In 2016, the name Dacre Montgomery was one that wouldn't have sounded so familiar to those paying close attention to the world of entertainment. But what a difference a year has made for the Australian actor, who is on the cusp of blockbuster fame with the release of this weekend's Power Rangers. Fans of Netflix's breakout hit Stranger Things will get to know him when Season 2 hits later this year, too, although maybe not in the same way the creators did when they watched Montgomery's go-for-broke audition tape. Here's the actor's wild story.
I was so nervous by it and wanted it so badly, I made like a short film. I had an opening score, opening titles and credits. And I got in like a G-string and danced naked to '80s music with this leather jacket and crazy glasses. That night, Thursday night, I sent it off. I said to my team at 3 Arts and WME, I was like, 'Dudes, this is crazy, literally the industry is going be like who the hell is this guy, or they're going to love it. Hopefully the Duffers can handle this.' I didn't sleep Thursday night and I got the call Friday morning saying, 'The Duffers want to Skype you on Sunday morning and they want to fly you to L.A. next week for the test deal.' I was like, 'Holy shit!' I Skyped the Duffers Sunday morning and we got a call Monday morning [saying] the test deal is off the plate, it's an offer. And I was standing with my mom and I was like, 'Are you kidding me?!'
The next time any of us have to apply for any kind of a job in any field, let's all take a collective step back to ask, "But is this the way that Dacre Montgomery would do it if he were really desperate for something?" And then we will all agree that no, nothing we're doing is on that level. Then the job market and economy collapses, and it's all because the new Red Ranger got freaky on camera for Stranger Things. Okay, so that's maybe how it would go in The Upside Down, and not quite on Earth proper.
In any case, Dacre Montgomery should get some form of prize for his efforts beyond just a killer new role in one of the hottest new TV shows of 2016. Word of mouth for the sci-fi/horror mash-up was rampant, and the hunger for information about Season 2 was partially sated by the relatively recent first trailer and images. Now, it's true that story doesn't teach us anything about the plot or the character that he'll be playing, whose name is Billy, but what we do glean from this is that Matt and Ross Duffer were so impressed by Montgomery's ribald and fearless manner that they eventually cast him, which likely inspired them to tilt the role a bit more in that direction.
As Billy, Dacre Montgomery enters the show as the unpredictable and violent brother of Sadie Sink's Max, another new character. She's a tomboy whose history with Billy is a disturbing one, which makes them outcasts of sorts in Hawkins, where everyone is already kind of an outcast. So they'll fit in perfectly. Will Billy be the kind of person who wears leather jackets while his junk is potentially on display? That remains to be seen.
Thankfully, he did share a bit more descriptive info during the interview with THR. Here's what Dacre Montgomery had to say about how his character was conceived, as well as what he thought about watching early rough cuts.
The Duffers were like, 'We want somebody like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.' [Billy's] wild, he's unpredictable. Every day I go to set, I have some sort of new input, like I'll sit down with the Duffers and be like, 'What do you think about this line?' I've got prosthetics, I've got a crazy car, I've got earrings and tats and it's so wild. . . . I went into the post production house actually in L.A. about two and a half weeks ago and the Duffers showed me and Joe Keery [Steve] most rough cuts of [episodes] one, two, three and four. We sat in these edit rooms, giggling like little girls. I'm still fan-girling.
Nobody saw it coming that Matt and Ross Duffer would want a Stephen King villain archetype for Stranger Things, right? (Even if it's a version of the character that King hasn't been so high on.) We'll all get to meet Dacre Montgomery's new-d character when Stranger Things Season 2 debuts on Netflix on Tuesday, October 31, at 12:01 p.m. PT. Head to our Netflix premiere rundown to see everything else heading to the streaming service soon, and then catch up with our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide to stay up to date with everything else.