All the Places You’ve Seen the Cast of Stranger Things Before

Did you eyeball-gobble Stranger Things? If not, you need to get on that, because your friends are going to drive you crazy with SPOILERS.

The Netflix original series is a master class in walking the line between nostalgia and originality. Set in 1983, it stars Winona Ryder sporting a Karen Silkwood wig, wisecracking nerd kids just like in Stand By Me, a terrifying monster equal parts ’80s horror and Guillermo del Toro, a strange and wonderful girl named Eleven with a Furiosa haircut, and music that evokes classic vintage synth and electro scores from the ’70s and ’80s while bringing something new to the table.

All these things aside, the biggest reason to watch Stranger Things is the stellar cast, who bring the rich characters to life perfectly. The kids make the series, and it’s no accident they’re great . Even though they’re young, you’ll be surprised where you’ve seen the Stranger Things cast in other roles. Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson) and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair) are Broadway vets. Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) has already knocked ‘em dead on BBC. Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler) has appeared in two beloved sci-fi series, making impressions in both.

And come on, just seeing ‘80s stars Ryder and Matthew Modine together is enough to warm the heart. Ryder was in many iconic  and was an icon herself. She was the white hot real-life love interest and tattoo-inspirer of . Perhaps ironically, her most iconic role is from an iconoclastic – Heathers. Modine was an intense heartthrob who shimmered from the silver screen in Married to the MobFull Metal Jacket, and Vision Quest.

So where have you seen Stranger Things  on other shows? Let’s slip into the wall and do the blinky light roll call.

Winona Ryder – Heathers

Stranger Things role: Joyce Byers

Ah, Winona. How we’ve loved you. She’s been an ‘80s icon, a notorious necklace-nabbing gangster, and a tattoo on Johnny Depp’s arm. She’s grabbed her fair share of the silver screen with Girl InterruptedBeetlejuiceReality BitesMermaidsBram Stoker’s Dracula, and Edward Scissorhands. Unlike a lot of youthful stars, Ryder aged gracefully, playing characters her own age in Star Trek and Black Swan, and did a few stints in gleefully trashy b- like The Iceman and Homefront.

But let’s celebrate her for one of her most outstanding roles, as Veronica in Heathers, the that gave us the phrase “Well, f*ck me gently with a chainsaw.” BTW, fun fact, Winona’s hair in Stranger Things is modeled after Meryl Streep’s in Silkwood, which came out in the year in which the show takes place.

Matthew Modine – Birdy

Stranger Things role: Dr. Martin Brenner

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Matthew Modine is a Richard Gere-esque silver fox in Stranger Things, but back in the day, he was a hearthrob. Married to the MobFull Metal Jacket, or Vision Quest, anyone? He was also in Short Cuts,Any Given Sunday, The Dark Knight Rises, Weeds, Transporter 2, and one of the biggest box office disasters of all timeCutthroat Island.

But lets take a feathered peek at his performance in 1984’s Birdy, shall we? Modine plays a Vietnam vet who’s wartime experiences push him over the edge, and he becomes convinced he’s turning into a bird.

Millie Bobby Brown – Intruders

Stranger Things role: Eleven

In her short career, Millie Brown has racked up quite a few credits, including Once Upon a Time in WonderlandNCISModern Family, and Grey’s Anatomy. Her portrayal of Eleven instantly connected with Netflix bingers. But she has been creepy, mysterious, and brilliant before. You must check her out in BBC’s Intruders.

David Harbour – The Equalizer

Stranger Things role: Jim Hopper

David Harbour works a lot, thanks to his effortless ability to come across as an authority figure, bad guy, or both simultaneously. He’s appeared in Black MassBansheeManhattanThe NewsroomQuantum of Solace, End of WatchThe NewsroomRevolutionary RoadBrokeback Mountain, and played Dr. Kinsey in Kinsey. He had a standout role in The Equalizer as the corrupt cop to ’s vigilante.

Finn Wolfhard – The 100

Stranger Things role: Mike Wheeler

First things first, this kid’s name is Finn Wolfhard. Finn. Wolfhard. If you’re caught up on Supernatural, you saw Wolfhard as Jordie Pinsky in 2015. He also played Zoran on The 100 in 2014. His character had a facial disfigurement. He’s cast in the 2017 Stephen King adaptation Itinfamously abandoned by True Detective‘s Cary Joji Fukunaga who, to bring things full circle, directed Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation.

Caleb McLaughlin – The Lion King

Stranger Things role: Lucas Sinclair

Like his fellow young castmates in Stranger Things, Caleb McLaughlin has an impressive resume for such a spring chicken. He’s appeared in Law & Order:SVU, UnforgettableForever, and Shades of Blue. He’s also an experienced theater , having portrayed young Simba in The Lion King on Broadway.

Gaten Matarazzo – Les Misérables

Stranger Things role: Dustin Henderson

Gaten Matarazzo is already a Broadway vet, having performed in Les Mis. He sings, he dances, he’s infectious. His only screen credit besides Stranger Things is The Blacklist, So, at age 13, he’s already been on two megahits. And here’s a fun fact for you – Matarazzo’s voice changed so much during production, sound recorders and mixers weren’t able to bring him in to do any re-recording of his lines, or else it would sound as though the voice was dubbed by a different .

