The stars of Stranger Things aren’t so little any more.
Season four of the hit Netflix series may be full of scares, but according to Winona Ryder—who plays Joyce Byers—the show’s characters still remain the heart of the series.
“It has progressively gotten more frightening,” the actress told E! News’ Daily Pop. “But what I love about it is it does keep that sort of personal heart, love, sort of, connection with the kids and the difficulty of being a teenager.”
Noting that adults are quick to write off certain behaviors as kids being kids, Ryder said that teens endure “just as much pain and confusion. It’s like a war for them.”
As a former teen star herself—starring in 80s hits like Beetlejuice, Lucas, and Heathers—Ryder stated that she’s “very protective” of the show’s younger stars.
“I have mixed feelings about kids in the industry,” she said, “but we’ve really scored with these kids.”