One Stranger Things Star Convinced Duffer Brothers To Give Character 'Crazy' Backstory

The Season 3 premiere of Stranger Things is only hours away, and fans will get their look at what the people of Hawkins have been up to since December of 1984. The action will pick up in the summer of 1985, and the characters will be dealing with a whole lot more than just heat. (See: the new monster.) One character will have his backstory filled in, largely thanks to the efforts of the actor. Get ready for some crazy layers to Billy thanks to actor Dacre Montgomery!

Back in Season 2, Billy wasn't much more than a human villain who existed to menace Max, threaten Lucas, and very nearly beat Steve to death, although one episode did reveal an abusive relationship with his father. Trailer footage from Season 3 showed that Billy will go through a change, and Dacre Montgomery revealed that he convinced creators and executive producers Matt and Ross Duffer to give Billy a wild backstory. Here's how Montgomery put it:

I wanted to learn more about Billy's biological mother. That was a conversation I had with (the Duffer brothers) two or three months prior to them beginning to write the season. I had brought a kind of crazy backstory for them, and they included it. It's involved in the redemptive end that I think my character has this season. That shows how collaborative they are—they listen to you. I try to bring ten crazy ideas every time I come to set. They'll always tell me which ones are too crazy, and they'll always take something.

Stranger Things already revealed some things about Billy's dad, including that Billy's dad is pretty awful. That's not to say that Billy's dad being abusive is an excuse for everything Billy did in Season 2, but it gave him some depth. Dacre Montgomery just wanted some details about Billy's mom to make it into Season 3, according to his chat with TV Insider. How far will Season 3 go to explain what makes Billy tick? And will it be enough for fans to forgive his Season 2 actions?

Well, the third season premieres at 12:01 a.m. PT on July 4, so the answer to that last question isn't too far off. At least, the answer from binge-watchers who make it through the new batch of episodes ASAP. Those who take their time with the long-awaited Season 3 won't be able to weigh in on Billy for a bit, but something tells me a lot of people will have finished Season 3 by the end of the holiday weekend. David Harbour is certainly hyping a certain episode.

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Dacre Montgomery weighed in on his character following the premiere of Season 2, and he suggested that Billy isn't as bad as he seemed despite what he did to Lucas, Steve, and Max. He explained at that point that he thought Billy did what he did because "he feels threatened."

If the backstory he suggested to the Duffer brothers for Season 3 reflects this thought process, perhaps the show is presenting a softer side to Billy. Or perhaps the show will just explain more about how he became who he did.

Find out how Stranger Things incorporates Dacre Montgomery's "crazy" backstory for Billy when Season 3 premieres Thursday, July 4 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Netflix, and be sure to check back in with CinemaBlend after you watch the season for interviews and analysis about all that happened. Find out more of my thoughts on Stranger Things Season 3 as well as others in our rundown of what critics are saying about the new batch of episodes.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).