Stranger Things Season 3 is here, and fans are watching it fast.
With only eight episodes in the season, it's far too easy to sit down and binge all the way through it if you have a handful of hours to spare. Likely, this will happen — and you'll get to the end, and you'll ask yourself, where can I find more of this incredible cast? We have answers for you.
Prior to existing in a universe containing Demogorgons and the Upside Down, the Stranger Things cast found themselves making appearances on all sorts of TV shows. While some have had more prominent roles than others, it's still nice to know their acting skills reach outside the series we know them best for.
If you want to see where they came from, read on. Their talent is far more terrifying than any monster.
10 Millie Bobby Brown: Once Upon A Time in Wonderland
Three years before Millie Bobby Brown played a girl with telepathic powers, she portrayed Young Alice in Once Upon A Time in Wonderland.
This 2013 fantasy-drama was a spinoff of ABC’s popular fairytale show, Once Upon A Time. Brown’s kid-version of the lead character appeared in two episodes.
Brown additionally had cameos in NCIS, Modern Family, and Grey’s Anatomy before landing her role as Eleven in Stranger Things.
9 Joe Keery: Empire
Joe Keery might be the internet’s favorite babysitter today, but back in 2015, he was Tony Trichter III in Empire. Appearing in the episode “Who I Am” (S1E12), Keery portrayed the grandson of a wealthy businessman. He also got his own rapping scene. For the record, we recommend Steve sticks to his mom duties.
Keery also appeared in episodes of Sirens and Chicago Fire that same year. While he doesn't have any more upcoming TV appearances on the roster, he will be featured in the forthcoming sci-fi action comedy Free Guy alongside Ryan Reynolds.
8 Maya Hawke: Little Women
Hawke was a fabulous addition to the Stranger Things Season 3 cast, but Robin was not her first leading role. She previously starred as Jo March in the BBC Little Women miniseries in 2017.
Based on the popular book by Louisa May Alcott, the Little Women miniseries saw Hawke portraying the same role that Winona Ryder played for the book’s 1994 film adaption.
Hawke also has roles in the soon-to-be-released Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Ladyworld films.
7 David Harbour: State of Affairs
While David Harbour is best known as Jim Hopper, he appeared in several films and television shows beforehand. One of those is the NBC espionage thriller series State of Affairs.
The show got canceled after only one season, but it did give Harbour the chance to act as David Patrick, the White House Chief of Staff. Yes, it’s weird for all of us to see him so cleaned-up.
Harbour also appeared in Law & Order, the television drama Manhattan, and the HBO original Newsroom among many other series.
6 Sadie Sink: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Okay, so Sink had a much larger role in American Odyssey on NBC, but being that the thriller was canceled after one season, we thought her appearance in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was worth bringing up instead.
Sink played an unnamed teen girl in “Kimmy Sees a Sunset!” (S2E), who ends up hitting Jacqueline’s boyfriend Russ Snyder on the street. Her role might have been small, but the impression she left was obviously large enough to land her a spot on the Stranger Things cast.
5 Finn Wolfhard: Supernatural
Wolfhard had few TV credits to his name when he received the role of Mike Wheeler in Stranger Things. He first appeared in an episode of The 100 in 2014, and the very next year, he showed up in an episode of Supernatural called “Thin Lizzie” (S11E5).
Wolfhard plays Jordie, whose parents get murdered by his babysitter. If you thought there was ever a time he appeared in TV shows that weren't intense, you were wrong.
His next television role was the one that helped him make a name for himself. We’ll let you guess which one that is.
4 Gaten Matarazzo
Matarazzo showed up in an episode of The Blacklist, “The Kenyon Family (No. 71)” (S2E12), a year before he appeared as Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things. His role as Finn in the crime thriller marked his TV debut. Previously, Matarazzo had found his home on the stage, most notably starring as Gavroche in Les Misérables on Broadway.
If you wondered why Dustin dueted so well with Suzie, you now have your answer.
3 Winona Ryder: Friends
Of all the Stranger Things cast, Ryder has had perhaps the fullest career.
She started out in film, starring in classics including Beetlejuice and Heathers. She later ventured into TV, making guest appearances in shows like The Simpsons and Friends.
Ryder appeared in the episode “The One with Rachel’s Big Kiss” (S7E20) as one of Rachel’s former sorority sisters, Melissa, whom she shared a scandalous memory with. The episode got high ratings, and we can’t help but think Winona’s captivating presence had something to do with it.
2 Caleb McLaughlin: Shades of Blue
McLaughlin may now star in a sci-fi horror show, but before that, he was known to appear in crime dramas. In addition to making cameos in Law & Order, Unforgettable, and Forever, he acted in 3 episodes of NBC’s Jennifer-Lopez run thriller, Shades of Blue.
McLaughlin played a recurring character named Jay-Jay during Season 1. Being that Stranger Things aired later that same year, we can only imagine McLaughlin’s filming schedule was tight.
1 Cara Buono: Mad Men
Far before she played Mike and Nancy’s mom (Karen Wheeler), Cara Buono was taking up roles in a whole slew of movies. On the big screen, it was Gladiator, Hulk, and Paper Towns. On the small screen, it was Law & Order, The Sopranos, and Mad Men.
Buono appeared in 10 episodes of Mad Men, ultimately getting nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. She portrayed Dr. Faye Miller, a psychologist and consultant who does market research for Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. It's clear that Buono is very skilled at playing roles of all varieties.