Joseph David Keery (born April 24, 1992) is an American actor and musician. He is best known for playing Steve Harrington in the American science-fiction horror streaming television series Stranger Things. Keery starred in the comedy films Spree (2020) and Free Guy (2021). He is also a contributing musician for the American psychedelic rock band Post Animal.

Joe Keery
Joe Keery by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Keery at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con
Joseph David Keery

(1992-04-24) April 24, 1992 (age 30)
EducationDePaul University (BFA)
  • Actor
Years active2015–present

Early life

Keery was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, to parents David and Nina Keery, an architect and Professor of English, respectively.[1][2] He is the second of five children and grew up with sisters Caroline, Lizzy, Kate, and Emma.[3][4]

Keery was raised in Newburyport and attended River Valley Charter School, a local Montessori elementary and middle school, and Newburyport High School. When he was young, he participated in Theater in the Open, a performing arts camp at Maudslay State Park, but ultimately began acting in high school, initially performing there at his older sister's insistence.

Keery went on to study at The Theatre School at DePaul University and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting.[5][6]



After graduating from DePaul, Keery went to over a hundred auditions.[7] Before his breakout role in Stranger Things, Keery appeared in a KFC, Domino's, and amiibo commercial, and had roles in Empire and Chicago Fire.[5][8] His first appearance in a full-length film was in Stephen Cone's indie, Henry Gamble's Birthday Party.[5]

In late 2015, Keery was cast in Stranger Things. He initially auditioned for the role of Jonathan, but later sent in a tape for his character, Steve.[9] The first season of the show was released on Netflix on July 15, 2016. He was promoted from recurring cast to a series regular for the second season of Stranger Things, which premiered on October 27, 2017.[10] Keery reprised his role for the third season, released on July 4, 2019.

Since beginning Stranger Things, Keery has also acted in a few independent movies, including starring in the 2020 satire film Spree. He also played the role of Walter "Keys" McKey,[11] a game developer, in the 2021 action comedy flick Free Guy, which went on to become a major box-office hit.[12]


Aside from acting, Keery is also a musician. He is one of the guitarists for Chicago-based garage and psych-rock band Post Animal.[13] Their debut full-length album was released in October 2015.[14] The band's second album, When I Think Of You In A Castle, was released in April 2018 and saw Keery contributing his guitar playing as well as vocals. As of 2019, Keery is no longer a touring member of the band.[15]

On July 19, 2019, Keery self-released the single "Roddy" as a solo artist under the moniker Djo.[16] Keery released a second single on August 9, 2019, titled "Chateau (Feel Alright)" under the same moniker.[17] On September 13, 2019, Keery released his debut album as Djo, Twenty Twenty.[18] On September 9, 2020, he released a new single, "Keep Your Head Up", which he promoted with a conversation with The Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne on Talkhouse's Instagram, as well as a Reddit AMA on the /r/Indieheads subreddit.[19]

In his early twenties, Keery released music under the name "Cool Cool Cool."[20]



Year Title Role Notes
2015 Henry Gamble's Birthday Party Gabe
2016 The Charnel House Scott
2017 Molly's Game Trust Fund Cole
2018 After Everything Chris
Slice Jackson
2019 How to Be Alone Jack / The Gimp Short film
2020 Spree Kurt Kunkle
2021 Free Guy Walter "Keys" McKeys


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Sirens Scenester Episode: "Screw the One Percent"
Chicago Fire Emmett 2 episodes
Empire Tony Trichter III Episode: "Who I Am"
2016–present Stranger Things Steve Harrington Recurring role (season 1)
Main role (season 2–present)
2019–present No Activity Officer Ed Reinhardt Recurring role (season 3-present)
2020 Death to 2020 Duke Goolies Television special
2021 Death to 2021

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Stranger Things Won [21]
2018 Nominated [22]


  1. ^ "AMCOA Members". Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  2. ^ "David Grover Keery". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Jim (26 August 2016). "NHS alum Keery finds fame in Netflix's 'Stranger Things'". The Daily News of Newburyport. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Joe Keery Biography". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Greene, Morgan (17 August 2016). "'Stranger Things' pulls Ravenswood actor into its orbit". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Joe Keery Stars in hit Netflix series Stranger Things | Theatre School News". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  7. ^ Daly, Kelly (28 July 2016). "Who To Watch: Joe Keery". Chicago Splash. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  8. ^ Nintendo (2014-10-23), Super Smash Bros. - Gameplay & Quest for the amiibo!, archived from the original on 2021-11-11, retrieved 9 November 2017
  9. ^ Jung, E. Alex. "Stranger Things' Joe Keery Agrees That Steve's Jeans Were Very Tight". Vulture. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  10. ^ Bradley, Laura (13 December 2016). "What Millie Bobby Brown Really Wants from Stranger Things Season 2". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  11. ^ Jha, Aditya Mani (2021-10-29). "Ready, set, 'gamified'". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2021-11-09.
  12. ^ "Joe Keery: Stranger Guy". FLOOD. Retrieved 2021-11-09.
  13. ^ Hillyer, Alec (14 August 2016). "Review: Post Animal's Post Animal Perform the Most Curious Water Activities". Medium. A Medium Corporation. Retrieved 9 July 2017.
  14. ^ Cooper, Leonie (5 August 2016). "Listen To Steve From Stranger Things' Tame Impala Style Psych Band". NME. Time Inc. UK. Retrieved 9 July 2017.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "When I Think Of You In A Castle". Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  16. ^ Terry, Josh; Horn, Leslie (2019-07-23). "'Stranger Things' Actor Joe Keery's New Song Is Even Better Than His Hair". Vice. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  17. ^ Roffman, Michael (2019-08-09). "Stranger Things' Joe Keery shares dreamy new song "Chateau (Feel Alright)": Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2019-08-19.
  18. ^ Daly, Rhian (13 September 2019). "Djo - 'Twenty Twenty' Review". NME. Retrieved 2019-09-15.
  19. ^ Kaye, Ben (9 September 2020). "Djo (aka Joe Keery) Unveils New Song "Keep Your Head Up": Stream". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  20. ^ "I'm Not Smart, by Cool Cool Cool". Cool Cool Cool. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Screen Actors Guild Awards 2017: Complete Winners List". ABC News. January 30, 2017. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  22. ^ "2018 SAG Award Nominations: See the Full List". Vanity Fair. 13 December 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.

External links