Joseph David “Joe” Keery is an American actor who has recently gained popularity for playing Steve Harrington in Netflix’s science-fiction horror TV series ‘Stranger Things’. The show’s critical and commercial success has also made him a teen sensation. A native of Massachusetts, Keery developed a love for performance rather early in his life. He became part of the Theatre in the Open, a performing arts camp, and eventually went on to begin acting in high school. He studied theatre in college. Following the completion of his education, Keery attended hundreds of auditions, which resulted in sporadic appearances on various television commercials. He also landed small roles in ‘Sirens’, ‘Chicago Fire’, and ‘Empire’, before being cast as Steve Harrington in ‘Stranger Things’. Keery made his big screen debut in 2015 with Stephen Cone’s drama ‘Henry Gamble's Birthday Party’ and has since appeared in many other films. In 2017, he and the other members of the ‘Stranger Things’ cast were awarded the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Following his graduation, Joe Keery auditioned for a hundred different roles. Initially, he was cast in various commercials for brands like KFC, Domino's, and Amiibo. In 2015, he made his debut screen appearance in USA Network’s ‘Sirens’, the American comedy show loosely based on the British comedy of the same name. In episode two of the season six, ‘Screw the One Percent’, Keery portrayed a character named Scenestar.
Subsequently, he portrayed a character named Emmett in two episodes, ‘Forgive You Anything’ and ‘Red Rag the Bull’, of NBC’s action-drama ‘Chicago Fire’. Keery also guest-starred as Tony Trichter III in Fox’s musical drama television series ‘Empire’.
He landed his first cinematic role in the 2015 drama ‘Henry Gamble's Birthday Party’. The following year, he appeared in the horror-thriller ‘The Charnel House’. Keery got the chance to work with Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Brian d'Arcy James, and Chris O'Dowd in Aaron Sorkin’s 2017 crime-drama ‘Molly Game’. Portraying a character named Cole, Keery made the full use of the limited time he was allocated on the screen.
In late 2015, Keery originally auditioned for ‘Stranger Things’ to play the character of Jonathan Byers, a role that ultimately went to Charlie Heaton. The producers, Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, felt that Kerry was more suitable to play Steve Harrington, a character who was modelled after the typical fictional 1980s’ jocks. The Duffer brothers felt that Keery was “incredibly likeable and had this charisma about him”. Keery’s Harington was a recurring character in the first season. He became one of the central characters in the second.
Among his upcoming projects, there is a comedy named ‘Shotgun’, in which he will star alongside his current girlfriend Maika Monroe. He is also set to appear in the comedy-horror ‘Slice’.
Besides acting, Keery is also working on a parallel career in the music industry. He is a guitarist and part of the Chicago-based garage and psych-rock band ‘Post Animal’. The other members of the group are Dalton Allison (bass), Jake Hirshland (guitar/keyboard), Javi Reyes (guitar), Wesley Toledo (drums), and Matt Williams (guitar).
While Keery is a contributing member of the group, he is not able to tour with them anymore due to his schedule as an actor. They have put out an extended play, ‘Post Animal Perform The Most Curious Water Activities’ (2015), and one collection of singles, ‘The Garden Series’ (2016), to date. Their first full-length album ‘When I Think of You in a Castle’ is set to release in April 2018. Keery has also made music under the pseudonym “Cool Cool Cool”.
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Joe Keery was born on April 24, 1992, in Newburyport, a small coastal, scenic, and historic city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. His parents are Laura Keery and Thomas R. Keery II. He has four sisters, including twins Kate and Emma. Keery studied at the River Valley Charter School and later attended Newburyport High School.
Having a deep interest in the performing arts since an early age, he enrolled in Theatre in the Open, which is a famous performing arts camp held at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport. The time he spent in the camp solidified his love for performance and after one of his sisters insisted, he continued acting in high school. He went on to attend The Theatre School at DePaul University, graduating in 2014.
Keery began dating actress and professional kiteboarder Maika Monroe in May 2017. She accompanied him to the premiere of ‘Stranger Things 2’. They are set to star together in the upcoming film ‘Shotgun’.