Back when Stranger Things premiered on Netflix in 2016, creators Matt and Ross Duffer revealed that they had a five-season plan for the series. And now, seven years later, they are about to turn the page on the final chapter; the fifth and last season is on the way.
One star who’s been there from the very start is Joe Keery (Steve Harrington). After years of dedication to the Netflix series, Keery is ready to wave it an emotional farewell. “It does feel like it’s time,” Keery told Women’s Wear Daily in an interview conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike. “It won’t be easy for it to end.”
Keery’s character, Steve Harrington, has undergone one of the most interesting story arcs in the series. Once an intolerable, arrogant high schooler, he went on to become a kind, supportive ally of the group in their battle to resist the influence of the Upside Down, forming a particularly adorable friendship with Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo).
There’s a sense of “relief” and “sadness” over the end of Stranger Things
Thanks to his role in Stranger Things, Keery has gotten some pretty big gigs, including a role alongside Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy (2021). But he’ll never forget his roots. “I owe my whole career to being on that show and all the opportunities that I had since are because of that show,” he said. “So it’s very convoluted. There’s a sense of relief, there’s a sense of sadness.”
"I guess my goal is to just really soak it up as much as I can while we’re doing it, and not take any of it for granted because it’s been an amazing ride with such great people. And then once it’s done, move forward and try to just hold on to the joy that we had when we were making it. … Everything has a beginning and the middle and an end. It’ll be nice to have the end of this too."
Other cast members share Keery’s outlook. From David Harbour (Hopper) to Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), they are all excited to get back to work, but very ready for the show to end and move onto other things.
Progress on the 8-episode final season of Stranger Things has been on pause due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Hopefully it can begin soon. Until then, solidarity.