 24, 25, and 26 at 9 p.m. on BET. Stranger Things Season 2 premieres later this year on Netflix.