Stranger Things premiered on Netflix in July 2016 and in the process, became an overnight success. Following the first season, the lives of everyone involved – cast, writers, producers, were changed forever.
Going into Stranger Things, the two biggest actors onboard were Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine, both established film stars, who play Joyce Byers and Dr. Brenner respectively in this series.
David Harbour (Sheriff Hopper) was an obscurer name, a career character actor while the younger actors – Finn Wolfhard and Millie Bobby Brown being among rhem, entered the spotlight for the first time.
Naturally, as the show was very successful, the actors involved got more opportunities as a direct result of this.
Although filmed much earlier, Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler) starred in his major feature film role – 2017’s It, directed by Andy Muschetti, in which he played the bespectacled Richie Tozier. He reprised this role in the sequel, It Chapter Two.
Wolfhard has also starred opposite This Is Us star Ron Cephas Jones (William Hill) in 2018’s Dog Days and an ensemble cast including Ansel Elgort, Luke Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright and Sarah Paulson in The Goldfinch.
Prior to Stranger Things and IT, Wolfhard had appeared in guest-star television roles and short films.
Likewise, Wolfhard’s co-star Millie Bobby Brown has also enjoyed success in the film world. Brown plays Eleven, the formerly near-bald telekinetic girl who has arguably become the show’s signature character.
To date, Brown has played the role of Madison Russell in two Godzilla films: ‘King Of Monsters’ (2019) and ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ (2020). She is also set to star as Enola Holmes, younger sister of famous detective Sherlock, in a film of the same name, alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Henry Cavill and Sam Claflin.
Joe Keery’s character, Steve Harrington, was a minor presence in season one of Stranger Things. Originally written as a generic 1980s High School rich kid/bully, Steve has evolved into one of the show’s most popular and beloved characters.
Capitalising on that popularity, Keery has broadened his horizons in-between filming for Stranger Things.
In the 2020 film Spree, he plays a social-media obsessed driver named Kurt. His co-stars include David Arquette, Mischa Barton and Frankie Grande.
As Jim Hopper, David Harbour is the male adult lead of Stranger Things. Prior to landing the role, Harbour’s past credits included appearances in series such as Banshee, Elementary and Lie To Me.
Since Stranger Things’ release, Harbour has appeared in a number of blockbuster films such as the 2019 Hellboy reboot as title character as well as Black Widow, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as a mentor to Natasha Romanoff.
In all four of these examples, it is clear that starring on Stranger Things has helped immeasurably in their current career. The show will return for its fourth season at a later date, after being halted by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.