Sadie Sink Was Initially Told She Was Too Old To Play Max, At Age 14
Can you imagine Max Mayfield played by anyone but Sadie Sink? Me neither, but casting directors from Stranger Things originally didn’t see her in the role, and for a pretty shocking reason. In a recent interview, Sadie Sink revealed she was told she was too old to play Max in her Stranger Things audition, even though the actor was only 14 at the time.
Sink got real about her almost-failed audition in a July 22 interview with Fashion Magazine, revealing she was initially passed over for the role of Max. According to Sink, the casting directors weren’t convinced she looked young enough to play the new girl at Hawkins Middle School in Season 2. At the time, Sink was 14, which was just about a year older than most of her castmates and maybe a tad older than most middle schoolers. After falling in love with the part, Sink wouldn’t take no for an answer. “I just begged and pleaded with them to give me more material so I could show them something fresh,” she said. Stepping into the character of Max Mayfield “felt right” for her, so she advocated for herself — and it worked. Sink assured the casting directors she was the right fit and they agreed to let her do a chemistry read with costars Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin. The following day, she got the part.
Sadie Sink already had a ton of experience with stardom before joining Stranger Things, having made her debut as a child star in a Broadway production of Annie (as Annie, obviously) in 2012. From there she went on to star in more theatrical productions before switching over to television. As a guest star in The Americans, Sink got firsthand experience working with an established cast and coming in as the new kid. After bouncing between a few guest roles on popular shows, Sink landed her star-making role as the rebellious Max in Season 2 of Stranger Things.
Sink’s acting has been praised by many, including Taylor Swift. In November 2021, Sink starred in the All Too Well short film alongside Dylan O’Brien and gave a performance that attracted millions of views. In a May 2022 interview with Jimmy Fallon, Sink gushed about her adoration for Taylor Swift and how she would “be a tree” if Swift asked her to. Sink’s acting was so memorable that Swift said she wouldn’t have made the short film without her.
It isn’t surprising that Max stole the show in Season 4 of Stranger Things given Sink’s one-of-a-kind talent. Sink poured her heart into Max’s character and portrayed a truly captivating story of grief and resilience. Following the hype of Season 4, Stranger Things will be capping off the show’s run in its fifth season expected to hit Netflix in 2024.