Just like his Stranger Things costar Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard has put his career on fast-forward mode—he even managed to play guitar on Mac DeMarco’s shoulders at a recent concert, as well as make time for his own rock band. Still, even with Cary Fukunaga’s It, not to mention the second season of Stranger Things coming up, apparently all that’s not enough for the actor: At 14, he’s already moved onto directing, as he revealed with his directorial debut on Monday.
Along with his friend and former Vine star, Josh Ovalle, Wolfhard directed a music video for the song “Sonora” by Spendtime Palace, a Southern California band that also happens to be Ovalle’s high school friends. The song, Wolfhard told Billboard, gave the pair a “western feel,” which is how they ended up with “a Western, but with two teenagers in 2017 California.”
The action starts with a boy driving around the suburban streets of Costa Mesa, California in a cowboy hat and Converse before abandoning his car in favor of a dried-out grassy field, where Wolfhard, playing a boy named Spike, is shooting down glass bottles with a slingshot—at least until he spots a ponytailed Iris Apatow, the 14-year-old daughter of Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann who’s also turned up in Netflix’s Love. Spoiler alert: After Wolfhard takes—gasp—a swig of beer, the pair even eventually kiss.
Still, the six-plus minute video doesn’t seem like a whimsical foray into film for Wolfhard. In between goofing off on the Stranger Things set with Brown and other cast members like Charlie Heaton, Wolfhard was also taking care to pay attention to what the show’s directors and creators, the Duffer Brothers, were doing. “When I get off school or I’m on set, if I’m not filming I go and watch them direct another scene, and I definitely learn from them,” he said. He also found inspiration for “Sonora” in another ’80s romp, The Goonies, as well as in Clint Eastwood’s westerns.
Wolfhard and Ovalle have some more projects in the works, including a movie set in high school and a mockumentary about a new arrival to L.A. who becomes disheartened with social media. In other words, Wolfhard is definitely growing up, and not just when it comes to the scale of his projects: Kissing onscreen also turns out to have been much easier for Wolfhard with Apatow, whom he’s known for “a while,” than it was with Brown in Stranger Things, in the scene that also happened to showcase the actress’s first kiss. At least, this time around, he didn’t have to go through two containers of [Tic Tacs](While the actor went through two containers of Tic Tacs before kissing Brown in ) beforehand.
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