Grace Van Dien
Chrissy Cunningham – played by Grace Van Dien in the Netflix hit Stranger Things Season 4 is one of the main characters. Although Cunningham’s role in the series is minor, she is highly impactful as she is Vecna’s first victim. And it was only through Cunningham that we learned how dangerous and powerful Vecna can really be.
Chrissy Cunningham in Stranger Things has increased fans’ curiosity as they can’t help but wonder more about the actress. Here’s what we know about Grace Van Dien – the actress who plays Chrissy Cunningham on the Netflix hit series.
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Who is Chrissy Cunningham in Stranger Things Season 4?
Stranger Things season 4 is definitely scarier than any before it, with Vecna as one of the scariest monsters. Vecna has a humanoid appearance with a terrifying origin story while using the children’s trauma against them in a very nasty way. Vecna captures his victims by learning their secret and stalking the person with that information before eventually dragging the person into Upside Down and killing them.
The fourth season of the Netflix hit series Stranger Things introduces a fictional character named Chrissy Cunningham, played by actress Grace Van Dien. Chrissy appears in the season four premiere as the popular cheerleader at Hawkins High School in Indiana. She seems to have everything perfect, is very popular at school, is pretty and is dating the school’s basketball star, Jason Carver (played by Mason Dye).
As with everything else in Stranger Things, however, not everything is what it seems on the surface. Chrissy suffers from serious self-image issues and depression due to the emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother. We can also see that Chrissy is scared as she experiences disturbing and disorienting hallucinations throughout the episode. In one of the hallucinations, the chief cheerleader is being hunted by a terrifying creature from another dimension. In the end, she dies a tragic death at the hands of Vecna physically across dimensions, opening the portal on the spot where she died.
In Season 4 of the hit Netflix series, Vecna lures several Hawkins High students into his trap, starting with poor Chrissy Cunningham. Although audiences didn’t have much time to get acquainted with Chrissy Cunningham on screen, we can see Vecna digging into cheerleader’s strained relationship with her mother, as well as a sneak peek at her budding friendship with Eddie (played by Joseph Quinn).
Who plays Chrissy Cunningham in Stranger Things?
Chrissy Cunningham is portrayed by 26-year-old Los Angeles-based actress Grace Van Dien. She began acting at the age of just nine and was heavily influenced by her mother and father. Though she has appeared in multiple roles, Stranger Things remains one of her biggest roles to date. She started her acting career in 2012 and has appeared in several television shows and films such as The House of Secrets, Charlie Says, Max Winslow, Greenhouse Academy and The Village.
Grace Van Dien is also a Twitch streamer and often streams herself while playing the various video games and interacts with fans. She has also tried her hand at directing.
According to reports from Marie Calire, Van Dien tried her luck in acting because of her parents, who are themselves in the industry. Dien’s father – Casper Van Dien has starred in All American and Starship Troopers, while her mother is Carrie Mitchum, who starred in The Bold and the Beautiful.
Casper Van Dien was a huge supporter of the acting career chosen by his daughter, Grace Van Dien. He even attended Grace’s premiere of NBC’s The Village and seemed extremely proud of his daughter.
It also appears that Grace Van Dien has been kept busy following her Stranger Things appearance. Currently, IMDb lists four projects for her, including Julius Caesar Live Read!, Vengeance, Aaah! Roche! and TheFix.
How did Chrissy Cunningham die in Stranger Things?
Vecna lures his victim to the Upside Down by learning her secret and using it to pursue her before eventually killing her. To the normal world, it appears that the person is possessed. The victim’s body will float in the air and their eyes will roll back to the normal world. And when Vecna reaches the victim, the person’s bones begin to break, and their body naturally deforms. The death of Vecna’s victim is definitely one of the scariest and most terrifying scenes in Season 4 of Stranger Things.
In Stranger Things season 4, we can see Chrissy Cunningham being haunted by the nightmares caused by the hellish Vecna showing the corpses of her family members. However, it’s not confirmed if these visions are something the head cheerleader experienced or if she just sees something coming. Cunningham dies while trying to buy drugs from Eddie Munson to avoid these horrific visions.
Chrissy suffered brutal injuries when she was first thrown against the ceiling. Her limbs were brutally twisted and broken, with her eyes poked out. Even her jaw was broken and twisted. This catastrophic death certainly surprised and traumatized viewers. Eddie, witnessing her friend’s death, was horrified and quickly fled from there. The cheerleader’s body was then thrown to the ground and she died.
Despite her horrific death at the season four premiere, Chrissy Cunningham’s spirit remained heavy throughout the season. Eddie is accused of Cunningham’s murder and is being hunted by both the police and the basketball team. Jason seems deeply affected by her death and launches an 80s twist on Satanic Panic in the name of her dead friend. Chrissy’s mutilated body is also shown several times in Upside Down throughout Season 4 as the body is attached to the crude looking pillar and remains in Vecna’s stronghold.
It was also revealed in the final episode that the location where Chrissy was murdered, hence Eddie’s trailer, is now a portal to Upside Down.
Joseph Quinn, who plays Eddie on Stranger Things, said filming Chrissy Cunningham’s gruesome death scene was a lot less scary in person. Quinn told Men’s Health: “I see Grace very inelegantly hanging in the air in a harness complaining. But then there was an amazing stunt where Chrissy’s character is slammed against the ceiling. But there weren’t any broken bones or anything like that. It was very methodical and it took a while. But the end result is terrifying, isn’t it?’ Well it sure is.
Is Stranger Things 4’s Chrissy a Huge Gaming Streamer?
Recently, Grace Van Dien has been trending online for her Twitch streams where she plays battle royale games like Valorant and Overwatch.
According to reports from IGN India, Grace Van Dien has exploded on Twitch since playing the role of Chrissy Cunningham in Stranger Things. Before Van Dien starred in the hit Netflix series, she averaged fewer than a hundred views of her videos. But now, Van Dien’s views on the Twitch streams have exploded in their thousands. It seems like Grace Van Dien has an option on a solid second career path if she ever wants to leave or take a break from acting.
Grace Van Dien is also a certified Instagram star with a massive following of more than 1 million people with just 95 posts. She also has over 10,000 followers on Twitter, which is expected to grow as her performance on the series catches up with audiences.
Whether or not we’re doing justice for what happened to Chrissy Cunningham in Stranger Things season 4 remains unclear. However, the two episodes are still left for season 4 of this Netflix series and anything can happen in them. These episodes are all scheduled to premiere on July 1, 2023. While it is clear that Chrissy is gone, she will not be forgotten. And of course, there’s always a chance the creators will try something else with their reanimated corpse for the remainder of the season.