The world of Stranger Things so completely embodies the 1980s that it's almost tempting to believe that the characters simply popped out of this fictional landscape as is. However, they are actually played by real people, which is why I feel obligated to show you what the entire Stranger Things cast looks like IRL. It turns out that they are actually of this decade, though they are still just as cute as the characters they play.
Stranger Things Season 2 became available on Netflix on Oct. 27, and picks up with a brand new mystery in Hawkins, the small town where the show is set. All your favorite characters (except Barb) are returning, as well as a few new kids on the block. Paul Reiser is taking on the role of Dr. Owens, while Sean Astin — who you may recognize as Sam from Lord of the Rings or as little Mikey from The Goonies — will be making an appearance as Joyce's new boyfriend. (Sorry, Hopper shippers.) The kids will get a couple of new friends as well. Misunderstood tomboy Max joins the gang, while her step-brother (who is the same age as Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan) has a real nasty streak and is guaranteed to cause trouble.
But while I'm excited to meet these new people, I'm going to focus here on the characters I already know and love.
As the biggest star from the first season of the show, you probably already know what Winona Ryder looks like, though she's been largely out of the spotlight lately. Much as I love her as Joyce, she'll always be Veronica from Heathers to me.
Somehow, even in a suit, David Harbour looks exactly like his character Jim Hopper. Still dashing — in a gruff, small town cop kind of way.
There's an argument to be made that Mike, played by Finn Wolfhard, is the real lead of the show. That's fine with me as long as no one ever tries to cut that delightful mop of curly hair.
Who knew a hat and a haircut could make such a difference in a person's appearance? Gaten Matarazzo, who plays my personal favorite character, cleans up really nicely it turns out.
Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas, is just as adorable in real life as he is in Hawkins, Indiana circa 1983. Also very stylish in this mock turtleneck sweater deal.
It turns out that at the very advanced age of 13, Millie Bobby Brown is more poised and better dressed than I ever hope to be. I wish I had that kind of style.
Noah Schnapp appears much happier in real life than his character Will. He's not trapped in an Upside Down hellscape for Season 2, so it looks like he'll be a lot more present in the show. Hopefully he's not too bummed about that traumatic few months.
Natalia Dyer, who plays Nancy in the show, is giving me all sorts of stylish goth vibes here and I am very here for it.
I think Charlie Heaton, who plays aspiring photographer, loving brother, and piner-of-Nancy Jonathan, is giving me some come-hither eyes in this photo. I will allow it.
It turns out that Joe Keery, who plays Steve, looks pretty much exactly the same as his character. Maybe it's the hair, maybe it's the cheeky smile. Whatever it is, he is the rare reformed cool kid in television history that I actually root for.
You can watch these actors bring their characters to life once more now that Stranger Things Season 2 is streaming on Netflix.
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