As Halloween 2017 fast approaches, so do the highly anticipated second season of Stranger Things, Matt and Ross Duffer’s addictive blend of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. The Netflix thriller became the unexpected hit of 2016 and propelled its young cast members to levels of fame they couldn’t have dreamed of when they answered that first casting call. But what are the kids of Hawkins, Indiana like away from the cameras? This is what the cast of Stranger Things looks like in real life. Millie Bobby Brown Brown was born in Spain to English parents and spent her childhood between the UK and the US. Before winning the part of psychokinetic runaway Eleven, Brown had made a few minor TV appearances, though Stranger Things was her first major gig. “Is your mom here? Your dad?” “Mouthbreather.” As the breakout star of the show, she quickly booked a part in Universal’s Godzilla sequel, King of the Monsters, set for release in 2019. While Stranger Things Season 2 details remain scarce, the first promotional images released
Millie Bobby Brown Brown was born in Spain to English parents and spent her childhood between the UK and the US. Before winning the part of psychokinetic runaway Eleven, Brown had made a few minor TV appearances, though Stranger Things was her first major gig. “Is your mom here? Your dad?” “Mouthbreather.” As the breakout star of the show, she quickly booked a part in Universal’s Godzilla sequel, King of the Monsters, set for release in 2019. While Stranger Things Season 2 details remain scarce, the first promotional images released to confirm that the Eggo-loving Eleven will no longer be sporting her laboratory buzz cut, instead rocking some very ’80s curls.
Finn Wolfhard In his role as Mike Wheeler, Finn Wolfhard took center stage alongside his mysterious houseguest Eleven, showcasing an impressive range for such a young actor — impressive enough to land him a part in the upcoming ’80s-set adaptation of Stephen King horror classic It. “Wow. She looks…” “Pretty… good. You look pretty good.” In real life, the curly-haired Canadian is an indie music aficionado who plays guitar and even has his own band. Gaten Matarazzo Even though he had stage experience, Gaten Matarazzo had only a single screen credit to his name when he auditioned for the part of the lovable Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things. “Where are you going? You just said, ‘Stick to the plan!'” “I am! I’m just going to go get some chocolate pudding.
I’m telling you: Lunch lady Phyllis hoards that shit.” But his lack of screen time wasn’t for lack of trying: The New Jersey-born actor suffers from a mild case of cleidocranial dysplasia, a condition where you’re born without a collarbone, which affects skull growth and teeth. Matarazzo used his post-Stranger Things fame to raise awareness of the condition and received countless letters of support after he revealed that his disability stopped him from getting parts for a number of years. But the Duffer Brothers wrote his condition in, giving his character Dustin the same condition and even allowing bullies to use it as ammunition in the show. Caleb McLaughlin Like Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin began his career as an actor on the stage, playing the young version of Simba in the Broadway production of The Lion King from 2012 to 2014.
Caleb McLaughlin Like Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin began his career as an actor on the stage, playing the young version of Simba in the Broadway production of The Lion King from 2012 to 2014. He came into Stranger Things with a couple of TV credits, like most of his on-screen friends, but getting the part of Lucas Sinclair in Stranger Things was the hardest audition process he’s been through yet. While his character Lucas is the skeptic of the group and is initially wary of El, McLaughlin revealed that off-camera, the cast clicked “like magnets.” Noah Schnapp Schnapp originally auditioned for the role of Mike
Noah Schnapp Schnapp originally auditioned for the role of Mike Wheeler but was equally excited to learn he’d won the part of Will Byers when he got a phone call from the Duffer Brothers while away at camp. Schnapp made his film debut in Steven Spielberg’s 2015 movie Bridge of Spies — not a bad first gig for such a young actor. Schnapp went on to voice Charlie Brown in The Peanuts Movie before landing the part of Will. Schnapp suspects Will won’t quite be himself in the second season. The actor told The Hollywood Reporter he thinks Will is going to “become evil” in Season 2. And seriously, if barfing up slugs during dinner doesn’t make you evil, what does? Natalia Dyer Dyer’s Stranger Things character Nancy Wheeler starts out as your typical ’80s high school girl.
Natalia Dyer Dyer’s Stranger Things character Nancy Wheeler starts out as your typical ’80s high school girl. But by the first season’s end, she’s far from a teen stereotype, diving head first into the Upside Down in search of her missing friend Barb. She told Cosmopolitan it was “really nice” to see a character like Nancy, saying, quote, “She does have that love triangle and boy drama aspect to her, but she’s independent and strong, and her main focus is about finding her best friend and solving that mystery at any cost.” Joe Keery While Steve Harrington gets under your skin at the start, his change of heart and obvious remorse come as unexpected and somewhat refreshing — and even actor Joe Keery didn’t see the switcheroo coming.
The cast members were given the scripts episode by episode and had little idea about the fate of their characters. Keery was certain he wouldn’t be around for the second season after his questionable behavior early in the story, telling Marie Claire he was sure he’d be “monster food.” Fortunately, he lived to the end of the season — and even became something of a cult-favorite among fans of that other popular show set in Indiana, Parks and Recreation. “You guys heard about this fan theory. They think that Steve is actually John Ralphio’s real father.” Charlie Heaton When they’re not teaming up with Nancy to try and rescue Will and Barb from the Upside Down, Jonathan and Steve compete for her affections — and in very different ways.
While Steve is the confident, popular type, Jonathan admires Nancy from a distance with his long-lens camera, earning himself a reputation as a bit of a creep. Their love triangle looks set to continue in season two, but even if Jonathan isn’t quite as prominent this time around, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Heaton regardless. The British actor has been cast as the superhero Cannonball in Fox’s upcoming X-Men spin-off New Mutants. Shannon Purser Let’s finish things off with fan-favorite Shannon Purser, who looks radically different when she’s not covered in a thick layer of pure 1980s.
Barb was a minor character in Stranger Things, who vanishes pretty early on after being left alone outside by Nancy while she hooks up with Steve…and shows up again at the end of the season when her body is seen in the Upside Down, an unfortunate victim of the Demogorgon. Despite that, Barb became inexplicably popular among Stranger Things fans. The “Justice For Barb” hashtag began trending on Twitter after her character was killed off, and she became one of the most popular Halloween costumes of 2016. Purser told the Guardian that some truly dedicated fans went one step further in their tributes to the character, sending her pictures of Barb’s face tattooed on their bodies. And while Barb’s fate seems pretty much sealed at the end of season one, some dedicated fans still hold out hope that she’ll return for the follow-up. Hey…stranger things have happened.
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