Stranger Things brought a lot with it when it crawled out of the Upside Down and crash-landed on Netflix last summer: nostalgic feels, sci-fi splendor, gruesome monsters, super powers and fan theory fodder galore. But perhaps the best thing the series introduced us to were the faces, the reintroduction of forgotten stars like Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine, and a whole host of new — and now firm — fan favorites. And that shows no signs of changing.
Similarly to its predecessor, the #StrangerThings Season 2 cast promises to bring both old and new faces to the screen once more. Alongside the kids we've all come to love come stars famed for iconic movies such as The Goonies and Aliens, and teens fresh to the scene.
So, to help you keep track, we've compiled a complete who's who for all the faces you need to know in the Stranger Things Season 2 cast. Enjoy!
1. Linnea Berthelsen
Character described as:
“An emotionally damaged, magnetic young woman who suffered a great loss as a child. Although she does not live in Hawkins, she is mysteriously connected to the supernatural events at the lab…”
Where you'll know her from: You probably won't! According to her IMDb page, the actress has appeared in two shorts: Teenland and Natskygge, and one web series, The Desert.
Fun fact: She's Danish!
2. Sean Astin
Character: Bob Newby
Character described as:
“A kindhearted former nerd who went to high school with Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) and now manages the local Hawkins RadioShack.”
Where you'll know him from: As Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings franchise, Mikey in The Goonies, in TV series like Jeremiah, The Strain and Bunnicula, among others.
Fun fact: Remember the Fellowship of the Ring scene in which Astin ran into water to follow Frodo? Apparently during one take he ran straight onto a shard of glass and had to be rushed to the Emergency Room!
3. Paul Reiser
Character: Dr. Owens
Character described as:
“A high-ranking member within the Department of Energy on a ‘clean-up’ assignment, tasked with containing the events of last year.”
Where you'll know him from: As Carter Burke in Aliens, and various other roles in movies like Whiplash, Mad About You, and Read Oaks.
Fun fact: His character is directly influenced by another of his roles, Carter Burke — the Aliens douchebag who fooled everyone into thinking he was a sound guy. This means that the intentions of Dr. Owens are going to be intentionally misleading, but in what direction?
4. Sadie Sink
Character described as: A cynical tomboy with a complicated history.
Where you'll know her from: The Americans, Odyssey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Fun fact: Despite being only 14-years-old, not only has Miss Sink appeared in a number of productions, but she also bagged the titular role in a stage production of Annie.
5. Dacre Montgomery
Described as: Max's womanizing older brother, violent and a bit of a dick.
Where you'll know him from: Relatively new to the came, his main acting role so far has been in the Australian thriller, Safe Neighborhood.
Fun fact: It'll soon be Morphin' Time for this dude's career — he bagged the part of the Red Ranger in the upcoming Power Rangers reboot!
6. Brett Gelman
Character: Murray Bauman
Where you'll know him from: Loads of places — Adult Swim shows, 30 Minutes or Less, The Other Guys, Jobs, Eagleheart, Fleabag, Bad Teacher
Fun fact: He's one half of a comedy rap duo called Cracked Out. And they are prettyyy funny. Take a peek:
Returning To Indiana:
7. Winona Ryder
Character: Joyce Byers
Stranger Things marked something of a comeback for Ryder who, after a run in with the law in 2001, had been noticeably absent from our screens. The '90s icon stars as Joyce Byers, the mother left hysterical after her son goes missing and, while many have claimed to find Ryder's portrayal irritating, I believe it's a return to form, for no one nails off-kilter cray like she does.
Where you'll know her from: Mermaids, Little Women, Girl, Interrupted, Beetlejuice, Black Swan, Edward Scissorhands
Fun fact: She's so tech illiterate that when Netflix approached her for Stranger Things, she had no idea what streaming was.
8. David Harbour
Character: Chief Jim Hopper
Harbour has been working the cinematic circuit since his debut in Law & Order back in '99, bagging a Tony Award nomination six years later for his performance in a production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The 42-year-old actor resides in New York City and claims Stranger Things marks a turning point in his career, telling The Daily Beast:
"It was the best pilot script I’d ever read. It was very subtle in the way it worked its magic, but I thought there was true magic in it. I was blown away by the character. It was the guy I’ve always wanted to play and I thought, well, I’ll never get cast in this, so I may as well read it and enjoy it, but I’m sure they’re going to want a big star for this, because it’s a real flashy role. And then apparently the [Duffer brothers] were really interested in me ... I was very surprised that I was even being considered—and then thrilled to get the part."
Where you'll know him from: Quantum of Solace, Revolutionary Road, Pan Am, The Equalizer, End of Watch, Suicide Squad
Fun fact: His character name is a direct nod to an '80s movie — an era Stranger Things plays homage to throughout the series — specifically a character Arnold Schwarzenegger goes looking for in 1987's Predator.
