Here’s Where You’ve Seen the ‘Stranger Things’ Cast Before

There's a reason they look familiar.

stranger things cast

Picture this: you’re fifteen minutes into an episode of Stranger Things when you spot an actor who looks very familiar. Could it be the same person that you saw in a ’90s sitcom? Or perhaps this actor briefly appeared in one of your favorite movies. Either way, a quick Google search will likely confirm that, yes, you have seen their face before. And the best part? The entire Stranger Things cast boasts impressive acting credits, whether it’s Millie Bobby Brown or David Harbour.

With the hit series, which premiered in 2016, set to return for a fifth and final season, here are details on where you’ve seen the cast before.

stranger things cast winona ryder

1. Winona Ryder

  • Stranger Things character: Joyce Byers
  • What else she’s been in: Beetlejuice, Mermaids, Edward Scissorhands, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Heathers, The Age of Innocence, The Plot Against America

Easily one of the most talented and respected names in Hollywood, Ryder is known for dozens of iconic films that date back to the '80s, from Beetlejuice and Mermaids to Girl, Interrupted. Not surprisingly, the Oscar-nominated star also has several accolades under her belt, including a Golden Globe for The Age of Innocence and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Stranger Things.

stranger things cast david harbour

2. David Harbour

  • Stranger Things character: Jim Hopper
  • What else he’s been in: Hellboy, Black Widow, Quantum of Solace, The Green Horne, The Equalizer, Suicide Squad

He may have gained recognition for his portrayal as Officer Jim Hopper, but even before he joined the Stranger Things cast, Harbour had quite the resume. He starred as Santa Claus in Violent Night and did a bit of voice work for shows like Q-Force and Star Wars: Visions. Most recently, he portrayed Jack Salter in Gran Turismo.

stranger things cast finn wolfhard

3. Finn Wolfhard

  • Stranger Things character: Mike Wheeler
  • What else he’s been in: It, It: Chapter Two, The Goldfinch, Dog Days, When You Finish Saving the World

Fun fact: Wolfhard made his directorial debut with the comedy short film, Night Shifts, back in 2020…when he was just 17 years old. Aside from acting and directing, he also ventured into music, having served as the lead vocalist in a rock group called Calpurnia. He now has a new band, called The Aubreys, and you can hear some of their music in his film, The Turning.

stranger things cast millie bobby brown

4. Millie Bobby Brown

  • Stranger Things character: Eleven/Jane Hopper
  • What else she’s been in: Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Godzilla vs. Kong, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Enola Holmes, Damsel, Modern Family

Brown has come a long way since she made her acting debut on ABC's Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. Just three years later, after landing a few small parts in shows like NCIS and Modern Family, she got her big break with Stranger Things. Fast-forward to the present day, and she’s on a roll, having starred in the mega-hits Enola Holmes and Enola Holmes 2, with a new film, Damsel, set to premiere in October 2023.

stranger things cast noah schnapp

5. Noah Schnapp

  • Stranger Things character: Will Byers
  • What else he’s been in: Waiting for Anya, Hubie Halloween, Who Are You, Charlie Brown?

Observant fans will recognize him from Drake's music video for "In My Feelings," but Schnapp is also known for voicing the titular character in The Peanuts Movie (and the follow-up video game). In 2021, Schnapp appeared in the documentary, Who Are You, Charlie Brown?

In an interview for Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood issue, he discussed his decision to publicly come out as gay. “I didn’t want to sit there waiting nervously to see what people were going to say,” Schnapp said. “I just wanted to put it away and be confident in who I am and know that I don’t have to care what people think anymore.”

stranger things cast caleb mclaughlin

6. Caleb Mclaughlin

  • Stranger Things character: Lucas Charles Sinclair
  • What else he’s been in: Concrete Cowboy, Shades of Blue, The New Edition Story, Summer Camp Island

McLaughlin didn't make his feature film debut until 2020, when he starred alongside Idris Elba in Concrete Cowboy. But before then, he showcased his acting skills on Broadway as Young Simba in the musical The Lion King. The actor has since landed guest roles in shows like Blue Bloods, Law & Order: SVU and Shades of Blue.

stranger things cast gaten matarazzo

7. Gaten Matarazzo

  • Stranger Things character: Dustin Henderson
  • What else he’s been in: Prank Encounters, The Blacklist, Nickelodeon's Unfiltered

Fans of Pranked might be familiar with Matarazzo’s second Netflix show, Prank Wars. But in addition to this, he did some voice work on Netflix’s My Father's Dragon and starred in the comedy movie, Honor Society. His acting chops also extend to Broadway, where he’s appeared in productions such as Sweeney Todd, Dear Evan Hansen and Les Misérables.

stranger things cast natalia dyer

8. Natalia Dyer

  • Stranger Things character: Nancy Wheeler
  • What else she’s been in: Hannah Montana: The Movie, Don't Let Me Go, Yes, God, Yes, Velvet Buzzsaw, Things Heard & Seen

After making her acting debut in Hannah Montana: The Movie, Dyer landed a few supporting roles in films that range from sci-fi dramas to satirical horror. And now, in addition to playing Nancy Wheeler, she’s also appearing in two new films: Chestnut, which premiered in June and All Fun and Games, slated to release on September 1.

stranger things cast charlie heaton

9. Charlie Heaton

  • Stranger Things character: Jonathan Byers
  • What else he’s been in: Shut In, Marrowbone, The New Mutants, No Future

