They're back! The kids of Hawkins, Indiana, are set to return for more Upside Down adventures when Netflix releases Stranger Things 3 on Thursday 4th July – Independence Day in the USA.
With most of the main cast from season two returning for another instalment, plus a few new faces, here all the characters and actors to look out for...
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All ages accurate for 4th July 2019.
Eleven – Millie Bobby Brown (aged 15)
In a nutshell: she’s a socially-withdrawn psychokinetic who can flip trucks with her mind – she’s so badass such an effort will only leave her with a small nosebleed.
Eleven has got quite a murky background. In season one, Eleven first ran into the Hawkins kids after escaping from the town's laboratory and the experiments being performed on her there. How this impacted her powers, we're not totally sure.
In season two we learned that Eleven’s real name is Jane and she is the biological daughter of Terry Ives, a woman who partook in psychedelic scientific lab experiments in the 1970s, not knowing that she was pregnant.
Who is Millie Bobby Brown?
Now aged 15, Brown first came to fame with the debut season of Stranger Things. While she had previously appeared in minor roles in Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family and NCIS, the Duffer Brothers’ sci-fi series was the young British star’s first major role.
Brown has racked up a gigantic Instagram following of over 19 million, become a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and even received an Emmy nomination for her Stranger Things work. She’s also recently appeared in Godzilla: King of the Monsters and is set to star in its 2020 sequel Godzilla vs Kong.
Mike Wheeler – Finn Wolfhard (aged 16)
Younger brother to Nancy, Mike is perhaps the most sensitive and loyal member of the Hawkins kids group. He develops romantic feelings towards Eleven and attended the Snow Ball with her at the close of season two.
Who is Finn Wolfhard?
Making his first major screen appearance in Stranger Things, Wolfhard has enjoyed several other major screen roles, with credits in Stephen King’s It and Dog Days.
Fun fact: he’s also the lead singer and guitarist in rock band Calpurnia.
Chief Jim Hopper – David Harbour (aged 44)
Hopper is Hawkins’ grizzled yet sympathetic chief of police. Although he started off Stranger Things battling alcoholism brought on by the death of his daughter, Hopper matured as the show went on, eventually adopting Eleven as his own child.
Who is David Harbour?
The US actor is best known for his roles in James Bond's Quantum of Solace, the Hellboy remake, Suicide Squad and gangster epic Black Mass.
Joyce Byers – Winona Ryder (aged 47)
Mother to Will and Jonathan, Joyce is a single parent who was born and raised in Hawkins. She attended the town’s school with Jim Hopper.
Who is Winona Ryder?
The actress is best known for Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands or more recently Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.
You might also recognise her as Melissa from Friends, an old college buddy of Rachel – the one who’s secretly in love with her.
Dustin Henderson – Gaten Matarazzo (aged 16)
He’s the joker of the Hawkins kids.
Who is Gaten Matarazzo?
Beginning his career on Broadway, Matarazzo has starred in the likes of Les Misérables and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Like Dustin, Matarazzo has cleidocranial dysplasia, a condition which affects the development of teeth and bones. That's why his character was missing his front teeth in season one.
Lucas Sinclair – Caleb McLaughlin (aged 17)
Lucas is one of the main members of the Hawkins gang – and the love interest of Max.
Who is Caleb McLaughlin?
Like Gaten, Caleb started his career on stage, playing Young Simba in Broadway’s version of The Lion King.
Alongside Stranger Things, he’s also starred in The New Edition Story, animation Final Space and movie High Flying Bird.
Will Byers – Noah Schnapp (aged 14)
The younger brother of Johnathon and son to Joyce, Will spent most of the first season of Stranger Things trapped in the alternate reality the Upside Down.
Although he was eventually rescued, he spent much of the second season recovering from his trauma before eventually being possessed by the Mind Flayer.
Who is Noah Schnapp?
Schnapp first came to prominence in 2015 when he voiced the lead character, Charlie Brown, in 2015's The Peanuts Movie.
Since Stranger Things hit screens in 2016, Schnapp has enjoyed appearances in The Angry Birds Movie and Lip Sync Battle, where he competed against his fellow Stranger Things actors.
