The Potentially Mind-Shattering Way Stranger Things' Sadie Sink Prepared For Her Big Scene, And What She Says Now About The Song That Saved Max

sadie sink as max on stranger things season 4
(Image credit: Netflix)

Warning: Big, juicy SPOILERS ahead for Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1. Come back when you’re caught up!

By the time viewers get through the Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1 ending, several things are apparent. For one, Hawkins, Indiana is really no place for regular-ass humans, but also, we’ve now had some of our many Stranger Things queries answered about Eleven, the Upside Down, and why Vecna is hell bent on destroying lives. But, one sequence that’s brought up a lot of Stranger Things thoughts about the rest of Season 4, is the one where Max (Sadie Sink) breaks free from Vecna’s curse with her favorite song. Now, Sink has revealed the potentially mind-shattering way that she prepared for the scene, and what she thinks of the song that saved Max now.

How Did Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink Prepare For Max’s Big Scene?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a large (and hopefully quite shady) rock for several weeks now, you probably know that one of the most talked about sequences of Stranger Things Season 4, Volume 1 happens during Episode 4, “Dear Billy.” The episode sees Sadie Sink’s Max get pulled into Vecna’s Mind Lair so he can toy with her guilt over Billy’s death and finally take her. Unfortunately for him, the Hawkins gang has found a way out for Max via her favorite song, Kate Bush’s once again very popular ‘80s hit, “Running Up That Hill.” And, Sink told Vanity Fair that she prepared for the scene in a way that many folks would not be able to stand:

I think on the day that we were filming the running sequence in episode four, we had the song playing. And I always would have it playing in my headphones. There was an actual cassette in the Walkman and I could listen to it if I wanted to, but I did do a whole day in my own time where I just was home and had it playing on in the background for the entire day, just to see if I would go insane, because that’s what Max was having to do. So I’m like, Oh, my God. Would you get sick of it? How is she doing this all day?

Well, this is a level of commitment to crafting a character and working on a scene that I think a lot of people would balk at, right? We’ve all had and still have favorite songs, but we’ve all probably experienced that point where we hear it and go, “Oh, OK. I may have listened to this too much now.” I tend to pull waaaay back after that, and stop playing the tune so much, so that I don’t end up hating it or suffering some sort of repetition-induced psychological break, but it’s pretty easy to see why Sink felt she had to keep listening.

Bush’s single does snap Max out of her Vecna trance, which leads to her being able to hurt the baddie just enough to run out of the Mind Lair and get back to her body. But, there’s no way of knowing if Max is totally out of danger, so every time we see her after she escapes, Max is either listening to the song or has her cassette tape and headphones at the ready so she can easily hit play in an attempt to save herself.

So, the big question now is, did Sadie Sink get sick of the powerful tune that saved Max? She continued:

It’s been a lot, but I’m still not sick of it, which is good. [Laughs.] Knowing the emotional connection that [Max] has to that song, and how it’s kind of her anthem, played into it. It’s something about the energy of the song, the synth and the lyrics and everything. It’s so perfect. They could not have picked a more perfect song.

Honestly, I think that there are millions of Stranger Things viewers, and music fans, everywhere who agree. We’ll be able to see if Max is fully out of trouble, and get at least some of our other Stranger Things Season 4 questions answered (I hope!) when Volume 2 (which promises to be full of chaos) hits Netflix on July 1.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.