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Natalia Dyer: 6 Things You Might Not Know About The Stranger Things Star

Natalia Dyer - Stranger Things

Like many of her now-famous co-stars on Netflix's immensely popular Stranger Things, Natalia Dyer went from being a bright young actress to becoming one of the faces behind the most popular show in Netflix's early history. That's certainly a lot of pressure, but it has also allowed this up-and-coming talent to land a few exciting roles. Notably, this year's Yes, God, Yes, which was a great showcase for this uniquely talented actress. 

While most viewers know her best as Nancy Wheeler in this overnight success story of a streaming series, the 25-year-old actress has worked her way towards stardom even from an early age — complete with a small role in a prominent Disney movie to finding fame through Netflix's enormously popular show while she was still a shy-natured college girl. If you're a big fan of her work, here's what you should know about Natalia Dyer.

Natalia Dyer - Stranger Things

Natalia Dyer Got Pneumonia Every Year Growing Up

During her youth, Natalia Dyer was considered "a well-behaved, quiet and studious" student, balancing school with acting in local community theater productions. But there was one problem she faced: she got sick. A lot, unfortunately. 

Specifically, Dyer would get a case of pneumonia every year, and she missed a decent bit of school due to asthma and other illnesses. Because of this, Dyer found herself "pretty good at entertaining" herself and being in her own worlds, which involved playing games and staying in her own head. In a sense, this time spent inside her own mind informed her future as an actress. She could constantly return to that state of play found inside her creative headspace, particularly when the young performer needed to pass the time.

Natalie Dyer - Hannah Montana: The Movie

Her First Screen Credit Was Hannah Montana: The Movie

In her early days, Natalia Dyer was a young Nashville theater actress looking to make a name for herself. One of her first shows became a stage production of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, among several other local shows. But when a major Disney movie came into town, Dyer jumped at the chance to star on the silver screen. 

Sure enough, she was cast in Hannah Montana: The Movie. Based on the popular Disney Channel show of the same name, this film was the actress's first screen credit. And it was quite a prominent one, too. From there, Dyer also starred in smaller movies like The Greening of Whitney Brown, Don't Let Me Go, Blue Like Jazz, and I Believe In Unicorns before Stranger Things entered her life. Here's Dyer reflecting on her role in Hannah Montana: The Movie.

Natalia Dyer - Yes, God, Yes

Natalia Dyer Was Studying At NYU When She Landed Her Stranger Things Role

In 2015, Natalia Dyer was a shy-natured New York University student making her way through the Big Apple. She would go to auditions in between her studies, hoping to find something, but she likely never imagined that she'd be where she is today when she sat down to tryouts for an exciting new Netflix series. 

Sure enough, it happened, but it can hard be hard to balance school and work — especially at that age. Alas, when Dyer got the gig, she took a break from school to pursue the role. Filming always took place when she was supposed to be in school, which makes sense since Stranger Things is a primarily fall-based series. Therefore, since Dyer couldn't fully commit to her college studies (and she was actually doing the thing she was studying), she took a break.

Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton - Stranger Things

Natalia Dyer And Charlie Heaton Have Been Dating — Sometimes In Secret

It's not uncommon for sparks to fly on set. When working with someone in a close-knit fashion for an extended period of time, sometimes in an intimate fashion, a person might find themselves catching feelings for their fellow actor. Particularly on Stranger Things, where the show's intense popularity keeps it going longer than the showrunners initially anticipated, Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton have apparently fostered a relationship in quick fashion. 

Though, naturally, it didn't become public knowledge at first. While the relationship was official around the start of Season 2 (maybe even earlier), the young couple kept their romance a secret until Heaton revealed it at the start of 2019. Now, they're officially an item. Currently, as production on Stranger Things Season 4 has been halted indefinitely, Dyer and Heaton have reportedly been housing together in their Atlanta lodgings.

Natalia Dyer - Yes, God, Yes

She Turns Down Selfie Requests

Natalia Dyer has talked openly about being an introvert, which can be challenging when you star on one of the most popular shows on streaming right now. While she's appreciative of the fans and thankful for the continued success of the Netflix series, Dyer hasn't warmed up to one popular type of fan interaction: selfies.

 In an interview, the Stranger Things actress admits that she turns down selfie requests — not in an effort to be rude but because it's something that she doesn't feel comfortable with yet. But she makes a point to be polite and spend time talking to fans and signing autographs. But her shyness prevents her from feeling open about taking several photos with complete strangers. In our current technological age, it can be hard to avoid people trying to snap photos, though, which she understands. Here's what Dyer told InStyle:

I mean sometimes, this is what I want to say: It’s for my mental health. I always know that I would rather talk to [a fan], and the exchange of the photo thing — you feel like a commodity in a way. For both of us in the interaction I'm like, ‘this is going to be so much better, I promise.'

Natalia Dyer - Stranger Things

Next, She'll Star In A Horror Movie With Amanda Seyfried And Rhea Seehorn

Stranger Things' success has certainly done wonders for Natalia Dyer's career. While she hasn't garnered as many high-profile roles as her co-stars, the streaming show's continued popularity gives Dyer a chance to shine in some noteworthy projects. 

For instance, as noted above, Yes, God, Yes, this year's charming coming-of-age indie dramedy, which became a great starring vehicle for the talented actress. Up next, Dyer is set to star in the horror-thriller Things Heard & Seen alongside Amanda Seyfried and Better Call Saul's Rhea Seehorn. From directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor), this new movie is based on Elizabeth Brundage's novel, All Things Cease To Appear, and it's expected to hit Netflix sometime later this year, which makes sense given the Stranger Things star's involvement. Certainly, things are really coming together for Dyer!

If you're a fan of Natalia Dyer, be sure to let us know in the comment section below!

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.