9. Matthew Modine
Character: Dr. Brenner
Where you'll know him from: Full Metal Jacket, Transporter, Memphis Belle, Weeds, The Dark Knight Rises
Fun fact: He can fly fish ... because Liam Neeson taught him how!
10. Millie Bobby Brown
Character: Jane "Eleven" Ives
So sure was Millie's family of her impending success that their support pushed them to the brink of bankruptcy, selling everything to move from the UK to Hollywood. Money got so tight that her manager, Melanie Greene, loaned them cash — a debt that assumedly has been more than paid off, seeing as Millie is now one of the hottest young actresses on the block!
Where you'll know her from: Intruders, Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Fun fact: She trains in Thai boxing and Jiu Jitsu, and even has a punching bag in her garden — making her pretty perfect for whippin' demon butt both on and off screen!
Bonus: Millie singing "Hallelujah" back in 2015 (age 11(!!)) will give you guaranteed goosebumps.
11. Finn Wolfhard
Character: Mike Wheeler
In German, Finn's surname translates to "heart of the wolf," which is pretty damn cool, and something he can thank his German and French ancestry for. However, his need to portray others on screen comes not from his diverse heritage, but from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, the first movie he ever watched and his career inspiration!
Where you'll know him from: The 100, Supernatural, and next year's IT remake.
Fun fact: His Vine account is weird AF, you can listen to him talking to himself, smashing his head against a pillow and working some angles here — but first, a preview:
12. Gaten Matarazzo
Character: Dustin Henderson
Despite his 14 years, Matarazzo has become a hero for many, inspiring fellow suffers of cleidocranial dysplasia — a rare bone and teeth disorder — to feel better about themselves. Talking to People magazine, he said that Stranger Things had given him a platform to speak openly about the disease, adding:
"The feedback has been great. A lot of people were messaging me saying, 'You made me feel better about myself, that you can show that you have this condition on TV and embrace it.' I feel like I'm raising awareness for it. It makes me feel good."
Where you'll know him from: The Blacklist and Broadway productions Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Les Misérables.
Fun fact: His voice changed so dramatically by the time production ended that the sound team was unable to use him for additional dialogue!
13. Caleb McLaughlin
Character: Lucas Sinclair
Though we know him best for his portrayal of the instinctive and moral Lucas in Stranger Things, New York native Caleb McLaughlin is first and foremost trained in dance. He studied at The Harlem School of the Arts under Aubrey Lynch, a former producer of the Lion King — a.k.a. one of the best shows on Broadway.
Where you'll know him from: Law & Order, Shades of Blue, Noah Dreams of Origami Fortunes
Fun fact: His Instagram feed will give you envy for days as it's mostly pics of him hanging with the likes of Stevie Wonder, LL Cool J and Dave Chappelle. Jealous!
14. Noah Schnapp
Character: Will Byers
The boy everyone's searching for in Season 1 of Stranger Things, Will, is played by 12-year-old Noah Schnapp, who discovered his love for acting at a young age. However, when he's not battling Demogorgon's on screen, he's writing plays that he performs with his sister, and chilling with his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Spaghetti (what a great name for a dog!).
Where you'll know him from: Bridge of Spies, Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie ...
Fun fact: Where voiced the one and only Charlie Brown!
15. Natalia Dyer
Character: Nancy Wheeler
Like the rest of the Stranger Things clan, Natalia bagged her first acting role at the tender age of 12 and she's come a long way since her Disney Channel darling days — from appearing in Hanna Montana's movie, to setting up Demogorgon traps and workin' a complicated on-screen love triangle. That's a Miley level turn around if ever we saw one!
Where you'll know her from: Hannah Montana: The Movie, The Greening of Whitney Brown, I Believe in Unicorns
Fun fact: To get into character for Stranger Things — she was born 14 years after the year the show's set, don't forget — Natalia turned to her mom's year books, bought Charlie perfume and binged on old-school slashers.
16. Charlie Heaton
Character: Jonathan Byers
Like most British actors, Heaton's early work (well, I say "early work," this is only going back a year) took place in the medical drama Casualty, a TV show that seems to be something of a rite of passage for budding actors — Orlando Bloom, Kate Winslet, Christopher Eccleston and Ray Winstone all started out here.
Where you'll know him from: Urban & the Shed Crew, Shut In, As You Are
Fun fact: He used to drum in a noise-rock band called Comanechi — not to paraphrase Mean Girls or anything, but we heard he does gigs... in Japan:
17. Joe Keery
Character: Steve Harrington
The opposite of his on-screen counterpart Steve, 24-year-old Joe Keery claimed he was actually super nervous when auditioning for the part and told The Wall Street Journal:
“We did a table read [in Atlanta] and Winona Ryder was there; I was freaking out.”
Though to be fair, when auditioning in front of cinema royalty, who wouldn't be?
Where you'll know him from: Chicago Fire, Empire, Henry Gamble's Birthday Party
Fun fact: Another musical Strange young Thing, Keery has his own band, Post Animal, check out the music video for their track "When I Get Home," below:
Who is you favorite from the 'Stranger Things' cast?