Stranger Things season 2 was released on Netflix a little over a week ago, and, just like the first season, it has taken the internet by storm. Since you are reading this, I assume you’re already a fan. But if you are that one person who’s never seen an episode, here’s what it’s about.
In the 1980s, a young boy disappears from the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. Supernatural things start happening in the town, and a girl with psychokinetic powers appears and helps the boy’s friends search for him. The originality of the story, the ’80s nostalgia it evokes, the wonderful characters and the brilliant soundtrack aren’t the only reasons that make this show the phenomenon that it is.
It also has an amazing cast. Seeing ’80s stars Wynona Ryder and Matthew Modine together on screen is heartwarming. Ryder has been the star of many an iconic movie, the most well-known perhaps Heathers. And Modine was a real heartthrob in Married to the Mob, Full Metal Jacket, and Vision Quest. However, the core of the cast are the children. Despite their tender age, they are great actors, and have appeared in other roles as well. But where else have you seen them? Let’s take a look and find out!
Photo: Netflix/New World Pictures
Winona Ryder plays Joyce Byers in Stranger Things. The 46-year-old actress was an icon in the ’80s and early ’90s, having appeared in movies such as Beetlejuice, Heathers, Mermaids, Edward Scissorhands, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in The Age of Innocence in 1993.
Ryder received a lot of attention from the media for her relationship with Johnny Depp in the ’90s, and then again when she was caught shoplifting in 2001. This incident was followed by a few years of absence from the screens, but Ryder returned with roles in high-profile films, like Star Trek and Black Swan. For her role in Stranger Things, she has been nominated for a Golden Globe and for a SAG award.
Photo: Netflix/TriStar Pictures
58-year-old Matthew Modine stars as silver fox Dr. Martin Brenner in Stranger Things, but he was a real heartthrob back in the day. Remember Married to the Mob, Full Metal Jacket, and Vision Quest from the late ’80s? His portfolio also includes roles in Short Cuts, Any Given Sunday, The Dark Knight Rises, Weeds and Transporter 2. And of course, who can forget one of the biggest flops in box office history, Cutthroats. But one of the roles he is most famous for is the title character of the 1984 classic Birdy. It’s a story about a Vietnam vet who starts believing he’s turning into a bird after the traumatic experiences he endures in the war.
Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown is only 13 years old, but she already has made an appearance in quite a few TV shows, such as Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, NCIS, Modern Family, and Grey’s Anatomy. For her portrayal of creepy, mysterious, and brilliant Eleven in Stranger Things she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy. If you like her Eleven, you might also like Brown in BBC’s Intruders.
Photo: Netflix/Columbia Pictures
David Harbour has played a wide array of characters, thanks to his ability to portray authority figures, bad guys, or even both at the same time. The 42-year-old actor has appeared in movies like Black Mass, Quantum of Solace, Suicide Squad, and Brokeback Mountain, and in TV shows like Manhattan, The Newsroom, and Rake. He has participated in several Broadway shows, earning a Tony Award nomination for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? However, his most famous role came in 2014 in The Equalizer, where he played a corrupt cop opposit Denzel Washington’s vigilante. In Stranger Things he plays Chief Jim Hopper.
The 14-year-old Canadian actor plays Mike Wheeler. Before Stranger Things, we’ve seen him on Supernatural in 2015. Before that, in 2014, he played a character with a facial disfigurement on The 100 . More recently he played Richie Tozier in It, which was released this September.
Photo: Netflix/Disney on Broadway
Similarly to the rest of the kids on the cast of Stranger Things, Caleb McLaughin has an impressive resume for his young years. The 16-year-old appeared in Law & Order:SVU, Unforgettable, Forever, and Shades of Blue. He began his career in the theater: McLaughlin played a Young Simba in the Broadway musical The Lion King. In Stranger Things he plays Lucas Sinclair.
15-year-old Gaten Materazzo began his acting career on Broadway, where he participated in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert as Benjamin, and in Les Misérables as Gavroche. He has also appeared on The Blacklist in 2015. Materazzo plays Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things. His voice changed so much from the time of the filming to the post-production, that he couldn’t record any additional dialogue because it would’ve seemed like his character was dubbed by another actor.
