The Stunning Transformation Of Noah Schnapp

Noah Schnapp's rise to fame has been nothing short of astronomical. After landing a role in the blockbuster "Bridge of Spies" when he was just 10 years old, his career took off with Netflix's "Stranger Things." As the sensitive and sweet Will Byers, Schnapp has won the hearts of millions of fans during the show's four seasons. Not only did "Stranger Things" make Schnapp a household name, but it also became his home away from home while he was filming, where he learned more about acting and made lifelong friends, per Status Magazine.

Since his quick stardom, Schnapp has appeared in several other projects and has ventured into the business world. As if all of that wasn't enough, the young star has joined the ranks of TikTok stars in the past few years. Is there anything this talented young actor can't do? Despite conquering several industries at a young age, it seems Schnapp's journey is only just beginning — in 2022, the star revealed that he would soon be enrolling at the University of Pennsylvania (via People). Curious to learn more about how he came so far so quickly? Here is the stunning transformation of Noah Schnapp.

Noah Schnapp divided his time between the US and Canada as a child

Noah Schnapp was born on October 3, 2004 in New York. His parents, Karine and Mitchell, were originally from Montreal, Canada. While Schnapp was raised in New York, he also spent plenty of time in Canada as a child. As he once confirmed on Twitter, the rest of his family still lives in Montreal.

Schnapp even became a fan of the Montreal Canadiens — a hockey team — during his childhood visits to his Canadian family. "I have citizenship here also," he told the NHL. "My whole family lives here and I'm a big fan of the Canadiens. So it's like, 'Why not come here?' I have a very personal connection to this place." He added that he visits Montreal around twice a year. The Bell Centre, which is the home arena of the Montreal Canadiens, is one of his favorite places in the city. "I love the loud music and the big TVs, the food stands, I love the loud vibe. I love everything about it," he said.

He has always been passionate about acting

While Noah Schnapp may have grown up in a family of sports fans, he soon found that his real interests lay in the arts. It all began when he taken to see a production of "Annie" on Broadway at 6 years old. (Funny enough, just a few years later, his future co-star Sadie Sink would take on the leading role in the show). For Schnapp, the show gave him an instant love of acting. "After I saw Annie on Broadway, I came out of the show crying, because I wanted to be on that stage," Schnapp told the National Post. "Then when I watched TV, I just knew I wanted to be that person in the TV, too."

At first, his parents were hesitant to let Schnapp explore the acting world, but they soon realized that sports wasn't for him. As Schnapp's father told The Scarsdale Inquirer, "It just didn't look like it was his thing. My wife had the common sense to suggest steering him to something else, and he really liked to perform." Schnapp began taking acting classes and got an agent. "We went for a year auditioning maybe four times a week, and not getting anything," his dad said — but in 2014, Schnapp landed his first role in "Bridge of Spies."

Noah Schnapp got his big break in Bridge of Spies

When Noah Schnapp was just 10 years old, his acting classes finally paid off when he landed a small role in "Bridge of Spies" as Tom Hanks' son. Even at the young age of 10, Schnapp knew that this was a huge opportunity. ​​"It was such an honor working with Tom Hanks because he's such a selfless actor," Schnapp said to AOL. "He would always let everyone else shine, and I also learned that you don't always have to stick to the script. You can improvise a lot." He also spoke about working with Steven Spielberg. "Working with Mr. Spielberg also was just such an amazing experience and he helped me a lot. He was always jumping in [and] helping me."

In fact, after working on "Bridge of Spies," Schnapp realized that he wanted to model his own career after Hanks' career. "Everyone knows him as such a great guy," the young Schnapp said. "I just want to be an actor who everyone knows as such a great guy and so selfless and a great actor." Sounds like he couldn't have had a better role model by his side for his first film.

He got a taste of the voice acting world

In "The Peanuts Movie," Noah Schnapp had the opportunity to voice the legendary character of Charlie Brown. As he told the National Post, he landed the role thanks to hours and hours of preparation. "In preparing for my recording audition, my mom told me to YouTube the old Peanuts Thanksgiving and Christmas specials to hear how Charlie Brown speaks," he recalled. So, Schnapp spent hours practicing the voice. "Winning the role took a lot of hard work, but good fortune as well," he said.