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Natalia Dyer – I Believe in Unicorns

Stranger Things role: Nancy Wheeler

Natalia Dyer has a Winona Ryder/’80s vibe that’s perfect for Stranger Things. You might remember her from Hannah Montana: The in which she played Clarissa. Dyer was a standout in the haunting I Believe in Unicorns, and has appeared in The BetweenAfter DarknessBlue Like JazzLong Nights Short Mornings, and The Greening of Whitney Brown.

Charlie Heaton – As You Are

Stranger Things role: Jonathan Byers

Englishman Charlie Heaton began appearing on screen in 2015, making his debut on BBC’s DCI Banks. He subsequently appeared in Vera and Casualty, both British shows, and the  Urban & the Shed CrewRise of the Footsoldier Part IIShut In, and As You Are.

Joe Keery – Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party

Stranger Things role: Steve Harrington

Joe Keery’s not just a clump of luxurious hair. Looking and acting a bit like Andrew Garfield, the young thespian landed three parts on high profile shows in 2015 – SirensChicago Fire, and Empire – as well as a role in indie  Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party.

Noah Schnapp – The Peanuts Movie

Stranger Things role:  Will Byers

Noah Schnapp only appears a few times in Stranger Things, but the show hinges on him, so he’s gotta make his screen time count. And he does. So where have you seen him before? Well, he had a small role in Bridge of Spies, and does a fair amount of work, having voiced characters in The Book of PoohThe Peanuts Movie, and a video game from the Peanuts franchise.

Cara Buono – Mad Men

Stranger Things role: Karen Wheeler

This is not Cara Buono’s first time parenting kids involved in supernatural things. She did the same in 2010’s Let Me In. If you watched Person of Interest, you’ll instantly recognize her as Martine Rousseau. She played paramedic Grace Foster on Third Watch, appeared regularly in The Sopranos as Kelli Moltisanti, Christopher’s wife, and Mad Men fans know her as Faye Miller.  She had small roles on The Good WifeHawaii 5-0ER, and CSI, and played three different parts on Law & Order.

As for , you may have seen Buono in Paper TownsHulkHappy AccidentsKicking and Screaming, and Beer League.

Randell P Havens – Halt and Catch Fire

Stranger Things role: Mr. Clarke

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Randell P Havens has done some animated work, having voiced Mr. Rompers on Archer, and appeared in the movie Let’s Be Cops. He also has a fair number of TV credits, from his substantial role, as Stan, in Halt and Catch Fire, to Sleepy Hollow and Vampire Diaries.

Chris Sullivan – The Knick

Stranger Things role: Benny Hammond

Chris Sullivan doesn’t get much screen time in Stranger Things, but he makes a strong impression. The Irish actors gets to use his real accent on The Knick, in which he plays Tom Clearly. He also appeared alongside Tom Hardy in The Drop, and was in The Normal HeartThe AmericansLaw & Order: SVUElementary, and Peter Pan Live!. In the wake of Stranger Things, he’s appearing in Imperium, a film about neo Nazis starring , and Morgan, a supernatural thriller with Kate Mara.

Ross Partridge – Lamb

Stranger Things role: Lonnie Byers

Ross Partridge has day-played, lead, propped up, and stolen the show in film and TV in more than 40 roles. If you were watching As the World Turns in 2007, you would have seen him as Milo Shaughnessy. He does a stellar job in the uncomfortable indie Lamb, and has appeared in, The Lost World: Jurassic ParkBagheadProm Night, NYPD BlueQuantum Leap, and Secret in Their Eyes.

Joe Chrest – Ant-Man

Stranger Things role: Ted Wheeler

Clueless Mr. Wheeler, known as Joe Chrest IRL, has more than 100 screen credits, which include Ant-ManTrue DetectiveThe AviatorFree State of JonesLee Daniels’ The ButlerTreme, BattleshipBattle of Los AngelesDrive AngryREDThe Blind SideOcean’s 13MediumThe RingOut of Sight, and The Pelican Brief. He played Vernon Presley in Million Dollar Quartet, and David Schmidt, Jonah Hill’s dad, in 21 and 22 Jump Street. 

Ainsley and Anniston Price – The Walking Dead

Stranger Things role: Holly Wheeler

Movies and TV shows often use twins to play really young kids, because children can only work a certain number of hours in the day, as per union regulations. Ainsley and Anniston Price played the same character on The Walking Dead – Judith Grimes – and Allegiant before Stranger Things.

Rob Morgan – Luke Cage

Stranger Things role: Officer Powell

Rob Morgan has been steadily working in television for years, landing roles on shows including 30 RockBlue Bloods, and Law & Order: SVU. But Netflix viewers likely know him best as Turk Barrett, the Hell’s Kitchen criminal who pops up in Daredevil and Luke Cage.