One of the more unexpected effects of the Stranger Things madness that took over the internet this summer was discovering that everyone you know had surprisingly strong feelings about Barb. A lot of people loved the character to a degree no one foresaw. So then, of course, came the Barb Backlash. And the Barb Backlash backlash. It’s been a really tumultuous summer of Barb.
But whether or not you connected with the character (and no one’s saying you had to— she was only in like two episodes), the actress who played her, 19-year-old Shannon Purser, seems like a delight and, from the looks of it, thankfully isn’t going away any time soon. She’s expressed a desire to play Squirrel Girl (MAKE THIS HAPPEN, HOLLYWOOD), and she and Rainbow Rowell both agree on the role she was born to play.
(I feel overly protective of Barb on Stranger Things because when I first saw her, I shouted, “Eleanor!”) @ShannonPurser7— Rainbow Rowell (@rainbowrowell) August 1, 2016
While those are— for now— just fantasy roles, Purser reportedly spent this week in LA (she’s from and lives in Atlanta) meeting with casting agents, and just landed a small part in Life of the Party, the new Melissa McCarthy/Ben Falcone movie. There aren’t any plot details yet (it doesn’t come out until 2018), but the two wrote it together, with Falcone directing and McCarthy Starring. Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen, and Matt Walsh.
For what it’s worth, she’s also going to have a recurring role on the CW’s “subversive” take on Archie comics, Riverdale, which I plan to hopefully never watch.
And she’s also not giving up on the real dream:
The real question is: why aren't people jumping to make Eleanor & Park a movie? Do they not realize how many people would love it??— Shannon Purser (@shannonpurser) September 7, 2016
P.S. This is your post-script PSA informing you that Barb is a total babe.