Stranger Things Cast & Character Guide (2024)

The Stranger Things cast is ever-expanding, and it features a staggering number of new and recurring characters. The Duffer brothers' true genius lies in their ability to continually expand the number of characters in Stranger Things, somehow without compromising the narrative momentum at all. As the series draws closer to its epic conclusion, the show has seen a number of characters killed off while the core characters have been established at the center of the fight against the Upside Down.

Even the Hawkins' teenagers have grown in number; Eleven, Mike, Dustin, Will, and Lucas have been joined by Max, Eddie, and Lucas' little sister Erica, who have become firm fan favorites. Stranger Things season 4 cast continued to introduce even more new characters, from allies to antagonists and other figures who fill out the world of this story. The upcoming Stranger Things season 5 will continue to bring in new faces with some exciting casting news but the main Stranger Things cast will surely shine in this last adventure.

Related: The Problem With Eleven Killing Vecna In Stranger Things Season 5

Season 5 Casting News

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Each season of Stranger Things brings in new characters and usually includes some notable actors joining the franchise for the new season. As Stranger Things season 5 draws closer, there is likely to be more news about new additions to the cast list. In fact, fans now have their first new name for the series as Linda Hamilton joins Stranger Things for its final season. Hamilton is best known as '80s icon Sarah Connor in The Terminator franchise. While there is no news on Hamilton's role, the show could take advantage of her action hero persona and have her play the new leader of the military operatives hunting Eleven down.

Millie Bobby Brown is Eleven

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While the Stranger Things cast is a big ensemble, Eleven can easily be considered the main character. The 19-year-old English actress Millie Bobby Brown delighted viewers with her performance as Eleven in Stranger Things season 1, earning a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at age 13. She's the youngest person to be featured in the TIME 100 list, and has used her popularity to launch a high-profile career; she played a key human character in the recent Godzilla films, and stars in Netflix's Enola Holmes 2.

Stranger Things season 4 saw Eleven regain her powers and revealed how she created the first portal to the Upside Down. Her shared connection with Henry/Vecna and his vendetta against her cements that she will continue to be the most important character in the series for its upcoming final chapter.

David Harbour is Jim Hopper

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David Harbour of the Stranger Things cast is no stranger to high-profile roles, appearing in the Oscar-nominated film Revolutionary Road and Quantum of Solace. However, his most recent excursion saw him playing a sort of combat-Santa Claus in Violent Night. He is set to reprise his role of Red Guardian from Black Widow in the MCU's Thunderbolts and will soon be seen in the video game movie Gran Turismo.

Though he started out as the reluctant hero of the series, Hopper has become a lovable lead with strong connections to several characters. He became a father figure to Eleven and a love interest for Joyce. After Hopper supposedly died in Stranger Things season 3, he was rescued from a Russian prison in season 4 in time to return to Hawkins for the final season.

Winona Ryder is Joyce Byers

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One of Hollywood's most popular names, Stranger Things' Winona Ryder made her debut in 1986 in the teen drama Lucas. She earned Oscar nominations for Little Women and The Age of Innocence, and has become known for taking on complex roles in films like Heathers and Bram Stoker's Dracula. She is set to return to one of her most iconic roles as Lydia in Beetlejuice 2.

Ryder was perfectly cast as Joyce Byers, a mother whose world is turned upside-down when her son Will goes missing. Either way, the Stranger Things season 4 cast would be remiss if it didn't include Ryder's Joyce. Over the last four seasons of Stranger Things, Joyce has transitioned from a crusading mother to something of a hero in her own right, helping to stop the Russian plot and leading the rescue mission to bring Hopper home. After leaving Hawkins with her family in season 3, the finale of season 4 sees her brought back home.

Finn Wolfhard is Mike Wheeler

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A Canadian actor and musician, Finn Wolfhard shot to fame as "the kid from Stranger Things." This has translated into a number of high-profile live-action or vocal-acting roles - including in It, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and The Addams Family, and his career continues to flourish as his latest project saw him voicing Candlewick in Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio. Mike has been dubbed the "heart" of the group by his good friend Will and it is not hard to see why. After befriending Eleven and forming a bond with her, Mike has done everything he can to keep the group together as they face off against one big threat after another.

Noah Schnapp is Will Byers

American actor Noah Schnapp first began performing when he was just six years old, and he shot to prominence in 2015 when he was cast as Roger Donovan in Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies. His most recent credit is that of Tommy in Adam Sandler's Netflix movie Hubie Halloween. Stranger Things was Schnapp's big break, when he was cast for the role of Will Byers - a character most notable for his absence in season 1, but increasingly pivotal given his experience with the Upside Down.