Jonathan Byers – Charlie Heaton (aged 25)
The older brother of Will Byers, Jonathan is known as a bit of a loner in school. Despite his reclusive reputation, Jonathan eventually became romantically involved with Nancy in season two.
Who is Charlie Heaton?
Before finding widespread fame with Stranger Things, Heaton enjoyed roles in DCI Banks, Vera and Casualty. Since finding fame in Hawkins, the British actor also secured starring roles in Marrowbone and upcoming superhero asylum movie The New Mutants.
He’s also set to play Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man) in an upcoming BBC drama.
Nancy Wheeler – Natalia Dyer (aged 22)
Nancy is Mike’s bookish older sister. She’s one of the characters that has entered the Upside Down itself while trying to track down her friend Barbara (RIP) in season one.
Nancy was the girlfriend of Steve Harrington before dating Jonathan Byers.
Who is Natalia Dyer?
First coming to screens in Hannah Montana: The Movie, Dyer was cast in Stranger Things aged 19. Since then Dyer has appeared in independent films such as 2018’s Mountain Rest. She also played Coco in the Netflix horror film Velvet Buzzsaw.
Steve Harrington – Joe Keery (aged 27)
One of Hawkins High School’s most popular students, Steve has changed a lot through the last two seasons. Although starting the show as a bully figure, Steve eventually becomes an ally of the Upside Down kids – especially Dustin.
Who is Joe Keery?
Before getting his breakout role in Stranger Things, Keery starred in adverts for the likes of KFC. Since starring in the Netflix hit show, Keery has featured in Molly's Game and indie film After Everything.
He’ll also appear in 2020 film Free Guy opposite Ryan Reynolds.
Max Mayfield – Sadie Sink (aged 17)
Joining the show in series two, the tough and confident skateboarder soon joined the Hawkins kids, catching the attention of both Lucas and Dustin in particular with her videogame skills.
After helping to defeat the Demodogs in the season two finale, Max shared a kiss with Lucas at the Snow Ball.
Who is Sadie Sink?
Outside of Stranger Things, Sink has featured in shows such as The Americans, Blue Bloods and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well as in films Chuck and The Glass Castle.
Billy Mayfield – Dacre Montgomery (aged 24)
Billy is Max’s older step-brother and the heartthrob of Hawkins. But despite his good looks and charms in public, Billy has a violent and unpredictable nature – particularly towards Max.
Who is Dacre Montgomery?
Before Stranger Things, Montgomery was best known for playing Jason (The Red Ranger) in the 2017 Power Rangers movie.
Fun fact: he stripped almost naked to get the Stranger Things role. After hearing the show was casting, Montgomery submitted a go-for-broke audition tape: “I had an opening score, opening titles and credits. And I got in like a G-string and danced naked to ’80s music with this leather jacket and crazy glasses on,” he told THR.
Robin –Maya Hawke (aged 20)
Robin is the "alternative girl" who works alongside Steve Harrington at Scoops Ahoy, Starcourt Mall’s ice cream parlour. Netflix says she’ll discover a “dark secret” in season three.
Who is Maya Hawke?
Daughter of actors Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, Maya Hawke made her screen debut as Jo March in the 2017 BBC adaptation of Little Women.
Hawke is set to make a short appearance in upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Heather – Francesca Reale (aged 24)
Heather is a popular lifeguard at the Hawkins Community Pool who, according to Netflix, becomes the “centrepiece of a dark mystery”.
Who is Francesca Reale?
You might recognise Reale from Netflix’s Haters Back Off, where she played Emily, Miranda's sister.
Mayor Kline – Cary Elwes (aged 56)
Larry Kline is – you guessed it – the major of Hawkins at the start of Stranger Things 3. It’s his office that first announced the construction of Starcourt Mall.
Who is Cary Elwes?
Elwes is best known for his roles in The Princess Bride (where he played Westley), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (Robin Hood) and The X-Files (FBI Assistant Director Brad Follmer).
Bruce – Jake Busey (aged 48)
Bruce is a journalist for The Hawkins Post and has "questionable morals and a sick sense of humour", according to Netflix.
Who is Jake Busey?
Busey played Ace in 1997's Starship Troopers. You might also recognise him from 2001 movie Tomcats, The Predator and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Stranger Things 3 is available to watch on Netflix from 4th July 2019