One of the many highlights of the third season of “Stranger Things” is Erica’s expanded role — actress Priah Ferguson continued to steal scenes as Lucas’ adorably spunky younger sister.
Priah, 12, told TODAY she sees plenty of similarities between herself and her character.
“Erica is confident; she's a leader,” she said. “I'm confident, and I'm also a leader. And I feel that she likes to explore, and I kinda like to explore.”
Priah, whose favorite of Erica’s one-liners was “You can't spell America without Erica,” also identifies with the character’s nerdy side.
“I'm very nerdy about history,” she said. “Like, I know my facts, like, you cannot tell me anything. I'm very nerdy when it comes to acting. Like, I have my facts about acting. And I'm also nerdy about nails, 'cause I do nails a lot. I think everybody has a little nerdiness in them though.”
Priah said the show’s action scenes, which involved crawling through the Starcourt Mall’s air vents, were the most memorable to film this season.
“Going through the vent, that was really cool to film, because I've always wanted to do stunts in this industry,” she said.
She added, “At first — I'm not even going to lie — I was really scared of going into ‘Stranger Things,’ and doing those stunts, because I thought that I would really have to go into a vent. But they really sized the vent out to where I could fit. Putting on the gear was the hardest, I would say, because it was hot, but I dealt with it, because I knew it would be a bigger cause at the end.”
The actress said the Scoops Troop’s friendship extended off camera, noting that she and co-star Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) “formed a really, really cool bond because he's so funny.”
“He reminds me so much of Dustin,” she said.
As for which cast member least resembles their character, she picked Joe Keery (Steve).
“He's chill, and he's kinda laid-back. And he's not really worried about his hair, as Steve is,” she said.
The busy young actress recently partnered with GoGo squeeZ as a spokesperson for its “BE Time” campaign, which focuses on the importance of unstructured quality time for kids.
Priah says her preparation for “Stranger Things” — which included watching movies such as “E.T.” and “The Goonies” — introduced her to an era before kids were glued to their screens. In fact, she credits the show’s popularity to its retro backdrop.
“I think the show is popular because it is based in the '80s, and a lot of kids my age watch the show, and they get information about the '80s,” she said. “They see that kids didn't have phones; they see that they explored. They see that they played outside; they rode their bikes.”