Move over Frank Underwood, there’s a new bad boy on Netflix and his name is Dacre Montgomery.
The Aussie actor is trading in his red Power Ranger suit for an ‘80s mullet as he takes on the role of Billy for the highly anticipated second season of “Stranger Things.” Montgomery tells Metro that he hopes the character will become a fan-favorite, even though he’s an “unpredictable” villain that terrorizes the young heroes of Hawkins, Indiana.
Ahead of the new season’s debut this weekend, we caught up with the 22-year-old star to find out what fans can expect from Billy when “Stranger Things” returns.
Billy is the new bad boy in town. How does he factor into the new season?
He and Steve Harrington, Joe [Keery’s] character, come head-to-head. He just feels threatened. The amazing actor Will Chase, who plays my father, he’s the catalyst for the way that Billy is. When we first meet him in the first five episodes, this guy is like the stereotypical bully/jock character, but there’s far more to it than that. When we meet his father, you can humanize the villain a little bit more by seeing that my father is more of a monster than I am. That just spawns out into everything. I’m hard on Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) in the show because of his relationship with Sadie [Sink], the actress who plays Max, my stepsister.
Will Billy be a villain fans love to hate?
I hope so! I hope because antiheroes – like Kevin Spacey in “House of Cards” – you want to see a villain that’s like, “Why do I like this guy so much? It’s frustrating that I like him.”
The Duffer brothers made you prepare for the role by watching a lot of Jack Nicholson’s performances. How did his work influence your character?
Jack’s acting style, specifically in “The Shining,” there’s an unpredictable quality to the character that makes scenes quite sinister. That’s what I was taking from him.
How does Billy and Max’s relationship play out on the show?
Everyone’s like, “Billy’s so hard on Max and doesn’t care about Max,” but I think he does. He cares about Max a lot. There’s this thing from his stepmother and father to look after her, and maybe that’s what’s driving him. I have a sister, and we’re the same age difference as me and Sadie. At the end of the day, he has to love his sister and care about his sister in order to follow up, to see where she is and make sure that she’s not getting into trouble. Because he’s a teenager, there are all these chemicals, this journey to manhood, it just comes out in different ways – anger, a lot of the time. God bless Sadie because she’s an amazing actress and wise beyond her years.
Has your experience with rabid “Power Rangers” fans prepared you for dealing with the devoted “Stranger Things” fandom?
I like to hope that it did. I think “Power Rangers” and “Stranger Things,” there’s small differences. “Stranger Things,” the fandom is much newer, it’s much fresher. People are very, very keen to see this second season as soon as possible. Having seen the cast of the first season and how they’ve navigated life through their loss of their anonymity over the last few months, a combination of that and “Power Rangers” has probably prepared me a little bit. I try to imagine that I have a grasp of what it’s going to be like, but I truly don’t think that I do.
Should fans expect you to dress up as your “Power Rangers” character or Billy for Halloween this year?
I’m so bad with costumes. One of my mates said I should be a red Power Ranger with a mullet [laughs]. I don’t know.
“Stranger Things” season 2 debuts on Netflix Oct. 27.