For Schnapp, voice acting was a whole new experience. "I think it's awesome when you're voicing a cartoon character because you get to work one-on-one in a small booth with a director," he explained to Status Magazine. "He's right there in front of you the whole time, guiding you while you're saying your lines, which you can do as many times as you want until you get it right. You can be crazy and take a lot of roles."

Noah had no idea Stranger Things would become so popular

Even though Noah Schnapp's career was already on the rise, everything changed for the young actor when he was cast in Netflix's "Stranger Things." The show eventually took off and became the streaming platform's biggest English hit ever (per Variety) — but at the beginning, Schnapp had no idea what to expect. In fact, at first, he didn't even think he'd have a very big part.

"​​When they were casting me, they told me that even though I'm not around a lot for Season 1, I'd be a major part of a second season — if they got to do it," he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2020. During the first season, Schnapp actually had a pretty small role, as his character was missing for much of the time, so the young actor didn't even get included in the press for the show. He even remembers thinking, "I shouldn't even worry about this. There's not going to be a Season 2."

He managed to stay grounded as his fame grew

After filming Season 1, Noah Schnapp was shocked when the show took off. "All of a sudden, everything happened so quickly," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "My life changed in a matter of days. I've never been more grateful for anything."

In fact, when the first season landed on Netflix, Schnapp was away from home at summer camp. "We don't have technology when we're in camp, so when I came out of camp, I realized that it turned out to be a big show, that I have all these followers on Instagram, and that I have people coming up to me on the streets," he recalled to Status Magazine in 2017. Despite his sudden stardom, Schnapp tried to keep his life the same as it always was. "It's really just my parents who are keeping me grounded, and I still go to a normal school, keep a normal life, and just try to be as normal of a kid as possible."

Noah Schnapp made friends for life on the Stranger Things set

As "Stranger Things" continued, Noah Schnapp's character became a central figure on the show. The actor spent more and more time on set, where he went to school, made friends, and learned more about his craft.

"I started the show 2-½ years ago and didn't know a lot," he explained to Status Magazine. "And just growing up in the show together with such amazing people like Winona Ryder, David Harbour, and the Duffer brothers, I get to learn new tips and tricks at a very young age."

Schnapp also talked about how he and his costars grew close quickly after meeting. "We all didn't know each other, and we just knew that we were making this small show for one season. And we would shoot like forever; we were together, seeing each other every single day, and we just formed a close bond. We have a group chat, we do sleepovers, and talk to each other all the time." In fact, he and Millie Bobby Brown became so close that they decided to get married if they were both still single at 40 (via MTV News). Clearly, "Stranger Things" has been life-changing for Schnapp in more ways than one.

He became TikTok and YouTube famous

As if Noah Schnapp wasn't already famous enough from "Stranger Things," he soon expanded his fanbase when he joined TikTok. "​​All my friends had it before me and they were always using it and I always thought it was weird," he told Variety. "I was like, 'I'll never get on TikTok. I'll never be on there.'" Eventually, he became curious. "The second I downloaded it, I got super addicted and was on it 24/7," he said. "It took up my whole screen time." The actor soon became a TikTok star in his own right, amassing almost 30 million followers as of 2022. Schnapp became so popular that he even started being recognized for his TikToks rather than his acting. "I find that so funny," he said.

Even though Schnapp is clearly a huge fan of TikTok, he has tried to maintain a healthy relationship with social media as his fame has grown. "I definitely think social media can be overwhelming and unhealthy at times," he told Digital Trends. "But I think it's important for my fans to be able to interact with me and get to see me off-screen. And they love it."

Noah became an investor and entrepreneur

While Noah Schnapp continued working on "Stranger Things," he also began to develop new skills outside of acting as he became a prolific investor and entrepreneur. In one venture, Schnapp has joined the Roll app as an advisor. "It's a place where celebrities can post any of their personal content," he explained to Digital Trends. And that's not the only app in which the young actor has invested. "I recently invested in a bunch of new startups and businesses and stuff to come," he said. "It's just really exciting for me at this time of my life to expand into other things and try things that aren't just acting, but entrepreneurship and that world."

Outside of the tech world, Schnapp also has his own snack brand, TBH, which is a hazelnut cocoa spread. "I wanted to launch a business," he said — and after exploring fashion and shoes, he landed on snacks. "It's always been my passion to, honestly, open a restaurant," he added, noting that the goal of his company is to make snacks that are healthier and more sustainable than other options on the market.

