- Warning: Spoilers ahead for “Stranger Things” season two.
- The stars of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3” recently celebrated the season premiere in Los Angeles.
- See how they look in real life on the red carpet compared to their 80s-style characters on the hit TV show.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
The third season of “Stranger Things” is streaming now on Netflix, and the cast and creators recently celebrated the premiere in Los Angeles.
While the adventurous characters are often dirtied up from exploring the Upside Down or dressed up in 80s style costumes, the cast looks very different when they hit the red carpet.
Keep reading to see what the main characters of “Stranger Things” look like in real life.
Mike Wheeler likes to think of himself as leader of the friend group.
Mike and his pals refer to themselves as “The Party” thanks to their bond over Dungeons and Dragons.
Mike is played by Finn Wolfhard, whose hair is much curlier in real life.
Mike’s signature straight-haired bowl cut has been present on every season so far.
Will Byers was a key character for the first two seasons, since his connection to the Upside Down is triggering new problems in Hawkins.
Will went missing in the Upside Down on the first season, and was possessed by the Mind Flayer on the second.
Actor Noah Schnapp wears a wig when he plays Will on “Stranger Things.”
For the second season, Schnapp had to have a long wig custom cut for him in order to pull off Will’s signature bowl cut.
Lucas is the party member with the most confidence and focus on whatever mission is in front of them.
On the first two seasons, Lucas found himself at odds with both Mike and Dustin over various disagreements.
Lucas is played by 17-year-old Caleb McLaughlin.
McLaughlin is the oldest of all the “Stranger Things” teen stars.
Dustin is usually the mediator of the party.
He often knows all the important Dungeons and Dragons lore as it relates to the Upside Down and the Mind Flayer.
Gaten Matarazzo doesn’t love hats like his character Dustin, and sports a shorter hair cut.
Both Dustin and Matarazzo do wear braces now, though.
Eleven and her psychic powers are the star of the show.
When we first met Eleven, she had a shaved head. But now her curly brown hair has grown out.
In real life, actress Millie Bobby Brown often wears her hair more straight.
Brown really did shave her head for that first season of the show, and now her natural hair length matches Eleven’s.
Max (called “Mad Max” on the second season) is the newest member of the party.
Max moved to Hawkins from California, and got together with Lucas at the end of season two.
Sadie Sink plays the tomboyish Max on “Stranger Things.”
Her naturally red hair matches Max’s on the show.
Max’s brother Billy is a bully at Hawkins High School.
By the third season, he’s a lifeguard at the local pool for the summer.
Billy is played by Dacre Montgomery, who ditches the mullet in real life.
Montgomery is also an Australian actor, but uses his American accent for Billy on the show.
Steve Harrington has now graduated high school and works at the nearby mall.
Steve spends his days at Scoops Ahoy in the Starcourt Mall.
Actor Joe Keery sports a Steve-esque hairdo between seasons.
Keery’s locks are a bit shorter than Steve’s, and we don’t think he also uses Farrah Fawcett hairspray in real life.
Steve’s new coworker, Robin, is the newest character to join “Stranger Things.”
Robin is another Scoops Ahoy employee, and she loves to give Steve a hard time.
Robin is played by actress Maya Hawke, who has more bangs in real life.
If Hawke looks familiar to you, it might be because she’s the daughter of actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. She also starred as Jo March on the 2017 BBC version of “Little Women.”
Nancy Wheeler is Mike’s older sister and a monster-fighter in her own right.
On the third season, she’s working as an intern for the summer at the local newspaper office.
Actress Natalia Dyer went blond for a while, but is now back to sporting her natural brunette curls.
Her hair, unlike Nancy’s, is not permed and hairsprayed within an inch of its life.
Jonathan Byers, Will’s older brother and Nancy’s boyfriend, is an endearing loner.
Jonathan prefers to keep to himself most of the time, and loves taking photographs.
He’s played by British actor Charlie Heaton.
Like his costars Dacre Montgomery and Millie Bobby Brown, Heaton uses an American accent for his role on the Netflix show.
Joyce Byers is Will’s anxiety-prone mother who went to extreme lengths on season one in order to get her boy back.
Joyce lost her boyfriend, Bob Newby, at the end of the second season thanks to the Mind Flayer’s attack on Hawkins.
Winona Ryder, an ’80s and ’90s icon in her own right, bears little resemblance to her frenzied character.
Ryder doesn’t wear her hair with bangs like her on-screen counterpart.
Police Chief Jim Hopper is basically the Indiana Jones of Hawkins.
Hopper has undergone several mini character arcs as he tries to be a father to Eleven and potential love-match for Joyce.
David Harbour has grown out his beard far beyond Hopper’s 80s mustache seen on “Stranger Things.”
On last season’s red carpet premiere, Harbour had a fully shaved face, so he’s keeping up the tradition of never matching his real-life grooming with Chief Jim Hopper’s newest looks.
- Read more:
- The 13 biggest questions we need answered on ‘Stranger Things 3’
- ‘Stranger Things’ executive producer confirms a major character’s fate
- ‘Stranger Things’ star David Harbour explains how this hidden detail could reveal a huge bombshell about Hopper’s past
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