Of all of the iconic, meme-able elements of Stranger Things — Hopper’s dancing, Eleven’s love of Eggos, Bob’s adorable everything — perhaps nothing has inspired as much devoted fan fervor as Steve’s hair.
Steve’s hair is, in a word, luscious. It defies gravity in a Jean-Ralphio swoop with the movement and hold you only get with the exact quantity of Farrah Fawcett hairspray.
And it might be gone soon.
David Harbour (who plays that sweetly dancing police chief Jim Hopper) was nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Supporting Actor, and his fellow cast members commented their congratulations on an Instagram post, including Joe Keery, a.k.a. Steve, who wrote, “if you win David the Duffer’s [sic] get to shave my head”.
Of course, given that Stranger Things is coming back for a third season and Keery probably wouldn’t be able to grow a full head of hair again before shooting starts means that this offer is probably just a joke — after all, Steve’s hair is essential to his character development.
But if you’re desperate for soon-to-be viral moments in the wake of a possible David Harbour victory, Harbour has already promised to do The Dance if he wins — and friends don’t lie.
We took the actor, who plays Steve Harrington on Netflix’s blockbuster show and possesses one of the most iconic manes to ever hit the small screen, to Montreal to try on this season’s best designer jackets.
When you sat down to binge-watch the first season of Stranger Things, you probably thought you knew exactly what you could expect from Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), the requisite popular kid at Hawkins High School. Smirky, cocky, and with a well-earned reputation as a heartbreaker, Steve seemed poised to be one of the show’s big villains—the ’80s bully to end all ’80s bullies.
But over the course of Stranger Things‘ first season, something strange really didhappen: Steve—in the hands of the impressively coiffed up-and-comer Joe Keery—evolved from being a smarmy jerk to a flawed but ultimately well-intentioned protagonist in his own right. By the end of Season One, Steve had dumped his awful friends, made amends with Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), and salvaged his relationship with Nancy (Natalia Dyer). Of course, Season Two is another story entirely—but we’re not going to spoil that here.
So what’s it like to go from waiting tables to being at the center of one of TV’s buzziest shows in the span of a single year? We caught up with Joe Keery in Montreal to get a peek into the mind of Stranger Things‘ bad boy with a heart of gold.
“When I first auditioned for Stranger Things, I was just living in Chicago. Just looking for a job. Working at a restaurant, doing commercials and bit parts on shows. I honestly would have been happy booking anything. But I remember seeing the concept trailer the Duffer Brothers put together. The boys took these bits and pieces from all the movies that inspired them—Jaws, E.T., The Thing, Firestarter—and they cut them together into a mock trailer for what they wanted the vibe of the show to be. I was like, “Oh, man. This would be so, so cool.” But as an actor, you audition for something and forget about it, because you figure, “Yeah, that was really fun. Probably won’t get it. On to the next one.”
Steve Harrington Was Supposed to be Even More of a Dick
“Originally, I auditioned for Jonathan. They were having everybody across the country audition for that. And when I got the script, Steve was definitely a little harsher. He was having this party—I think it was on a beach, because it originally took place in Montauk, Long Island. And he was a total, total dick. He forced himself on Nancy. Way harsher. But I think the Duffer Brothers were up for incorporating ideas we would have into the characters, and I had an instant idea what Steve would be like. I based it on people in my life, and characters that you see in those movies. In my mind, I think he has qualities that make him sort of a jerk. And aloof. And maybe not the most intelligent guy. But at the end of the day, I think he really does mean well.”
“Everyone is really excited—but at the same time, there’s an audience of people who are waiting and expecting Season Two to live up to the first season. But pressure’s also good, you know? When you’re backed into a corner, you’re forced to sink or swim, and I think people will like what we came up with. The new people we brought into the mix are some unbelievably talented actors. Paul Resier, Brett Gelman, Sean Astin… you list those people’s names, and you think about the films, and experience, and all the things they’ve worked on. I was sitting next to Sean Astin at the table read, and I was like, “I can’t believe I’m sitting next to Rudy.” It’s the craziest thing.”
“Steve has gone from this super-confident sort of ladies’ man to this needy boyfriend. I had friends—and I had situations—where you spend so much time hanging out with your girlfriend that you lose touch with other people. You only really have this one person—and when that person starts to let go, you almost feel like you need to clamp on even harder, you know?”
“I still looking relatively young for my age, so I find myself going in for these teenage roles. But as time goes on, I feel less and less like a teenager. Like… I shouldn’t be auditioning for a teenager. Certain things will always hurt: rejection, or loss. But I just turned 25. I’ll be turning 26 this year. It’s actually getting kind of far away for me. But I’m a working adult… so if I’ve gotta be a teenager, I’ll do it. [laughs]” Down jacket, $1,890, by Moncler / Jeans by John Elliott / Sneakers by Adidas / Beanie by Poler
Keery Knows It’s All About the Hair
“Do I get recognized? I guess it depends on if I’m wearing a hat or not. The hairdo is a dead giveaway. There’s nothing I can do. It’s just the way my hair grows. It’s my parents’ fault, really, because they have such big hair too. People always ask me, but it’s not like I use a shitload of hairspray or anything. I wash it probably every two or three days. On set—that’s the real preparation. There’s a whole process. Washing the hair at a specific time before coming in to shoot, and then a whole blowdrying routine, and then doing a thing to the back, and getting it cut a specific way. On set, the process is pretty lengthy. But in my normal, everyday life… most of the time, it totally looks like shit.”
