The Untold Truth Of Noah Schnapp

Noah Schnapp has been acting professionally since he was in grade school, but he first crossed most TV viewers' radars when he took on the role of middle schooler Will Byers on "Stranger Things." Being part of such a massively successful series has made Schnapp a star, the fulfillment of a devotion to acting that first emerged at an age when most kids are still learning to tie their shoes. 

"I've always loved acting and I've been doing it for so long that it's just become second nature to me," Schnapp said in an interview with Digitaltrends. "I'm very lucky that I get to do it. Every time I'm on set, it's like I always have a revelation like, 'Wow, this is my job.' It's so crazy to me. I always love it and I love what I do so much. It's definitely my number one passion."

That passion has brought him legions of fans and made him a staple on red carpets and TV talk shows, yet there's much about this young actor that even his most devoted fans may not know. To find out more, read on to discover the untold truth of Noah Schnapp.

The Broadway show that changed his life

Many people can point to a pivotal moment in their lives that sent them on a path toward their destinies. For Noah Schnapp, that moment came when he was in kindergarten. As Schnaap told the Scarsdale Inquirer, he was bit by the acting bug after his parents took him to see "Annie" on Broadway. "I came out crying because I wanted to be on that stage," he recalled. In a separate interview with Status Magazine, the future star shared, "I wanted to be in front of the audience and not be one of the audience."

Realizing that their son was a born performer, Schnapp's parents enrolled him in a local acting program. "I loved making up a whole make-believe world," Scnhapp told the Scarsdale Inquirer. When the youngster's acting coach referred him to a talent agency, however, the aspiring young actor suddenly turned pro — although stardom didn't happen overnight. "We went for a year auditioning maybe four times a week, and not getting anything," said Schnaap's father, Mitchell Schnapp. Then, in 2014, he received his big break when he was cast in Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies," about as major a role as a child actor could ever hope to nab. 

"My parents are not into this at all, so it's kind of weird how it happened," Schnapp mused of the showbiz success he managed to achieve at a ridiculously young age.

He's juggled his career with his education

Given that Noah Schnapp didn't come from a family with any experience with the intricacies of Hollywood, his parents made it abundantly clear to him from the beginning that pursuing an acting career was not something he'd be doing at the expense of his education. "Schooling is a priority for us, and we don't give an inch," dad Mitchell Schnapp said in an interview with the Scarsdale Inquirer. "He knows that when we're on the road, we're tough as nails with him."

In fact, Noah's parents were adamant that their son experience as normal a childhood as possible, which included attending his local school in Westchester, New York, when he wasn't working on a film or TV project. "I also go to regular school and to the same summer camp I've been going to since I was 7," Noah told People. "It's like I have two lives. It's fun!"

During one of those lives, Noah recalled attending a middle school dance. As he explained, his stardom did not make the experience any less awkward, telling Vanity Fair, "[T]he boys were on one side, and the girls were on the other side, and we never interacted with each other." 

Noah Schnapp's pre-Stranger Things career

Even though Noah Schnapp was just 11 years old when the first season of "Stranger Things" made its debut on Netflix, that was far from his first major project as an actor. 

According to his IMDb credits, Schnapp's first screen role was an impressive one, playing the son of Tom Hanks' character in the Steven Spielberg-directed espionage thriller "Bridge of Spies." He followed that up with a voice role in "The Peanuts Movie," cast as Charlie Brown. As Schnapp told Status Magazine, his first experience voicing an animated character was an exceedingly positive one. He explained. "[The director is] right there in front of you the whole time, guiding you while you're saying your lines, which you can do as many times as you want until you get it right."

Earning the role, however, did not come without some serious research — and he didn't have to head to the library and dust off some old VHS tapes. Rather, he fired up clips on YouTube and got to studying. Schnapp told the National Post, "So I listened to as much as I could find online to get the voice right. Winning the role took a lot of hard work, but good fortune as well. There were a lot of other talented kids up for the part, too."

He's appeared in some music videos

In addition to "Stranger Things," "Bridge of Spies," and "The Peanuts Movie," Noah Schnapp's acting resume also includes not one but two music videos, and they could not be more different. The first of these is Panic! At the Disco's "LA Devotee," in which Schnapp's character is apparently kidnapped by a young girl and forced to take part in a creepy ritual. Appearing in the video wasn't Schnapp's only experience with the band; he also joined Panic! At the Disco onstage at New York City's Madison Square Garden, performing a duet on the track with frontman Brandon Urie. Schnapp even shared a photo of himself on Twitter, hiding under the stage prior to making his surprise appearance with the band.

While chatting with PopBuzz about how he got involved with the video, Schnapp said, "It kind of came out of the blue ... it just sorta happened." Reflecting on the minute or so he spent on stage with the band, he added, "Just even being on that stage in front of all those people was like, so cool."

Schnapp and his "Stranger Things" co-star Millie Bobby Brown can also be seen dancing along in Drake's video for "In My Feelings," turning up near the video's conclusion in one of the celebrity cameos. Although their brief appearance is of the blink-and-you'll-miss-it variety, their full performance is on YouTube.

