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Duffer Brothers on ‘Stranger Things’ 2 and What Scares Them

The Duffer Brothers, Matt and Ross, got their start as writer-producers on the 2015 Fox series “Wayward Pines.” Their Netflix show, “Stranger Things,” about supernatural events in the fictional town of Hawkins, Ind., saw the brothers nominated for Emmy Awards as writers, directors and producers. Season two of the show dropped Oct. 27.

How would “Stranger Things” be different if it were made 10 years ago?

Ross: It’s so much a product of the present that it could not have been made 10 years ago. Shows like “True Detective” had to exist before it. The format of Netflix was the dream for us. It allowed us to make cinematic, longer episodes without interruption.

What scares you the most?

Matt: We shared the same fears as kids — snakes and clowns. Now we also have more adult fears, like television critics.
Ross: Big crowds scare me. I have social anxiety. I perform the best when I’m isolated or with a few friends.

How does being twins inform your collaborative process?

Matt: We’ve only ever worked together. All of the movies we watched growing up, we watched together. In kindergarten, we’d tell stories with our toys. We’d set a timer for two hours because we knew that was how long a movie was. We still love telling stories together. We push ourselves and each other to be better. We’re close enough that we’re not timid around one another. We pitch so many ideas every day — sometimes good, sometimes bad. But it’s great to have a safety net where hopefully, between the two of us, nothing really bad will ever get through.

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