Arguably, Will has gone through the most trauma over the course of the series, being targeted and haunted by the Mindflayer. However, there has also been more insight into his character in recent years with him struggling to recapture the youth that was taken from him and the revelation in Stranger Things season 4 that Will is gay.

Gaten Matarazzo is Dustin Henderson

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Gaten Matarazzo began his career on Broadway in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, his most recent project voicing Boris in My Father's Dragon, and played a few minor roles before he was cast as Dustin Henderson, one of the younger members of the Hawkins kids in Stranger Things. Remarkably intelligent, Dustin tends to jump to conclusions the others find bizarre and yet which turn out to be true, such as when he figures out that the Hawkins teens are trying to communicate with them through the lights.

Even in the midst of all the danger they face on a regular basis, Dustin often provides the comic relief in the cast. The reveal of his girlfriend Suzie from camp was another charming aspect of the character while his friendship with Eddie in season 4 showed Dustin is a character with an enormous heart.

RELATED: Stranger Things Star Reveals His Unexpected Wish For Dustin's Season 5 Story

Caleb McLaughlin is Lucas Sinclair

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Another American actor who started out his career in Broadway, Caleb McLaughlin had already built up an impressive reputation, his latest credit voicing Mo-Slo in The Boys spinoff Diabolical before he was cast for the part of Lucas Sinclair in the Stranger Things season 4 cast. Like the rest of the young cast, he's used the Netflix show as something of a launchpad, appearing in a range of TV shows - including Ultra City Smiths, The New Edition Story, and Shades of Blue - as well as several music videos.

McLaughlin's character Lucas is one of the more conflicted members of Hawkins' teen community; unlike Dustin and Mike, he visibly longs to fit in. Season 4 sees him get his wish as part of the high school basketball team, but chooses his friends over the vengeful teammates in the end. Lucas has a tempestuous relationship with Max, but the two reconcile in the end, before Max, unfortunately, falls into a coma thanks to Vecna.

Sadie Sink is Max Mayfield

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An accomplished actress who's also trained in music, dance, and singing, Sadie Sink began her on-screen career with a one-episode role in Blue Bloods and gained acclaim for her performance as Suzanne Ballard in American Odyssey. Her most recent project saw her starring alongside Academy Award winner Brendan Fraser in The Whale. Sadie Sink can also be seen in The Glass Castle, Eli, and Fear Street.

She joined the Stranger Things season 2 cast playing Max Mayfield, whose family had the misfortune of arriving in Hawkins; Max fell in with the rest of the Hawkins kids, dating Lucas, but her older step-brother Billy fell under the influence of the Mind-Flayer. She spends season 4 mourning Billy's death while simultaneously becoming an unwitting victim of Vecna's curse. Going into season 5 Max will be in a coma, and it's unclear if/when she will awaken.

Natalia Dyer is Nancy Wheeler

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A graduate of the Nashville School of the Arts, American actress Natalie Dyer's first break was as Clarissa Granger in Hannah Montana: The Movie. She mostly appeared in shorts until 2016, when she was cast for the role of Nancy Wheeler in Stranger Things season 1, and since then has appeared in films like Velvet Buzzsaw and Yes, God, Yes, as well as the TV series Acting For A Cause and Things Heard & Seen.

Dyer's character Nancy is Mike's older sister, who was drawn into all the strangeness surrounding Hawkins when her best friend Barb disappeared. Fierce and proactive, Nancy is always quick to throw herself in front of danger whenever necessary. As she grew older, her reporter instincts grew as well with her leading the investigations into the strange occurrences in Hawkins. She has also experienced a love triangle with her former boyfriend Steve Harrington and current boyfriend Jonathan Byers.

Charlie Heaton is Jonathan Byers

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An English actor and musician, Stranger Things marked Charlie Heaton's international debut. Since 2016 he's continued to build his career with films like The New Mutants, Shut In, and No Future; Heaton also played alongside George MacKay, Anya Taylor-Joy and Mia Goth in the Spanish horror film Marrowbone and most recently appeared in The Souvineer: Part 2. His character in the Stranger Things season 4 cast, Jonathan Byers, is an introverted teenager who struggles in social situations and feels deeply responsible for his brother, Will.

Jonathan has often been the secondary character to a lot of the more central Stranger Things characters. Season 1 had him searching for his brother while seasons 2 and 3 found him following after Nancy on her investigations. Season 4 sees him leading the cross-country quest to save Eleven though he is not the same heroic teen as Nancy and Steve.

