Noah Schnapp was just 11 years old when he was catapulted to fame after landing the role of Will Byers in the Netflix series Stranger Things.
Over the years, his public profile has steadily grown and he now has over 27 million Instagram followers as the hugely popular show heads into its fifth and final season.
Now 17, Noah is one of the world’s most recognizable young actors, and he regularly makes news headlines thanks to his celebrity status.
For example, in July he sent pop culture fans into meltdown when he leaked Doja Cat’s private Instagram DMs asking him about his Stranger Things’ costar Joseph Quinn.
Prior to that, Noah was forced to respond after he was mistakenly accused of saying a racist slur in a video of him singing in a car, and he has also found himself at the center of queerbaiting discourse in recent months related to his Netflix character.
Despite this, the child actor has always maintained an air of normality, and his followers are often left bewildered by consistent accidental reminders that he is actually just a regular teenager.
Earlier this month, people were surprised to see Noah unleash his inner fanboy when they spotted him in an Instagram Live that was being hosted by Love Island UK stars Luca Bish and Jacques O’Neill.
After joining the chat, Noah commented: “I LOVE U,” having previously admitted to being obsessed with the British reality show.
“Oh my god, Millie. My mom has been texting me and she was like: ‘I’m so done with you, I’ve lost all my patience. I’m taking away your laptop and your phone,’” he vented.
Millie quickly reminded him that thousands of people were watching as she exclaimed: “Noah, we’re on live!” which prompted him to sheepishly say: “Oh, I forgot, hi everyone,” before leaving the livestream.
And in a new interview with Flaunt magazine, Noah has explained that maintaining a normal life outside of Stranger Things is a key component in keeping him “grounded” — and it doesn’t end at his mom dishing out punishments.
In fact, even though he has an estimated net worth of $4 million, the teen star has revealed that he took on a job as a lifeguard over the summer.
“It’s kind of a ‘just for fun thing,’” he said of his part-time gig. “I’ve kind of grown up with a normal life and normal friends and stuff outside of Stranger Things, so it’s kind of kept me grounded.”
And, just like those of millions of other high school graduates, Noah’s summer job is actually just a precursor to college, which he will begin this fall.
In December, the star shared an emotional video that saw him jumping for joy with his parents and twin sister after he received an acceptance letter from the University of Pennsylvania — and despite his wealth and fame, Noah plans to share a dorm, eat in the dining hall, and use the communal showers like every other first-year student.
Noah told Flaunt that he originally considered studying acting at school, but instead he is attending the private Ivy League’s business school.
“Acting was just kind of repetitive, and I wanted to try something new,” he explained. “Millie [Bobby Brown] is doing the same thing with her schooling — she’s kind of learning about other things. I thought it would make more sense to do something different. And business was a pretty clear next thing for me.”
Fans have heaped praise on both actors for pursuing further education despite their success in the acting world, and many have also taken to social media to share their surprise at Noah taking on a summer job.
“Imagine pulling up to the pool and the lifeguard is noah fucking schnapp,” one person tweeted. Another wrote: “Noah schnapp having a summer job as a lifeguard is the most iconic thing ever im sorry.”
Someone else said: “Noah schnapp being a lifeguard at his local pool is so funny like good for him because he seems to be living as much as a normal life as he can but imagine drowning and will byers is the one pulling you out of the water and giving you cpr.”
Another tweet read: “Its really cool to see that noah schnapp is just living a normal teen life like having a regular job an going to college in the fall and all that. good for him!”
Although Season 4 of Stranger Things has only just aired, it is believed that filming for the fifth season will begin next year, and Noah admitted that it was “very crazy” for him to think about the show coming to an end.
“Will is like my baby,” he told Flaunt. “I’ve curated and built this character for years, and it’s very crazy to think that it will be over, before I knew it and that’s it.”
“But, it’s such a big franchise that it’s never really going to be over,” Noah went on to tease. “There will always be spin-offs and things to come. I don’t know, I’ll do movies with Millie and whatnot in the future. There’s always more to look forward to.”