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Cary Elwes Was Wowed By Stranger Things' Ultra-Realistic Starcourt Mall

Cary Elwes has been in many high-profile and memorable projects throughout his long and illustrious career. From classics like "The Princess Bride" to mind-bending horror films like "Saw," he seems open to exploring every cinematic genre. It wasn't exactly a huge surprise when Elwes joined "Stranger Things" for its third season as the shady mayor of Hawkins, Larry Kline. At the climax of the season, Kline is arrested for corruption due to his backroom deals to help Starcourt Mall get built. The mall and the company backing it are actually revealed to be a front for the Soviet Union's attempts to tap into the supernatural occurrences happening in the small town.

Casting Elwes, an actor known primarily for his roles in the '80s and early '90s, keeps with the show's theme of bringing in popular actors from that era, since the show takes place in the '80s. The actor only appeared in Season 3 and hasn't really made an appearance since then. Still, it sounds as if Elwes enjoyed his time on "Stranger Things," and was especially impressed with how realistically designed the Starcourt Mall set was for the series. 

Elwes was impressed by the Duffer Brothers' commitment to realism

While doing a press tour for Season 3 of "Stranger Things," Cary Elwes spoke with BUILD Series and had nothing but praise for the series and its brand of nostalgia-fueled horror. However, one of the big parts of working on the show that truly impressed him was the set design, especially when it came to Starcourt Mall. According to him, the Duffer Brothers actually repurposed an old mall, filling it with era-appropriate shops and merchandise.

"They in and dressed this thing," Elwes said. "And I mean not with props, folks. We're talking about... JCPenney really had clothes from the period in the store as far as the eye could see and the food court had real food from the period in it. And an Orange Julius. And a movie theater that worked. I mean, it was incredible."

Elwes seems genuinely excited by this dedication to authenticity by the "Stranger Things" creators, even though he admits that many of these elements of the mall are things that fans never actually got to see in Season 3. In fact, the design work was so good that it reminded Elwes of his own experiences as a kid going to malls. So while the story and characters that inhabit it are a big part of what makes "Stranger Things" such a massive appeal to fans, it's clear that a lot of love goes into making everything as realistic and faithful to the time period as possible.