Photo: Netflix/Gravitas Ventures
Natalia Dyer plays Nancy Wheeler. Previously, you may have seen her in Hannah Montana: The Movie, where she played a character called Clarissa. In 2011, Dyer was in the movie The Greening of Whitney Brown, alongside Brooke Shields, and in 2014, she appeared in I Believe in Unicorns. The 20-year-old has also appeared in The Between, After Darkness, Blue Like Jazz, and Long Nights Short Mornings.
Photo: Charlie Heaton – As You Are
Charlie Heaton is an English actor who portrays Jonathan Byers. He made his on-screen debut on BBC’s DCI Banks in 2015. Since then, the 23-year-old has appeared in the British shows Vera and Casualty, and movies such as Urban & the Shed Crew, Rise of the Footsoldier Part II, Shut In, and As You Are.
Photo: Netflix/Wolfe Releasing
American actor Joe Keery is Steve Harrington on Stranger Things. The 25-year-old has got roles on three high-profile shows in 2015: Sirens, Chicago Fire, and Empire. In 2015, he participated in his first feature film, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party.
Photo: Netflix/20th Century Fox
Noah Schnapp’s character Will Byers doesn’t have too many scenes on Stranger Things, but the 13-year-old actor makes sure every second counts. Previously, we have seen him in Bridge of Spies, and he has also done a bit of voice acting, lending his voice to characters in The Book of Pooh, The Peanuts Movie, and a video game from the Peanuts franchise.
Stranger Things‘ Karen Wheeler actress, Cara Buono, is experienced when it comes to being a parent to a child involved in supernatural activities, having previously appeared in 2010 film Let Me In. In television, she has been on many successful shows, such as Person of Interest, where she played Martine Rousseau, Third Watch (Grace Foster), Mad Men (Faye Miller), and The Sopranos, where she was Christopher’s wife, Kelli Moltisanti. In film, you may recognize the 43-year-old actress from Paper Towns, Hulk, Happy Accidents, Kicking and Screaming, and Beer League.
Randell P. Havens
Randall Havens plays Mr. Clarke. He has done some work in animation, giving voice to Mr. Rompers on Archer. Havens has appeared in the 2014 movie Let’s Be Cops, and has had quite a few roles in television, on shows like Halt and Catch Fire, Sleepy Hollow and The Vampire Diaries.
Chris Sullivan’s character Benny Hammond from Stranger Things leaves quite an impression, despite his limited screen time. The first time he caught the public’s attention was when he played Tom Clearly in The Knick, where he got to use his original Irish accent. The 37-year-old has had appearances on The Normal Heart, The Americans, Law & Order: SVU, Elementary, and Peter Pan Live!, and has also played opposite Tom Hardy in The Drop and Daniel Radcliffe in Imperium. However, he is best known for his role as Taserface in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Sullivan is currently working on NBC drama This Is Us.
Photo: Netflix/The Orchard
Ross Partridge plays Lonnie Byers. The 49-year-old has appeared in over 40 roles, some of which were on As the World Turns, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, NYPD Blue, Quantum Leap, and Secret in Their Eyes. But, his most notable role is definitely that of David Lamb in 2015 in the drama film Lamb, which Partridge also directed and wrote the script for.
Joe Chrest is the actor who portrays Ted Wheeler. The American has appeared in more than 100 roles on screen, and 60 more on stage. Some of his most notable works include Ant-Man, True Detective, The Aviator, Battleship, Battle of Los Angeles, Drive Angry, Ocean’s 13, Medium, and The Ring. Chrest has also played Vernon Presley in Million Dollar Quartet, and David Schmidt in 21 and 22 Jump Street, alongside Jonah Hill.
Tinsley and Anniston Price
Identical twins Tinsley and Anniston Price started their acting careers in 2013, on The Walking Dead, where they played the character of Judith Grimes. In television and film, twins are often used to portray young children, because of the regulations which determine how many hours a day a child is allowed to work. The 5-year-old actresses have also appeared in 2016 movie Allegiant, in the upcoming Galveston, and of course, on Stranger Things, where they play Holly Wheeler.
Rob Morgan – Luke Cage
Rob Morgan plays Officer Powell. He has had numerous roles on television over the years, some of which were on 30 Rock, Blue Bloods, and Law & Order: SVU. However, he is best known for his portrayal of Turk Barrett, the Hell’s Kitchen criminal who appears on Daredevil and Luke Cage.