Stranger Things‘ newest star is already winning hearts before the much-anticipated release of the Netflix hit show’s second season.
Dacre Montgomery, who plays the mysterious new guy in Hawkins, Indiana, Billy, appeared on The Talk Thursday and was surprised with a clip of his audition for the show, in which he wore nothing but a thong.
“Name’s Billy,” he says in the tape, taking off dark, round sunglasses while staring at the camera. “Nice to meet you.”
Laughing, Montgomery, 22, said, “I feel, like 99 percent of the planet, I was a huge fan of the first season. So, I don’t know, I felt the need to think outside the box. I may have danced a little bit in a G-string.”
Natalia Dyer (Nancy) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) struggled to contain their laughter at their costar’s video.
In an interview Monday with Refinery29, the Australian actor said he made a short film for his audition that was inspired by the 80s theme of Stranger Things.
“I made a little short film, with an opening score and title credit and I read both of the scenes I was given,” he said, adding that he danced to “Hungry Like The Wolf” by Duran Duran.
From living Down Under to trying to survive the Upside Down, here are a few things to know about Montgomery:
1. He’s a “geek” about TV and film.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in March, Montgomery said he was a huge fan of the Fox show Empire.
“I am the biggest geek and fan of film and TV, and I just go through phases,” he said. “And I think for the first month of Power Rangers I watched all of Empire.”
2. He starred in this year’s reboot of the Power Rangers film.
Montgomery’s biggest break came in the form of a Power Rangers reboot where he played Jason Scott, a.k.a. the Red Ranger.
Of the experience, the actor told Teen Vogue in March that he wasn’t familiar with the TV series as he “kind of missed it” growing up.
“My mum didn’t really let me watch TV until I was about 5-years-old,” he said. “By that time, it was 1999 and I kind of missed it.”
In an interview with THR, he said he didn’t have to look far for inspiration in creating the Red Ranger’s character.
“I had to find something to latch on to, which very easily became, ‘What does it mean to be a superhero? What does it mean to people in society to have a superhero that kids look up to?'” he said. “I thought, who do I look up to in my life? And for me it was people like my mom.”
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3. Montgomery started acting at an early age.
While Montgomery may have missed the phenomenon of Power Rangers, he did gain valuable experience about the film and TV industry from his parents (his father is a sound engineer and his mother was an assistant director).
He told British GQ on Wednesday that he got a thrill from walking onto a film set.
“It wasn’t until I was 11 that I said to mum, ‘Look, I really want to pursue this in front of the camera,'” he said. “I sat down with her and did a ten-year plan that went, ‘I want to finish high school but throughout high school I want to do a drama program, I want to do acting classes outside of that, I want to have a gap year and then I want to go train at WAAPA.'”
WAAPA, or the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, is also where Hugh Jackman earned his acting chops.
4. He’s interested in interior design.
Montgomery revealed he has a deep interest in creating things, not just acting, something he hopes to pursue in the future.
“I am very interested in interior design — I’ve just finished an internship — and I am hoping to get into opening up a couple of restaurants,” he told ABC News in mid-October.
“And I have just started learning about writing,” he added. “Every week I try to find something to teach myself. I just can never switch off.”