WATCH: 'Stranger Things 3' cast talks about the new season, monster stand-ins, and growing up

MANILA, Philippines – Perhaps one of the most striking things about the upcoming season of Stranger Things 3 is seeing how much the young cast has grown up – and are now not only battling monsters and exposing twisted government experiments, but also navigating the messy world of self-discovery and young love.

The trailer alone is a test of “do you feel old now?” – especially once you see the cast post-growth spurt and wearing way cooler clothes than you.

Change is a huge theme in the upcoming season, and it’s evident not only in the characters and their storylines, but also in the season’s overall look and feel. Gone are the autumn colors and the misty landscapes that characterized the first two seasons. In season 3, we see Hawkins in the summer for the first time – and all the bright colors that come with it.

Stranger Things had always been set in the gloomy fall,” said Ross Duffer, one half of the Duffer Brothers, who created the show.

“During those initial brainstorms, it became very clear that summer was going to be huge for the third season. Summer gave us a tone and feeling that we felt was new and fresh; something we hadn’t seen in the show yet. We began to realize that this season felt different than the past two seasons, and that excited us because we don’t want to repeat ourselves,” he said.

In that way, the show itself is growing up – and 4 of the cast members of the show’s central gang weigh in on what they felt about it.

In person, Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Sadie Sink (Max), and Noah Schnapp (Will) are as vibrant and energetic as one would expect a group of teens to be, albeit more well-spoken, and definitely less awkward.

In an interview with Rappler, they share what it was like to film the new season.

Despite all the changes though, the show is stil the same Stranger Things that fans have come to love – and it isn’t just the monsters that remain. It’s the 80s coolness, the amazing characters, and the feeling that ultimately, friendships save the day.

“It’s the characters that we love,” said Sadie, as Caleb chimed in “between the friendships and how we all separated, and meeting together at the end.”

All 8 episodes of Stranger Things 3 are set to premiere on Netflix on July 4. – Rappler.com

Amanda T. Lago

After avoiding long-term jobs in favor of travelling the world, Amanda finally learned to commit when she joined Rappler in July 2017. As a lifestyle and entertainment reporter, she writes about music, culture, and the occasional showbiz drama. She also hosts Rappler Live Jam, where she sometimes tries her best not to fan-girl on camera.

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