Sparks flying on set! While bringing Jonathan Byers and Nancy Wheeler’s love story to life on Stranger Things, Charlie Heaton and Natalia Dyer took their connection to the next level.
When Netflix debuted in 2016, viewers became invested in the chemistry between Nancy and Jonathan. Even though Nancy was dating Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) at the time, her friend Barb’s disappearance inspired her to work with Jonathan. The duo stayed friends until season 2, when Nancy and Jonathan decided to start dating.
Offscreen, however, Heaton and Dyer preferred to keep their romance more low-key. The couple sparked dating rumors in 2017 when they were spotted together at the Los Angeles International Airport after attending the Golden Globes. Later that year, they were seen holding hands in Paris and kissing in London.
During an interview with Us Weekly, Dyer hinted at her close bond with Heaton. “He’s alright, I guess,” she joked in January 2018. “He doesn’t mess up our scenes too much! No, he’s great. He’s talented, like everybody in the cast. They’re all super, just great to work with.”
Heaton, for his part, praised the love that was blossoming between Jonathan and Nancy after season 2. “They’ve both had this shared trauma. They’ve both gone through this experience together and I think that brings people closer,” the musician, who shares son Archie with his ex Akiko Matsuura, told Us in March 2018. “I think also what was kind of cool about Jonathan and Nancy, especially in season 1, was that they brought out qualities in each other that maybe weren’t there without the other.”
For Dyer, it was also important for the show to explore Nancy’s independence beyond her romance with Jonathan — specifically through the mysteries in Hawkins, Indiana.
“I think she’s a big fish in a small pond. I think there’s something in Hawkins that she needs to figure out because they don’t think that they’ve gotten to the bottom of it. I’d love to see more of that. I’d love to see her get that big find,” she detailed. “At the same time, I don’t think she feels completely validated. I don’t think it’s over, I think there’s still more there that feels wrong and off, and I don’t know if you can ever fix that.”
Ahead of the season 4 premiere, cocreator Matt Duffer weighed in on the way Jonathan and Nancy brought their real-life counterparts together. “That first audition, we did a chemistry read with [Heaton and] Natalia, and sparks were flying,” the producer told GQ in February 2020.
Scroll down to relive Dyer and Heaton’s romance: