“Stranger Things” star Dacre Montgomery on humanizing a villain

The new season of the Emmy award-winning series, “Stranger Things”, is being called “still frightening as hell, but far more fun.” The show follows a group of kids who battle supernatural forces in the summer of 1985. 

Actor Dacre Montgomery returns as Billy Hargrove, a relentless bully. In the new season, his character works as a lifeguard who flirts with housewives before things turn much darker.

“I was written a really good season for my character,” Montgomery told “CBS This Morning” about his darker role in season three. “And to have this story arc I think is complex because I think bad people are most oftentimes misunderstood and I think my duty here was to  empathize with that character.”

Montgomery said he pushed show-runners to make his character more human. In response, season three features scenes showing his character’s mother and father.

“I just think humanizing the villain is the most organic way to represent someone,” Montgomery said. “We can’t be good and bad, we all have qualities of both.”

Montgomery was able to draw from personal experience too, remembering a bully he dealt with when he was younger.

“When you look back at it and you’re like, ‘That kid was bullying me at school, but he probably had a lot of stuff going on at home for himself.’ And I was lucky, I had a good family,” Montgomery said. “So looking back on it, I’m like, ‘Well how can I empathize with that person?’ Because we all come from different backgrounds and different walks of life and it comes out in different ways and how can I make this person human.”

His role in “Stranger Things” has been a breakout one for Montgomery, who previously starred in the “Power Rangers” movie. That’s not lost on the 24-year-old actor.

“I just feel fortunate,” Montgomery said. “I grew up in western Australia and I wanted to have a place in this amazing industry and I’ve been really lucky.”

Season three of “Stranger Things” is out on Netflix now.

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