Finn Wolfhard Admits on “Hot Ones” He 'Didn't Know What He Was Doing' in Early “Stranger Things” Episodes

The actor, who plays Mike Wheeler on the Netflix series, reflected on his experience as a child star in the show's earlier seasons

The Hawkins AV Club has become more skilled at fighting demogorgons over the course of Stranger Things — and star Finn Wolfhard thinks he’s gotten stronger in front of the camera.

The actor, 21, appeared on the latest episode of Hot Ones on Thursday and reflected on the early days of Stranger Things, which debuted on Netflix in 2016.

Wolfhard was just 13 years old when filming the show's debut season. Looking back on it all now, he admitted that he “didn’t know what [he] was doing” at the time but ultimately admires how that lent to the show.

As host Sean Evans asked if there was a moment in his career when he felt like he transitioned from being a child star hitting his cues to feeling more like an actor, Wolfhard noted he was initially a little green in front of the camera.

"I don't watch early Stranger Things stuff really often, but I’ve seen little clips and stuff and I'm like, 'Man, I didn’t know what I was doing back then.'" the Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire star recalled. "In a lot of ways, I think that really helped me."

<p>Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images</p> Finn Wolfhard

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Finn Wolfhard

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Wolfhard explained why now — as he’s five seasons into the sci-fi series and taken on other projects — he sees how his performance early on the show is so special.

“As you get older, you get so much more self-obsessed and a little more in your head,” the When You Finish Saving the World star shared. “I feel like I’ve learned so much more since then, but I wish that I had that naivety or whatever.”

He jokingly added, “But, you know, you have to learn or else you’d be 12 for the rest of your life and we don't want that.”

<p>Curtis Baker/Netflix</p> Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler in 'Stranger Things' season 1

Curtis Baker/Netflix

Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler in 'Stranger Things' season 1

Related: Finn Wolfhard and Billy Bryk: From 'Immediate' Friends to First-Time Filmmakers (Exclusive)

When Stranger Things premiered in the summer of 2016, it received a great deal of praise for its stand-out cast of young actors who were largely unknown at the time. Aside from then-early teen Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, the debut season also featured then-12-year-olds Millie Bobby Brown and Gaten Matarazzo as Eleven and Dustin Henderson, respectively; Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas Sinclair, was 14; and Will Byers' Noah Schnapp was 11.

Nearly eight years later, the hit sci-fi series from the Duffer Brothers is wrapping up with its highly anticipated fifth and final season.

The core cast — also including Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Sadie Sink, Joe Keery and Maya Hawke — will return, along with Jamie Campbell Bower, who was introduced in season 4 as the villain Vecna.

Last year, Terminator star Linda Hamilton was also revealed to be joining the cast for its final batch of episodes.

Courtesy of Netflix Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler and Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in 'Stranger Things' season 4
Courtesy of Netflix Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler and Noah Schnapp as Will Byers in 'Stranger Things' season 4

Related: Stranger Things Season 5: Everything to Know

Netflix announced that the Emmy-nominated series was back in production in early January by sharing a photo of the cast reunited and sitting under a glowing “5” sign.

Although the Duffers have been tight-lipped about their plans for the final installment, they’ve teased their endgame for the show in previous interviews — and it’s supposed to be rather emotional.

"We do have an outline for season 5 and we pitched it to Netflix and they really responded well to it," Ross told TheWrap in May 2022. "I mean, it was hard. It's the end of the story. I saw executives crying who I've never seen cry before and it was wild."

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Seasons 1–4 of Stranger Things are currently streaming on Netflix.

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