He's not concerned with his character's sexual orientation

Over the course of the first three seasons of "Stranger Things," fans began theorizing that Noah Schnapp's character, Will Byers, is gay. This theory really took off after a Season 3 scene in which WIll's best friend, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), tells him, "It's not my fault you don't like girls."

Schnapp, however, doesn't believe his character's sexual orientation is quite so defined, but that his priorities no longer line up with some of his friends' priorities. He told TheWrap, "All his friends have girlfriends and they're out dating, and he just wants to have fun with his friends. ... I kind of just interpret it like he's not ready to grow up and he doesn't really want to move on to dating and relationships yet. He still wants to be a kid and play in the basement like he did in old times." In a separate interview with Variety, Schnapp shared that he was fine with the ambiguity.

While "Stranger Things" exec producer Shawn Levy, director of that episode, did not flat-out confirm or deny the speculation surrounding Will's sexual orientation, he did imply in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that fans may be onto something. "There is clear intention and strategy and real thought given to each and every character," he said. 

Noah Schnapp is a savvy tech investor

Given that Noah Schnapp was born in 2004, he's never known a world without smartphones and the kind of associated technology that would have been viewed as science fiction just a few generations earlier. Interviewed by Digitaltrends, Schnapp said he's basically always been around Apple products.

Schnapp is so interested in emerging technology that he's willing to put his money on it — literally. As he said in Digitaltrends, he's invested in various companies. "It's just really exciting for me at this time of my life to expand into other things and try things that aren't just acting, but entrepreneurship and that world," he said.

One of those investments is an app called Roll, for which he's become an adviser. The app gives subscribers an opportunity to get a look at photos posted by public figures that perhaps weren't quite a fit for Instagram. Per TechCrunch, the CEO said in a press release, "Our punch line is essentially that we give fans access to their favorite creators' camera rolls." And Schnapp digs the idea of what he believes to be a more casual social network. He said in Digitaltrends, "I feel like with this app, you can just post whatever and be authentic. And my fans always want to see what I'm doing and keep up with me, and I think this is the perfect place to do it."

He got accepted into an Ivy League college

Noah Schnapp's parents' insistence that he not let his education fall by the wayside paid off when he was accepted into the esteemed Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in late 2021. As E! News reported, Schnapp shared a since-deleted video on TikTok documenting the dramatic moment when he opened the email, surrounded by his family, revealing that he'd been accepted to the Ivy League institution. 

Though he found success in the business of show business at an early age, there was never any question about going to college for Schanpp. "It was always important to me to be able to find the right tutor on set and balance my school and my acting in the right way," he told Observer

While Schnaap finds acting fulfilling, by no means does it sum up the entirety of his ambitions. "I think it's important for me to go to college and take advantage of the school there and learn something outside of the acting world," he said in an interview with Digitaltrends. "I can always do acting and continue with that, but I'd also love to expand my knowledge elsewhere."

He's looking to shake up the snack food segment

For Noah Schnapp, being accepted into the prestigious Wharton School was just one reflection of his entrepreneurial bent. Another was his launch of TBH (an acronym for To Be Honest), a new snack brand that puts a vegan spin on one Schnapp's favorite foods, the hazelnut spread Nutella. As the actor told Forbes, he teamed up with Umana Venture Studios with a goal of coming up with an alternative to Nutella that eschewed palm oil, after he came to discover that the harvest of palm has long been contributing to deforestation. (Nutella maintains that the palm oil they use does not cause deforestation.) 

"Hazelnut spread on toast has always been my favorite comfort food, but of course, when I was a kid, I didn't realize that my snack habit wasn't very good for me or the environment," he said in statement, per Totally Vegan Buzz. "Once I found that out, I wanted to create a new take on hazelnut cocoa spread with honesty and sustainability at its heart, and found the perfect team to help that vision come to life."

According to Schnapp, his plans for the company extend well beyond its origins. "I envision [TBH] to have a family of products that people can rely on for more than just a hazelnut spread," Schnapp told Forbes. "It will evolve to become a brand that consumers trust in benefiting their health and the environment."

He resisted TikTok before becoming 'super addicted'

Not only is Noah Schnapp a rising young star in Hollywood, he's also a force to be reckoned with on TikTok. Boasting 22.3 million followers and more than 370 million likes as of this writing, Schnaap's TikTok account has become wildly popular, even though he had no intention of becoming a TikTok superstar.

"All my friends had it before me and they were always using it and I always thought it was weird," Schnapp admitted in an interview with Variety. While he was reluctant to download the app and create an account, that stance didn't stick. "And then last year, everyone started to join and it started to get really big," he continued. "And I was like, 'OK, I'll give in.' The second I downloaded it, I got super addicted and was on it 24/7."