At L’Gros Luxe. Suede jacket, $4,990, by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello / Sweater and trousers by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello / Socks by Falke / Loafers by Sebago / Watch by SeikoAaron Feaver
The Strange Thing About Style Right Now
“’80s style is contemporary style now. Especially shoes. But people who have already experienced the ’80s, I think, are less likely to go back there style-wise. Since I experienced the late ’90s and early 2000s, when people start wearing low-rise jeans, and getting frosted tips again… I don’t think I’m gonna go there.”
At the Hotel William Gray. Jacket by Berluti, price upon request / T-shirt and trousers by Berluti / Belt by Tom Ford Aaron Feaver
New details on the upcoming season of Stranger Things have been revealed today, 2 new actors have been casted also Joe Keery & Noah Schnapp both have been promoted to series regular, we hope you all hav grown to love Steve Harrington because now as a regular we can only expect to see a lot more of him, which might be bad news for all of the Nancy/Jonathan shippers out there but really good news to those of us who love him.
On august 19th, ET sat down with Steve Harrington himself, actor Joe Keery, to chat about the incredible response the show has received, what he hopes for Steve in season two, and of course… #Justice4Barb.
ET: What was life like for you pre-Stranger Things?
Joe Keery: I went to DePaul University Theatre School in Chicago, Illinois. I graduated in 2014 and just started auditioning out there and booked this and shot it, and this all kind of came out.
What was it about this role that made you want to audition?
I read the script and I was like, “This is one of the best scripts I’ve ever read.” It was great. It was just an amalgamation of all these great movies that I really grew up loving, and they attached this really cool trailer that they cut together of all these source movies. I think it was pieces from Jaws and Goonies and Super 8, Stand by Me — they made this kind of trailer of what the vibe of it would be […] I guess that was when I was most excited about starting this.
Are you being recognized everywhere you go?
It’s been pretty wild, it’s been fun! One person at most places will at least give me a sort-of look.
You are still sort-of rocking the Steve hair.
I had the Steve sort-of hairdo before I did [Stranger Things]. People have always been like, “You’ve got a wild head of hair!”
How long does it take to get the Steve ‘do down?
We got it down to I think 30 minutes actually, towards the end. It was good. It was a lot of shampoo, and then we would blow dry it out and then hairspray it back and then they had to get the little curl going. It took kind of a while.
(Psst: Keery told us during our live Q&A below that he doesn’t use any product in his daily life)
We assume you’ve heard the comparisons to Jean Ralphio from Parks and Rec… and the theory Steve’s his father?
Yeah! That should be a whole spinoff, just me as Jean Ralphio’s dad. That would be a hell of a show.
What has been your favorite meme or reaction to the show that you’ve seen?
Someone edited a picture of me with no hair, totally bald! And also, the Barb mural. That’s so cool.
Did you anticipate the entire Internet would be talking about Barb and Steve?
It’s crazy! No, I didn’t really expect it at all. I went to set and saw some of the other stuff, but for the most part, I wasn’t around for everything that they shot and I didn’t see the show or anything before it came out. I was really pleasantly surprised. I sat down, watched it like everyone else. It was really cool.
So many celebs have tuned in. Was there anyone that shocked you?
The whole Stephen King tweet was the sickest ever. The Long Walk is a book he wrote a while ago, but I’ve read a couple times and I love it. I can’t even imagine being Matt and Ross Duffer. They were probably freaking out.
Let’s talk about the ending. What were your thoughts on Nancy going ‘Team Steve’?
I remember reading that. Me, Charlie [Heaton] and Natalia [Dyer] all sat down. We got the final scripts and we read it and I remember just being like, “What? Really?” I was pretty shocked.
But I think it’s a really interesting direction that they went in. They kind of built on this trope, at least for Steve’s character for the first half of the series — and then towards the last two or three episodes, they kind of turned this character around and it’s a refreshing take on the ’80s bully I guess.
Are you Team Steve or Team Jonathan?
First and foremost, I’m Team Barb.
What do you hope for Steve in season two?
I really like the whole, like what we were talking about, reversal at the end.
I’m interested to see [what happens] now that everybody knows what’s been going down with the whole supernatural elements, because Steve was in the dark until the end of episode eight. So the entire time, I was kind of playing catch up with all these other characters.
I’m just interested to see, now that everybody’s in on it, what happens now and where do we go from here?
And obviously, his relationship with Nancy as well. I think it’s what got him into the whole thing and I think he really cares about her.
Welcome to Joe-Keery.com, your best high quality source about the american actor Joe Keery, you may know him from Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party where he played Gabe, his most recent project, the hit Netflix Original Series: “Stranger Things” where he plays the role of Steve Harrington or perhaps for his guest starring roles such as Emmett on Chicago Fire or Tony on Empire. Here you can find the latest news about Joe, photos, interviews, and a lot more! We invite you to visit our sections, such as our photogallery where you can find photoshoots, candids, appearances, and more! Thank for your visit!
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