Age is deceiving in Hollywood, where it's not uncommon for actors to play way above or below their true age groups. The tricky thing, as you'll see, is all the actors ended up being older than their on-screen counterparts. Production can be slow -- Season 2 started way back in the fall of 2016, but lasted for eight months in Atlanta. And puberty, thanks to the relentless march of time, can be rapid.
So how long before insane growth spurts? Before these actors no longer look like they fit their parts?
The Hollywood Reporter noted earlier this year that Netflix had originally lobbied to shoot forthcoming seasons back-to-back to preempt "any potentially awkward adolescent transitions." "Every time you have a show that relies so heavily on the charm of kids," a source told the magazine, "you want to capture that." But the creative team opted not to sacrifice quality for speed.
For some viewers, the production-aging race might recall the Harry Potter movie saga, which saw actors Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson dedicate a decade of their lives to a franchise and morph drastically before the public eye. Alan Horn, the former president of Warner Brothers, called managing that situation a "Herculean task."
"We're experimenting with cryogenic techniques to simply freeze the actors until we're ready to go again," he quipped to the Telegraph in 2002. "So far there's no evidence that it's a workable plan." Surprisingly, that still won't be an option anytime soon, but Stranger Things doesn't necessarily face the same hurdles as Potter.
For starters, Stranger Things isn't wrestling with big movie studio delays -- the jump back into production was seamless at the end of the last season, and it appears to be that way this year, with rumblings in late August that filming was going to start soon. The show also needn't adhere to a strict year-by-year timeline like Harry Potter because Stranger Things isn't an adaptation. So time jumps or tweaks are always an option ("We just have to keep adjusting the story," Matt Duffer told Vulture earlier this year). And, most importantly, the Duffers don’t seem keen on dragging out the franchise. The brothers (unofficially) confirmed Season 3 earlier this year, with Ross adding: "We're thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out." Probably a good thing, as it means the young, talented cast won't be held hostage and will get to tackle more age-appropriate roles sooner.
Stranger Things 2 hits Netflix October 27. For more on what to expect, check out our guide.