Jake Busey landed a role on season three of Stranger Things. The character description they released calls him “a journalist for The Hawkins Post with questionable morals and a sick sense of humor.” In a chat with us, Busey elaborated on the role of Bruce to explain how a small town journalist in 1985 would speak unfiltered.
“If you think about the way culture has changed, life was a lot different in the ‘80s,” Busey said. “This is a character who is fully living in that time period. He doesn’t mind making fun of women and children. He doesn’t mind poking fun at someone else’s expense, that type of thing. He’s just a crass newsman.”
Perhaps Bruce is living even further in the past. Busey cited some classic journalism movies as examples of his character.
“He’s one of these guys that if you watch The Paper Chase or some of those films back in the day about the big corporate newspapers, those guys were hardcore, these journalists,” Busey said.
“They always had a cigarette hanging out of their mouth and they were foul-mouthed guys. They were all about getting to the bottom line and the truth. It was before the era of pretty news anchors looking for high ratings. It was the Dan Rather days, the original 60 Minutes gang with the hard-hitting Harry Reasenor-like get to the bottom of this story. So they were tough. He’s a tough guy working on the small newspaper.”
Since Stranger Things runs on Netflix, there’s no limit to what Bruce can say.
“His sick sense of humor, he’s not putting dead animal carcasses in people’s desk drawers,” Busey said. “It’s just he’ll poke fun at anybody and everything, but he’s a little crude. He’s not the one you would bring to dinner at your grandmother’s house. He’s a trucker mouth kind of guy.”
You would imagine that a Hawkins journalist would have investigated the stranger things that happened in the first two seasons. Busey hinted that Bruce has been there the whole time.
“As Stranger Things usually does, they have been there,” Busey said. “We just haven’t seen them.”
Now that Busey is cast, Bruce will be on the case.
“Well, it’s a small town and I work at the newspaper,” Busey assured. “Yes, the show does primarily focus on the children but yes, I am involved in the story.”
Busey said that the young cast of Stranger Things recognized him. They have seen The Frighteners and Starship Troopers by now. The Duffer Brothers were old enough to see The Frighteners in 1996 so they cast him specifically because of that movie.
“They kind of wrote the role for me based on being fans of The Frighteners,” Busey said. “I owe Peter Jackson a thank you because The Frighteners has been a life identifying film for me.”
Stranger Things season three is due on Netflix in Summer 2019.