The 45-year-old actress discussed her role as Joyce Byers, a divorced mom who spends Season 1 of the Netflix series frantically searching for her son Will (Noah Schnapp), in the November issue of Marie Claire U.K. Ryder said she asked her own mom for advice on the part.
"I said, 'Mom, if every bit of logic is telling you your kid is gone, would you still [refuse to believe it]?' And she said, 'Absolutely,'" Ryder recalled.
"I said, 'What if they show you a body?' She said, 'If you don't see it happen, you don't believe it.'"
"It's a weird, primal thing," she said of Joyce's refusal to give up on her missing son. "But I may have gone too far: it seemed like every day I was crying or freaking out."
Ryder's "Stranger Things" character marked her first television role as a series regular. The show's success also returned Ryder to the spotlight following struggles in her personal life and years of infrequent projects.
"I honestly don't know if the world is going to exist [10 or 20 years from now]," the star said of her future with acting. "Everything is changing so fast. I've never been very strategic. I think if you try to be strategic, you just end up failing."
"People who I really respect talk about 'relevance' but I'm like, 'I don't care, leave me alone,'" she added.
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