Winona Ryder was the ''perfect'' person to star in 'Stranger Things'.

The 47-year-old film director Shawn Levy has admitted the casting for the Netflix series was a painstakingly long process, but when the 44-year-old actress was put forward for the role he decided she was the person best suited the character as Joyce Byers because she can ''access'' deep emotions.

Speaking to about the American series, he said: ''Many of the4se roles we looked for months and months - the Brothers were insanely stubborn in their search for the right kids. From the day casting director Carmen Cuba suggested Winona, the Duffers and I were like, 'Oh yeah, that's got to be it.'

''Not only is there the legacy of workt hat feels appropriate given the period setting, but even if she had never done a movie she would be the most perfect actress to play Joyce because not many actresses are willing and able to access such harrowing places.

''We were down from day one.''

Levy revealed he pitched the idea to the 'Bettlejuice' star over a longing drinking session, which confirmed his decision.

He explained: ''We had a four hour cup of tea with her at the Chateau Marmont. I think by the time we all left the hotel restaurant we all felt like it was a really good match.''

And Levy believes Ryder deserves the praise she has received for her portrayal in the drama.

He said: ''Winona is getting completely deserved attention and praise for that performance. She is a deep well of emotion and the professional in her knows how to access that. That's a gift to a director.''

Meanwhile, Levy credits 'Stranger Things' as his best piece of work to date.

He said: ''I've made 11 movies and I have rarely been as inspired as I felt directing these episodes. These scripts and these characters are so rich.''