Stranger Things actor Noah Schnapp, who’s been in and out of headlines as of late in connection with the Doja Cat DMtroversy, has reflected on his character’s widely relatable and oft-praised personal journey in a new interview.

Talking with Variety, Schnapp was reminded of remarks he made amid promo commitments for Stranger Things Season 4 Vol. 1, namely that Will Byers’ sexuality is “just up to the audience’s interpretation.”

Following some pivotal Vol. 2 moments for the character (including a particularly moving scene with his brother Jonathan that wasn’t originally included in the script), Schnapp is now speaking more definitively about Will and his feelings for Mike.

“Now it’s 100 percent clear that he is gay and he does love Mike,” Schnapp said Thursday. “But before, it was a slow arc. I think it is done so beautifully, because it’s so easy to make a character just like all of a sudden be gay.”

Per Schnapp, this “was always kind of there” for the character, all the way back to Season 1. The actor also reflected on that aforementioned Jonathan scene, as well as a widely celebrated (and widely memed) van scene with Will and Mike during which the former uses a heart-to-heart about Eleven to reveal his own feelings.

Schnapp is grateful for how well-received his character’s arc is among fans, having specifically mentioned in this latest Variety interview a recent encounter he had with a 40-year-old fan who said seeing Will reminded him of his own childhood.

“They are writing this real character and this real journey and real struggle and they’re doing it so well,” he said.

While we likely won’t be getting the final season of Stranger Things until 2024, fans have been in celebration mode this week due to the series having bagged a total of 13 Emmy nominations, Outstanding Drama Series among them. Also nominated in that category this year are Better Call Saul, Euphoria, Ozark, Severance, Squid Game, Succession, and Yellowjackets.

For the biggest takeaways from this year’s nominees class, hit this link.