RELATED: Jonathan's Stranger Things Death Would Solve A Major Ending Problem

Joe Keery is Steve Harrington

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Joe Keery had a string of smaller roles before he was cast as Steve Harrington in Stranger Things, becoming something of a teen sensation. This has launched a successful career that's seen him appear in films and TV shows such as Free Guy, Molly's Game, Death to 2021, and the upcoming season 5 of Fargo. Keery's Stranger Things season 4 cast character Steve was originally the annoying popular kid in school who mistreats Nancy and bullies Jonathan. However, he found redemption in season 1 and gradually became known affectionately as the babysitter of the group, looking after the younger characters and proving himself a hero more than once.

Maya Hawke is Robin Buckley

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The daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, actress and model Maya Hawke made her debut in the BBC adaptation of Little Women before joining Stranger Things for season 3. In addition, she can be seen alongside fellow Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink in Fear Street and has had roles in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Do Revenge

Her character Robin Buckley in the Stranger Things cast was an instant hit as Steve's colleague at Hawkins Mall who wound up helping him break into the Russian lab. Robin and Steve have become close friends, in large part because there's absolutely no chance of any sparks between the two - Robin is lesbian, as she admitted to Steve while drugged in season 3. Season 4 found Robin embracing her weirdness while helping the other heroes save the day and even had time to pursue her crush on classmate Vicki.

Priah Ferguson is Erica Sinclair

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Priah Ferguson plays Lucas' little sister Erica Sinclair. Priah has been in a number of movies and television shows, starting her career in 2015 with the TV movie Perfectville. Since then, Ferguson has appeared on Atlanta, My Dad the Bounty Hunter, and Hamster and Gretel. Erica was a background character until Stranger Things season 3, when she was inducted into the Hawkins gang after helping Steve and Robin break into the Russian lab beneath Hawkins Mall.

The end of Stranger Things season 3 saw Erica finally embrace her inner nerd when she was given Will's old Dungeons & Dragons set, which is why she was inducted into the Hellfire club in season 4 to replace Lucas, and she's sure to become even better at the game than the boys. Arguably one of the best characters, Erica wasn't around as much as the rest of the Stranger Things season 4 cast members, she did help communicate with the Hawkins teens in the Wheeler house and is sure to be a fixture in season 5.

Gabriella Pizzolo is Suzie

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Stranger Things season 3 introduced Gabriella Pizzolo (BrainDead, Butterbean's Café, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin) as Dustin's Mormon girlfriend, who he met at summer camp. The other Hawkins kids initially believed Suzie was a figment of Dustin's imagination, until she proved essential in the end - even if she did force Dustin to duet to the theme tune of Never Ending Story before helping. Suzie returns to the Stranger Things season 4 cast, demonstrating her technological genius once again as she helps Mike and co. locate Eleven. It's unclear if she will play a part in season 5.

Matthew Modine is Dr. Martin Brenner

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Actor Matthew Modine first rose to prominence in the 1980s, when his performance caught the eye of director Harold Becker. He's known for performances in Birdy, Full Metal Jacket, and The Trial. He also recently played Rick Singer in Operation Varsity Blues. The veteran actor was seen as a major coup for Stranger Things when he was cast as Dr. Martin Brenner back in 2015; the scientist is responsible for the experiments at Hawkins Lab.

It was initially believed that Brenner was killed by the Demogorgon back in season 1. Eleven learned he had survived the Demogorgon attack in season 2, but he hasn't returned until being in the Stranger Things season 4 cast, and the installment saw him help Eleven regain her powers through the NINA project. Brenner died for good in Stranger Things season 4, so he won't be returning for the last chapter unless it's through a flashback.

Paul Reiser as Dr. Sam Owens

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Paul Reiser is a comedian and actor who fits into the Stranger Things casting trend of 80s genre stars thanks to his role as Burke in Aliens. Reiser rose to fame on television with the Emmy-winning Mad About You. He has also starred in a number of notable movie roles, including Beverly Hills Cop and Whiplash as well as guest-starring on The Boys as The Legend.

Reiser was introduced as Dr. Sam Owens in season 2 of Stranger Things, looking to be a similar two-faced villain like his Aliens role as he posed as a doctor to treat Will Byers but was really researching the Upside Down. However, Owens is a good man at heart who often struggles between protecting the world from the Upside Down and protecting the kids. He is last seen in Stranger Things season 4 being found by the military operatives pursuing Eleven.