He got his first lead in the historical film Waiting for Anya in 2020

In between filming "Stranger Things," Noah Schnapp has taken on a few other roles. In the 2020 film "Waiting for Anya," he played Jo, a shepherd who helps take Jewish children out of France during World War II. For Schnapp, the film was a whole new experience. "​​It was really exciting because it was something different. It's a period piece set during World War II, which is something I've never really done before," he told Inverse. "It's also surrounded by this time in World War II, and I'm Jewish and my family is ... I resonate with it a lot."

Not only did the project give Schnapp the chance to explore a new time period, but it was also his first proper leading role. "It was definitely really exciting for me to be, like, the main role of this movie," he told Lorraine. "But I was a little worried 'cause I had to put on this French accent and I didn't know if I'd be able to pull it off." It seems this role pushed Schnapp outside of his comfort zone in more ways than one.

Noah's character in Stranger Things has come a long way

As "Stranger Things" has progressed, Noah Schnapp's character has begun to grow up — and become increasingly complex. As the actor revealed in a July 2022 interview with Variety, many of the fan theories about his character are true: Will Byers is gay. Initially, Schnapp had been hesitant to confirm his character's sexuality. "I feel like they never really address it or blatantly say how Will is," he said to Variety in May 2022. "I think that's the beauty of it, that it's just up to the audience's interpretation, if it's Will kind of just refusing to grow up and growing up slower than his friends, or if he is really gay."

However, in the later interview with Variety, Schnapp said, "It's pretty clear this season that Will has feelings for Mike. They've been intentionally pulling that out over the past few seasons." As he went on to explain, the team was careful to make Will's arc slow and realistic. "They are writing this real character and this real journey and real struggle and they're doing it so well," he said.

He got embroiled in a Twitter spat with Doja Cat

As a very "online" celebrity, Noah Schnapp is in the public eye more often than some of his costars — and sometimes, this can lead to the odd viral moment. In 2022, Schnapp made headlines for a bizarre Twitter spat with the singer Doja Cat (via the Independent). It all started when the singer sent Schnapp an Instagram DM asking if he could get her in touch with Joe Quinn, who played Eddie Munson in the fourth season of "Stranger Things." Schnapp found the request so funny that he took to TikTok to share her message with his fans. Naturally, Doja Cat wasn't too pleased. "The fact that Noah did that, like, went and posted a private conversation between me and him is so unbelievably socially unaware and whack," she said in an Instagram livestream.

Schnapp later apologized for sharing the message and took to TikTok once again to explain that "everything is all good" with him and Doja Cat (via Page Six).

Noah Schnapp has become something of a red carpet icon

In recent years, Noah Schnapp has grown out of his dorky little boy look we all know and love from "Stranger Things" and has become an unlikely red carpet fashion icon. As GQ reported, the star has appeared at numerous fashion shows, including the Fendi men's show in Milan in 2022.

And Schnapp's red carpet looks are becoming more and more exciting over the years. As the actor's stylist, Philippe Uter, told WWD, he dressed Schnapp in a pink Dior outfit for the Brooklyn premiere of "Stranger Things" Season 4. "Noah is between the teenager and adult life, so I couldn't go too classic nor too young," he said. He went on to explain that he was always trying to go for a look that merged fashion trends with youth, taking inspiration from the likes of Justin Bieber and Timothée Chalamet. He also listed some of his favorite brands: "Jacquemus, Celine, Acné, Ami Paris, Lacoste, Fauré Le page, Santoni."

He has plans to go to college despite his successful career

Noah Schnapp may be a Hollywood sensation and a TikTok superstar, but it seems he isn't willing to give up on his education. In fact, as the actor told Digital Trends in 2022, he plans on attending college. "Ever since I was born, my dad was like, 'You're going to college.' It was always super important to me," he said. "And I just love expanding upon what I already know and being able to do a multiverse of things. I think that [college] will set me up beautifully for that. I can always do acting and continue with that, but I'd also love to expand my knowledge elsewhere."

While Schnapp may be focusing on more academic pursuits in the near future, in the long term, his main focus is still acting. In fact, in 2022, he joined the cast of a new Jordan Ross thriller called "The Tutor." 

"I love to be an actor," Schnapp told Digital Trends. "I'd love to produce things and be a director as well." Plus, he plans to continue focusing on his businesses, too. "Who knows where else life will take me and what else I'll be," he said. While we can't predict where Schnapp will go from here, it's clear that his journey is just beginning.