In fact, Schnapp has become so popular on TikTok that he has fans who only know him for his antics on the social media app — and have no idea that he's a successful actor on one of Netflix's most popular shows. "I find that so funny," Schnapp told Variety. "I think it's the really young fans who have never even heard of 'Stranger Things.' Sometimes I'll see a group of little kids on the street and they'll be like, 'Noah! Renegade for us!'" Stranger things have happened, we guess.

He and his co-stars rocked Lip Sync Battle

One way in which the success of "Stranger Things" has changed the lives of Noah Schnapp and his co-stars is that they're now invited onto talk shows and other series in which celebrities are featured. Among these is "Lip Sync Battle," which hosted Schnapp and fellow "Stranger Things" stars Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Finn Wolfhard. 

As Mashable wrote in a first-person account of the taping, the co-stars' performances did not disappoint. "[The cast] wowed the crowd with a four-way showdown on Spike's 'Lip Sync Battle' this week, basically rendering all other 'Lip Sync Battle' performances obsolete," the outlet declared. Wolfhard tackled Weezer's "Buddy Holly," while Matarazzo lip-synced "50 Ways to Say Goodbye" by Train, and McLaughlin performed "I'm Bad," from rapper (and "Lip Sync Battle" host) LL Cool J

For his rendition of the Maroon 5 hit "Moves Like Jagger," Schnapp dressed up like Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, donning a wig, scarf, and leather pants. And yes, he did deliver some Jagger moves. As Schnapp said, he had his eyes on the prize — although he ultimately did not get the prize. McLaughlin was declared the winner.

He starred in a movie shot entirely with a drone

Among the entries in Noah Schnapp's roster of IMDb credits is "The Circle," a short film set during the Great Depression in which he plays the son of a street artist (Ryan Phillippe) who reconnect after being estranged for some time.

As Vice pointed out, one of the film's more unique aspects is the manner in which it was filmed. The entire project was shot using the Inspire 2, a drone equipped with a camera from drone manufacturer DJI that has been designed specifically for movie making. 

"Filmmaking has been tethered to the ground for so long, we've done things relatively the same way for the last 20, 30 years," said Phillippe in a behind-the-scenes feature about the making of "The Circle." "And DJI, with their equipment, with their technology, is sort of allowing filmmaking to be freed." As the film's director, Sheldon Schwartz, added that new technology really allowed the team to realize their creative vision.

Noah Schnapp is a major hockey fan

Noah Schnapp holds dual citizenship in both Canada and the U.S., as his father hails from Montreal. In an interview with, Schnapp explained that he and his family visit Montreal frequently, where they make time to attend Montreal Canadiens games at the city's Bell Centre.

Raised in New York state, Schnapp confessed that when he was young he cheered for the New York Rangers. Since then, however, he's followed in his father's footsteps to follow the Canadiens. "My dad is a huge Habs fan. He'd always be yelling at the TV and screaming at the players. I just started watching with him once, and I became a big fan," Schnapp recalled.  "Usually, I'll check the scores, and that kind of stuff. I follow them online a lot, because I have such a crazy schedule."

Since the success of "Stranger Things" has made Schnapp a celebrity, he's occasionally appeared on the Bell Centre scoreboard when attending Canadiens home games. 

His stylist has dished about his red carpet wardrobe

One thing fans of Noah Schnapp may have noticed in recent years is his emerging sense of style on the red carpet. This was particularly evident when Schnapp hit the red carpet outfitted in Dior — including a pink Dior jacket — for the Los Angeles premiere of the fourth season of "Stranger Things." 

Speaking with Women's Wear Daily, Schnapp's stylist, Philippe Uter, explained the details behind the actor's look. "I really had the desire of dressing Noah in a brand that we never used before. Something trendy, cool but still luxury," Uter said. "Noah is between the teenager and adult life so I couldn't go too classic nor too young." Uter, who has worked with Schnapp since he was 12, shared that he's inspired by the sartorial moves made by both Timothée Chalamet and Justin Bieber. He explained, "First, due to their similar body shape but also as both have a very strong style: one more fashionable and chic, the other more trendy and street."

Interestingly enough, Schnapp has become such a style icon in his own right: There's an entire Instagram account devoted entirely to his fashion.

Noah Schnapp's making bank

Noah Schnapp may still be a teenager, but he's already managed to rack up an impressive net worth. As of June 2022, Celebrity Net Worth estimates his fortune to be $3 million, while also noting that he reportedly earns $250,000 per episode for playing Will Byers in "Stranger Things." 

When it comes to his finances, Schnapp's savviness belies his youth; in addition to launching his own vegan snack company, TBH, he's made big moves with tech startup investments. In the future, he explained in an interview with Observer, he sees himself branching out from acting into other areas of the entertainment industry. "I'd love to explore the business side of the acting industry like producing and creating projects from that side, not just creatively in the acting world, but from a business perspective," he said.

In addition, he'd also like to partner with some existing brands, particularly the ones that most appeal to him. "I mean, I love anything tech," he said of which companies he'd like to work with. "Obviously Apple, I have every Apple product they sell. I love sportswear brands, Nike and Jordan and Off White and all those brands." Not unlike a 20-sided die, Schnapp's career has many facets.