The role of Steve Harrington in Stranger Things launched actor and musician Joe Keery’s career. Despite struggling to find many acting gigs after graduating university, Keery’s life changed when he sent an audition tape to the Netflix show’s casting directors with the hopes of playing Jonathan Byers.
Instead, he was cast as Steve, the popular pretty boy of Hawkins High School, who transforms from an insufferable and insecure jock into a considerably more mature and responsible young adult who often takes control of looking after the younger kids.
Keery’s role was met with praise from fans, and the recurring role was promoted to a more regular one from the second series onwards. Off the back of his Strangers Things success, he has starred in the action-comedy Free Guy, a box-office hit, satirical horror Spree, and appearing in the upcoming season of Fargo.
Alongside this, Keery is a musician, having drummed, played the guitar, and sometimes provided vocals in a garage/psych-rock outfit called Post Animal, leaving the band in 2019 to focus on acting. Since then, he has been releasing solo music at his own pace under the name Djo.
However, it is in the realm of nostalgic ’80s sci-fi that Keery has truly excelled. Stranger Things has become one of Netflix’s biggest shows, even racking up 64 million household views within the first month of the third series airing, which set a new record as the streaming service’s most-watched original show.
The show’s cast partakes in an extensive number of interviews in promotion for each series, and a video from 2019 starring Keery and co-stars Maya Hawke and Gaten Matarazzo informed viewers of the stars’ favourite lines from the show. Keery reveals that his favourite line is performed by Misha Aka Kuznetsov, whose character, General Ozerov, is an authoritative Russian Colonel. In one scene where Steve and Hawke’s Robin are tied up, Ozerov walks over to Robin and says, “Looks like your friend need a doctor. Good thing we’ve got the very best.”
Keery claims he loves the line because “it’s, like, so Indiana Jones villian, like perfect, and then you [Hawke] spit right in his face. It’s amazing. He was very convincing.” Hawke chimes in that Kuznetsov was adamant that Hawke really spits in his face, which she does. Keery goes on to state that he is the “perfect villain.”
Watch the full video below: