Versatile artist Dacre Montgomery is seen as Billy Hargrove on the Netflix show Stranger Things and watching his performance in this third season got us wondered about the work behind it.
In an interview he mentions that for his work to breath life into meaningful art, one must focus on feeding the creative fire within, each and every day. This, mixed up with curiosity, passion and drive, is the key to get clear about who we are and what we are doing. Then the creative energy flows freely and we experience no strain.
There’s no doubt about this process when we see the outcome. Dacre’s versatility expands beyond the screen. His DKMH podcast has just being released, which is a collection of his personal poetry narrated over music beats. For Montgomery, there are five core human drives that influence our behaviour: to acquire, to learn, to bond, to defend and to feel. In this series, he presents what drives him and how his experiences have shaped him. DKHM is available on Spotify and iTunes.
In the show, Dacre portrays Billy as someone who has apparently gone to the dark side of the inhuman. In doing our research, we discover that Billy is a very human character, damaged by his insecurities and fears of the past.
The reason why on our love to Billy’s persona lies behind on Dacre’s preparation for the role. Throughout the whole season, we see Billy coming back to his memories of a beach where he was truly happy with his biologically mother. This was an idea proposed by Montgomery himself to The Duffer Brothers, known by their sense of collaboration with their actors. Here, Dacre wants the audience to emphasize with the antagonist, rather than to feel hatred towards the villain.
Dacre did research on mental diseases such as bipolarity and split personality disorder. With Billy, he intends to despict how one personality has the spot and control over the whole being and how the other personality can be suppresed. We see two Billies in the show, one that loves and cares, another that fears and wants to hurt. We realize that Billy is not evil because that is his nature, no one really is, rather his fears and insecurites have shaped him like that.
Dacre explains that as a kid he was bullied at school and that by playing Billy he learnt that the kids who did it weren’t evil per se, they lived situations at home which made them feel unworthy and unloveable. These kids by lashing out at others for attention feel more secured and empowered.
An actor does not become the character, the character becomes the actor. The redemptive ending of Billy is well-deserved to actor Dacre Montgomery, who brings his life experience, emotional maturity and good judgement into his work.
Catch Dacre Montgomery’s talent on his next project Broken Heart Gallery, a romantic comedy film by Natalie Krinsky, in which he dares to expand his polyvalence as an actor with an ego-stripping exercise.
Words Sharon Garzón