Although he started off as a musician, Heaton pivoted to acting and managed to get his big break without any formal training. While working as a bartender, he landed a string of guest roles on British shows, from Casualty to Vera. And now, he’s winning fans over as Jonathan in the Stranger Things cast.

stranger things cast cara buono

10. Cara Buono

  • Stranger Things character: Karen Wheeler
  • What else she’s been in: The Sopranos, Mad Men, Supergirl, Third Watch, Paper Towns, Monsters and Men

You've most likely seen this Bronx native in at least one of your favorite shows, whether it be The Good Wife, Person of Interest or NCIS. For her work on Mad Men, where she played Faye, Buono earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

stranger things cast matthew modine

11. Matthew Modine

  • Stranger Things character: Martin Brenner
  • What else he’s been in: Full Metal Jacket, Married to the Mob, Gross Anatomy, Pacific Heights, The Dark Knight Rises, Weeds, Retribution

The Golden Globe winner boasts more than 50 acting credits and has worked with artists like Madonna and the Jonas Brothers (NBD). Still, he has plenty to keep him busy. Modine appears as Vannevar Bush in the summer blockbuster Oppenheimer and the upcoming film My Love Affair with Marriage (October 2023).

stranger things cast sadie sink

12. Sadie Sink

  • Stranger Things character: Max Mayfield
  • What else she’s been in: The Glass Castle, Eli, The Americans, American Odyssey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

You may recognize her from the Fear Street trilogy or as the lead in Taylor Swift’s short film, All Too Well. But the actress has also dabbled in theater, having starred in Broadway productions like Annie and The Audience. In 2022, Sink also played Ellie in The Whale and Tess DeNunzio in Dear Zoe.

stranger things cast joe keery

13. Joe Keery

  • Stranger Things character: Steve Harrington
  • What else he’s been in: Free Guy, Molly's Game, Spree, No Activity

Fun fact: Straight out of college, Keery attended over 100 auditions before landing his first role. After working a few commercials and appearing in shows like Chicago Fire and Empire, he landed his breakout role as Steve. But aside from acting, Keery is also a musician who used to be part of a rock band called Post Animal. He dropped his new album, Decide, in 2022.

stranger things cast brett gelman

14. Brett Gelman

  • Stranger Things character: Murray Bauman
  • What else he’s been in: Without Remorse, Fleabag, Go On, Like Father, Jobs, The Other Guys

The actor started out as a comedian and then ventured into voice work for several adult animated shows, like Eagleheart and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. To this day, Gelman still does plenty of voice work on projects like Netflix's I Heart Arlo and Inside Job. He's also set to star in the upcoming Apple TV+ miniseries, Lady in the Lake.

stranger things cast dacre montgomery

15. Dacre Montgomery

  • Stranger Things character: Billy Hargrove
  • What else he’s been in: Elvis, Power Rangers, The Broken Hearts Gallery, Better Watch Out

The 28-year-old Aussie actor has only appeared in a handful of films, with Stranger Things being his first TV series. But you may also recognize him from Angus & Julia Stone's music video for "Chateau." Montgomery also runs a podcast called DKMH, where he shares his own poetry.

stranger things cast maya hawke

16. Maya Hawke

  • Stranger Things character: Robin Buckley
  • What else she’s been in: The Good Lord Bird, Italian Studies, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Ladyworld

As it turns out, Hawke is a triple threat. The 25-year-old got her start in modeling before she ventured into acting, landing her first role as Jo March in the Little Women miniseries. Then, with a few acting credits under her belt, she pursued music, releasing her first two songs in 2019. This year, Hawke appeared as June in Wes Anderson’s acclaimed Asteroid City and will play Jamie Bernstein in the Bradley Cooper-directed Maestro coming out on September 2.

stranger things cast paul reiser
Getty Images

17. Paul Reiser

  • Stranger Things character: Sam Owens
  • What else he’s been in: Aliens, Beverly Hills Cop, My Two Dads, Mad About You, Red Oaks, Whiplash, Fatherhood

The seasoned actor and comedian boasts dozens of acting credits, but he's nowhere near finished. In addition to his appearance as The Legend on The Boys, Reiser also joined the main cast as Gordon in the comedy series, Reboot, which first aired last September.

stranger things cast jamie campbell bower

18. Jamie Campbell Bower

  • Stranger Things character: Henry Creel/Vecna
  • What else he's been in: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Twilight Saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Camelot

Clearly, Bower has a penchant for starring in fantasy films. He's best known for playing Caius in The Twilight Saga, but he has also appeared in shows like The Prisoner, Will and Urban Myths. Prior to 2020, the actor and model was the lead singer of a London-based band called Counterfeit.

stranger things cast Priah Ferguson
Courtesy of Netflix

19. Priah Ferguson

  • Stranger Things character: Erica Sinclair
  • What else she’s been in: Atlanta, Mercy Street, My Dad the Bounty Hunter, Hamster & Gretel

Although she had one-episode appearances in Atlanta and Mercy Street, Ferguson’s resume mainly consists of voiceover roles—like My Dad the Bounty Hunter and Hamster & Gretel.

stranger things cast Joe Chrest
Courtesy of Netflix

20. Joe Chrest

  • Stranger Things character: Ted Wheeler
  • What else he’s been in: 21 Jump Street, Assassination Nation, Deepwater Horizon, Looking for Alaska, True Detective

Chrest is widely recognized for portraying David Schmidt in the 21 Jump Street movie adaptation.

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