Let's talk about Billy Mayfield, the newest and sexiest resident of Hawkins, Indiana on Stranger Things. Dacre Montgomery, the Australian import who plays the role, wore a G-string for his audition, if that tells you anything about Billy. (Contrary to popular opinion, Zac Efron does not play Billy.)
Prior to the show's release, we knew very little about Billy. When the show announced that Montgomery would be joining the cast, Billy was described as Max's (Sadie Sink) "hyper-confident" older brother. It was implied he'd be violent, maybe, but mainly we knew that Billy would be cool. He drove a black Camaro, as per the announcement.
Now that the show's out, we can fully discuss this new character, who remains a mystery until episode eight, really. In Stranger Things 2, Billy is a bully of sorts; he's there to cause trouble for his little sister Max and the gang of Hawkins kids. And, he's also really hot.
Billy Is Basically Rob Lowe's Character From St. Elmo's Fire.
As one savvy Redditor pointed out, Billy is a vision of Billy Hicks, Lowe's character from St. Elmo's Fire. Billy Hicks, like Billy Mayfield, is a fratty saxophonist with a mullet. He wears a single earring, much like Montgomery's character in Stranger Things.
Costume designer Kim Wilcox and Sarah Hindsgaul, the show's hair designer, told E! that Billy was indeed inspired by Rob Lowe. They also drew from Bruce Springsteen and the film The Outsiders, which also starred Rob Lowe.
"There's a little bit of a dangerous edge to him and his jeans fit just so. He wears serious biker boots. He's got an earring. He's kind of a bad boy and we haven't seen this kind of a bad boy before in Hawkins. We haven't seen this kind of flavor and it was really fun to find him with Dacre," Willcox shared with E!.
Billy's backstory was Dacre Montgomery's idea.
Billy is a masochistic asshole in the series. In episode eight, we meet Billy's father Neil Mayfield, played by Will Chase. Neil is violent, sexist, and homophobic, and, most importantly, he preys on Billy. So, Billy's violence has an origin. Montgomery told Vanity Fair that this scene was his idea. He wanted to humanize Billy.
“I can’t just play bad, because nobody’s just bad,” Montgomery said. “It’s funny, because today I’ve gotten a number of messages about that scene in particular with the dad—people all around the world saying, ‘I responded to this scene."
Montgomery had to learn how to smoke for the role.
Billy is an avid smoker, but Montgomery is not.
"Arguably the first four episodes, it looks terrible on my part,” Montgomery told VF. “It wasn’t until Shawn Levy [a Stranger Things executive producer and director] came on...he gave me all these lessons."
The actor wore a wig to recreate that '80s mullet.
No, that's not his real hair — that's a wig.
"It was fantastic. I spent a lot of time in the makeup and hair trailer with my friends. I like it. It's the 'moo-lay,' as the Kiwis are calling it...I really liked it," Montgomery told Refinery29 last week. "[It was really my hair] on top and on the sides, it was a wig. I can't grow anything as lush as [Joe Keery's hair.]"
Montgomery was inspired by Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
"There’s a lot more sinister stuff going on [with Billy], which slowly progresses through the season in a way that hopefully puts the audience on edge through its unpredictability," Montgomery explained in an interview with Complex. "Jack Nicholson was a reference for me for this role. His style of acting, and the choices he makes are very unpredictable, and that’s what makes him so scary in The Shining.”
Oh, and that audition video is officially out.
For your enjoyment, a gif.
Read These Stories Next: