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Why Stranger Things' Brett Gelman Calls Winona Ryder A 'Genius'

"Stranger Things" gave us an operatic Season 4 in 2022 that sent fans on a binge-fest across the entire summer and made for one of the best shows of the entire year. Eddie Munson and "Running Up That Hill" became pop culture juggernauts due to the show's massive popularity. Meanwhile, in a Soviet prison camp in eastern Russia, Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) went on a pretty epic rescue mission — to bring back Chief Hopper (David Harbour) — that brought them closer together.

In Russia, Murray finally got a practical chance to try out the karate skills that he had been honing on children in the past. Gelman was thrilled about becoming an action star — armed with iron arms and a flamethrower, Murray finally had the chance to become a hero in the latest season of Netflix's flagship TV show. And thanks to the rescue storyline, he spent the majority of his screen time with Ryder, which was a treat for the actor. He made no qualms about calling the "Beetlejuice" actress a straight-up genius.

The two spent a lot of time together filming for Season 4

"Stranger Things" actor Brett Gelman had some pretty high praise for Winona Ryder coming off Season 4 of the popular Netflix series. Asked by Vulture what he learned from his co-star, Gelman said, "She's somebody who knows how to live inside that camera. It's an energy thing. She has a wonderful simplicity [in] what she does. There's a deep relaxation to her work." Ryder has been working in Hollywood since the 1980s, appearing in such classics as "Heathers" and "Edward Scissorhands."

Since Ryder is an industry veteran, Gelman paid close attention to what she was doing on set each day. He said he learned a lot just from watching her perform. He continued, "So watching somebody like Winona, who's a complete genius at what she does, makes me better at what I do." Gelman began his television and film career in the mid-2000s, but he broke through into mainstream popularity only with "Stranger Things."

When they began filming Season 4, he really didn't know what to expect. Gelman said, "It's also amazing when you're working with actors where you show up and they're giving you something different than you preconceived. It makes what you're doing that much richer and fuller."

Gelman believes that he and Ryder share good chemistry on the show because both of their characters seek adventure and have experienced great loss. Drawing up a "Star Wars" comparison, he said, "It beautifully hearkens to Leia and Lando going to get Han in 'Return of the Jedi.'" Fans are hopeful that there will be more Joyce and Murray adventures in the upcoming final season of "Stranger Things."