Here Are the Actual Ages of the Actors on 'Stranger Things'
The kids are older than you think!
The Stranger Things kids may have exposed Russian conspiracy plots in the third installment of the series, Stranger Things 3, but one grand mystery persists: "How old is that curly-haired kid really?"
First, some background: Stranger Things Season 1 took place in November 1983, in Hawkins, Indiana. Then, the Duffer brothers' follow-up Stranger Things 2 took the adventure to late October/early November in 1984. The third season transpires in July 1985. In other words, the actors are aging along with their characters and the show, from the A/V club kiddos and their monster-hunting older siblings to their trustworthy parents like Joyce (played by Gen X icon Winona Ryder, currently 49 years old, born October 29, 1971) and Hopper (David Harbour, now 46 years old, born April 10, 1975).
For casting director Carmen Cuba, her hunt for brilliant kid actors, which began around April 2015, meant sniffing out talent that could grow into the roles. "We needed every single actor to have a subtlety and an inner life that didn't necessarily need words to define them, and we held the kids and teens to the same standard," Cuba explained to Backstage. "We weren't thinking of them as kid or teen actors in the process—the Duffer Brothers were really expecting them to be able to deliver a very rich human experience despite what age body they were in."
OK, so how old are the Stranger Things kids now, ahead of Season 4? Here's the breakdown.
Millie Bobby Brown
Age: 17 (DOB: February 19, 2004)
Character’s age: Eleven was born in 1971, and Season 1 is set in November 1983, making her 12 in Season 1, and a year older at 13 in Season 2, set in October/November 1984. Season 3 is set in July 1985, which means Eleven is either 13 or 14 then.
Other credits: Brown starred as the titular character in another Netflix hit, the movie Enola Holmes, in which she played Sherlock Holmes' kid sister. Having appeared in 2019's Godzilla: King of Monsters and the 2021 sequel, Godzilla vs. Kong, and further down the line, she's taking on the lead roles in adaptations of the novels The Girls I've Been and The Thing About Jellyfish. Aside from her acting gigs, Brown's also a youth ambassador for UNICEF and has her own cosmetics line.
Age: 18 (DOB: September 8, 2002)
Character’s age: Dustin, born in 1971, is 12 in Season 1, 13 in Season 2, and is 13 or 14 in Season 3.
Other credits: Before Stranger Things, Matarazzo was a Broadway kid starring in shows like Les Misérables. Now he rakes in those sweet, sponsored dollars appearing in Fios by Verizon commercials and various Instagram ads. He was the impish face of the not very well-received Netflix hidden camera prank show, Prank Encounters, in 2019, and he'll voice an animal in Hump, an upcoming animated film about a camel.
Age: 19 (DOB: October 13, 2001)
Character’s age: Lucas, born in 1971, is 12 in Season 1, 13 in Season 2, and is 13 or 14 in Season 3.
Other credits: McLaughlin also got his start on Broadway, starring as young Simba in The Lion King, but he's quickly taken his talents to the screen. He appeared in The New Edition Story miniseries and Steven Soderbergh's Netflix movie High Flying Bird, and he stars opposite Iris Elba in the Western Concrete Cowboy. The actor also tries to use his platform to promote self-love and confidence among his young fans, launching the #BeYourBiggestFan and #Embraceyourface trends on his social media.
Age: 16 (DOB: October 3, 2004)
Character’s age: Shown in the Season 2 episode "The Mind Flayer," Will was born on March 22, 1971, making him 12 in Season 1, 13 in Season 2, and 14 in Season 3.
Other credits: Prior to portraying Will Byers, Schnapp voiced Charlie Brown in The Peanuts Movie, and since then he starred in a Panic! At the Disco music video, a couple indie films, and the Adam Sandler Netflix movie Hubie Halloween.
Age: 19 (DOB: April 16, 2002)
Character’s age: Max, born in 1971, is 13 when she first appears in Season 2, and is 13 or 14 in Season 3.
Other credits: Sink was in The Glass Castle, the Netflix horror movie Eli, and stars in the second installment of Netflix''s adaptation of the R. L. Stine horror book series Fear Street.
Age: 18 (DOB: December 23, 2002)
Character’s age: Mike, born in 1971, is 12 in Season 1, 13 in Season 2, and is 13 or 14 in Season 3.
Other credits: Not only is Wolfhard in the genuinely awesome indie rock bands Calpurnia and The Aubreys, he stays booked and busy in the acting world, as well. You likely saw him as Richie in both parts of the adaptation of Stephen King's It, and in the near future you'll have the chance to see him in the Ghostbusters reboot, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, hear him doing voice work in Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio, and further down the line, he'll star opposite Julianne Moore in Jesse Eisenberg's feature film directorial debut When You Finish Saving the World.
Age: 26 (DOB: January 13, 1995)
Character’s age: Nancy, born in 1967, is 16 in Season 1, 17 in Season 2, and is 17 or 18 in Season 3.
Other credits: The actress has had roles in a handful of shorts and independent films like Velvet Buzzsaw, Tuscaloosa, and the underrated gem Yes, God, Yes. Most recently, she was in the Amanda Seyfried-led Netflix horror movie Things Heard and Seen, based on the novel All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage.
Age: 27 (DOB: February 6, 1994)
Character’s age: Jonathan, born in 1967, is 16 in Season 1, 17 in Season 2, and is 17 or 18 in Season 3.
Other credits: The British actor's credits waver between big budget, teen sci-fi movies like The New Mutants and more understated films like No Future and As You Are. His next project is the highly anticipated follow-up to Joanna Hogg's acclaimed 2019 drama The Souvenir, The Souvenir: Part II.
Age: 29 (DOB: April 24, 1992)
Character’s age: Steve, born in 1966, is 17 in Season 1, 18 in Season 2, and is 18 or 19 in Season 3.
Other credits: Pre-Stranger Things fame, Keery played guitar in the Chicago-based psych-rock band Post Animal, but since the show he's gone on to act in a wide range of projects, from the Aaron Sorkin movie Molly's Game to indies like Spree. This year will see the release of Free Guy, a video game adventure comedy led by Ryan Reynolds that sees Keery teaming up with Stranger Things showrunner Shawn Levy yet again, as he's on as director.
Age: 26 (DOB: November 22, 1994)
Character’s age: Billy, born in 1967, is 17 when he first appears in Season 2, and is 17 or 18 in Season 3.
Other credits: The Aussie actor was in 2017’s Power Rangers, and more recently starred in the rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery. Currently, he's working with fellow Australian, director Baz Luhrmann, playing music producer Steve Binder in the filmmaker's biopic about Elvis Presley.
Age: 23 (DOB: July 8, 1998)
Character’s age: Season 3 edition Maya was born in 1968 and is a school year behind Steve, making her about 17.
Other credits: Daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, Hawke has quickly risen to fame. She played Jo March in PBS' rendition of Little Women, landed a role in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, appears in the first installment of Netflix's Fear Street trilogy, and will star opposite Riverdale's Camila Mendes in the upcoming Netflix movie Strangers.
Age: 14 (DOB: October 1, 2006)
Character's age: Erica, born in 1975, is 9 in Season 2, and 10 in Season 3.
Other credits: Ferguson appeared in the 2018 comedy The Oath, and has a handful of TV and short film credits to her name. Next, she'll be voicing one of the main characters on a Netflix children's cartoon called My Dad the Bounty Hunter.