Bree Gelman is Murray Bauman

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Brett Gelman is a celebrated actor and comedian, known for The Other Guys, Fleabag, and Inside Job. He joined Stranger Things in season 2 as Murray Bauman, a conspiracy theorist who helped Hopper out of a jam. Murray's suspicious nature and keen observation skills make him an ideal fit for a series involving black ops government organizations and Russian infiltrators during the Cold War, and his role has increased every season along with the scope of the show. As a part of the Stranger Things season 4 cast, he helped break Hopper out of prison and will likely be in season 5.

Sean Astin as Bob Newby

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American actor Sean Astin has a long career in Hollywood going all the way back to his child actor days in movies like The Goonies which was a direct inspiration for Stranger Things. Astin's career grew to include teen comedies like Encino Man before he won acclaim for his iconic performance as Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Astin's charming heroic persona in those movies translated well to his role as Bob in Stranger Things season 2. As Joyce's new boyfriend, Bob seemed a little too good to be true and many were expecting him to show a darker side hidden at some point. However, that wasn't the case as Bob proved himself a hero, helping the others escape from the demodogs in Hawkins Lab only to be killed in one of Stranger Things' most tragic deaths.

RELATED: Why Stranger Things Season 5 Having No Big Character Deaths Would Be A Huge Disappointment

Joseph Quinn is Eddie Munson

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The Stranger Things season 4 cast introduced Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson, the intense head of Hawkins High School's D&D club - the so-called "Hellfire Club." Confident and charismatic, Eddie is drawn into the chaos of the Upside Down against his wishes, and learns there really are monsters in his hometown that make his games look tame. Unfortunately, Eddie heroically sacrificed himself in Stranger Things season 4, and won't be back for season 5. He's played by Joseph Quinn, best known for his previous roles in Dickensian, Game of Thrones, and Howards End. He will next be seen in Gladiator 2 and A Quiet Place: Day One.

Dacre Montgomery as Billy Hargrove

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Dacre Montgomery is an Australian actor who has had some notable roles before joining Stranger Things. He starred as the Red Ranger in the ill-fated attempt to launch the Power Rangers franchise and also appeared in the holiday horror-comedy Better Watch Out. Montgomery was also recently seen in the Oscar-winning movie Elvis opposite Austin Butler. He joined season 2 of Stranger Things as Max's stepbrother Billy who became the new bully in town. However, after being possessed by the Mindflayer and becoming the villain of season 3, Billy found redemption by sacrificing himself to save Eleven and Max.

Shannon Purser as Barbara Holland

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Shannon Purser is an American actress who became an online obsession after playing Barb in season 1 of Stranger Things. Since her time on the show, Purser has starred in the Netflix comedy Sierra Burgess Is a Loser and plays Ethel Muggs in Riverdale. However, Purser is obviously best known as Barb despite the character only appearing in a handful of episodes in season 1. Barb stands out as Nancy's studious and protective friend who accompanies Nancy to a party at Steve's house only to be attacked and killed by the Demogorgon. Barb's tragic death stayed with audiences long after she was gone.

Robert Englund is Victor Creel

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Veteran horror actor Robert Englund is best known for his iconic performance as Freddy Krueger, the creepy villain of the Nightmare On Elm Street slasher series. This time round he's playing Victor Creel in the Stranger Things season 4 cast, an inmate at Pennhurst Mental Hospital who was imprisoned after he was blamed for the murders of his wife and daughter in 1959, which were actually perpetrated by his son Henry/Vecna. Victor plays a crucial role in Stranger Things season 4, giving information to Nancy and Robin, but it remains to be seen if he'll be in season 5.

Jamie Campbell Bower is Vecna

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Jamie Campbell Bower started out as a model before moving into film and television. He's no stranger to villainous roles, playing Caius - the leader of the sinister Volturi - in the Twilight films, and even a young Gellert Grindelwald in both Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Bower also has singing chops, appearing alongside Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He's also appeared in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, voices Skiff in Thomas & Friends, and was in the unaired Game of Thrones prequel pilot.

However, being in the Stranger Things season 4 cast gave Bower the chance to be the main villain, Vecna. It takes a long time before Vecna's origins are fully revealed, as it's not revealed that the friendly orderly who takes to Eleven is actually Henry Creel/One and then eventually becomes Vecna once he is banished to the Upside Down after being the sole perpetrator of the Hawkins Lab massacre. At the end of season 4, Vecna has caused irreversible damage to Hawkins and will be the main and final antagonist of season 5, seeing as he's the leader of the Upside Down.

Stranger Things Cast & Character Guide (2024)
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