Stranger Things’s Dacre Montgomery Says the Show Cut His Sexiest Look
"At first, I was really hesitant, but then it looked awesome."
Billy Hargrove left us feeling very conflicted after season two of Netflix’s Stranger Things. On one hand, the older stepbrother of new kid Max (Sadie Sink) is a vicious bully, not only picking on her, but also on the rest of the kids. On the other, we still felt for him — especially after that intense, abusive scene between Billy and his dad — and can’t help but dub the character an ‘80s fashion icon. After obsessing over his curly mullet, single drop earring, and butt-hugging jeans, we ended our binge feeling as if this bad kid was the best-dressed character on the show (don’t @ us).
“I've been very fortunate to have a stylish character,” Dacre Montgomery, who plays Billy, tells InStyle via phone prior to season three’s premiere. The Australian actor even reveals there are some common ties between him and his character. “I wear the same Saint Christopher necklace around my neck, and we got that idea [from me] coming into the wardrobe department — they had a necklace from the 1980s that just replaced my own. And I usually wear a tank top under my shirts like Billy does. But yeah, everything down to the earring and leather jacket — he's very stylish.”
This season, Billy has a few more must-see looks, according to Montgomery. He makes a point to mention the teen’s bright red lifeguard swimsuit, which not only pops up in the preview clips, but are also part of Stranger Things’s H&M collaboration.
“It was just nice to be part of that,” Montgomery says while talking about the campaign. “And also, like, it's not me, it's Billy, you know what I mean? So, it's kind of slightly removed in that respect, and it was nice to have that component to my character added in.”
Of course, once we see that outfit in action, it will be bittersweet — especially after Montgomery tells us what Billy could have been wearing during those scenes.
“There was this gray, Everlast midriff shirt that was initially paired with the lifeguard shorts that almost made the cut,” he reveals, adding that those shots, sadly, weren’t included in the actual episodes. “It was an amazing shirt. There's a photo of Rob Lowe wearing it in the 1980s. At first, I was really hesitant, but then it looked awesome. It literally was a midriff that came only a couple of inches below my nipple line. And it had long sleeves, and was made of sweat material with an Everlast logo. I thought that was kind of cool.”
While we’ll surely miss seeing that one in action, the actor pointed out a few more details in Billy’s wardrobe that are worth paying attention to.
“He has a ring on the middle finger of his left hand, which is a silver ring, and I created a little bit of a backstory for that,” he says. “Just that it had been a component of my biological mother's life. Not to get too much into detail, but I can say that’s the one little Easter egg in the costume in the sense of my character.”
Obviously, Montgomery was cautious about giving any hints about what’s to come in the next eight episodes, but he did mention that filming was “creatively filling” for him and says he spent five hours in hair and makeup each day. If you ask us, that seems like a bit much for just applying Billy’s mullet.
“It’s huge for Billy this season and I'm so excited for everyone to see it,” Montgomery tells us, hinting toward those clips where the character looks as if he’s experiencing something…supernatural. And, thankfully, we may just discover a few redeeming qualities about Billy as well. “I think there's a really lovely payoff at the end of the season that I won't give away. But it gets a lot darker before that happens. A lot, lot darker.”
As for what Montgomery has coming up after the binge-worthy season is released? A project that’s extremely un-Billy: a beat poetry podcast.
“I've been writing beat poetry for the last two years and I've had a bunch of musicians come together and compose scores,” Mongomery tells us. “I've turned it into a six-track series and, hopefully people will respond. But that's the first piece of my writing that will go public, ever, on July 11.”
Stranger Things’s third season will premiere on July 4 on Netflix.