As Stranger Thingsseason 4 has aired almostthree years since season 3,much of its young cast arerapidly aging out of their characters– so how old are the Stranger Thingscast, and how different are their characters' ages from real life?Anytime a show deals with child or teenage characters, viewers know that said actors aging inconveniently fast may result incontinuity problems.While Hollywood productions are usually tightly controlled, meticulously planned affairs, the natural aging of actorscan't really be stopped or postponed. This leads to situations in which formerly scrawny, nerdy kids now look like football players, and short kids are suddenly 6'2". Such changes can already be observed in theStranger Thingsseason 4 cast.
The aging factorwas already a problem that needed dealing with on the 2017/2019 duology of IT movie adaptations, as IT Chapter Two featured multiple flashback scenes of the Stephen King child group, the Losers' Club, which brought back the actors from the first IT. People can grow a lot in two years though, and de-aging techniques along with camera tricks were used to try and make the differences unnoticeable. This strategy didn't entirely succeed, but the effort was admirable.
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IT and IT Chapter Two featured Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier, a role he landed not too long after breaking out as Mike Wheeler on Stranger Things. He noticeably grew during that two-year span, and with Stranger Thingsseason 4 ending nearly three years after season 3,the show faces thesame problem with Wolfhard and his castmates,as much less time has passed in Stranger Things' story.How old are theStranger Thingscast compared to their respective characters?
Finn Wolfhard: 19 Years Old
Finn Wolfhard, also known for playing Richie Tozierin the aforementioned IT movies,is 19 duringStranger Things season 4. Meanwhile, his character Mike Wheeler was 14 years old in season 3.Depending on when Mike's canonical birthday is, that'll put the character at about 15 to Wolfhard's 19, which is a significant gap that makes ahuge difference in looks. In fact, the question of theStranger Thingscast's agesis often prompted by Mike looking significantly older than his supposed age.
Millie Bobby Brown: 18 Years Old
Millie Bobby Brownis 18 years old, andEleven's missing powers inStranger Thingsseason 4puts her through a flashback ordeal that actually allows Brown to appear much younger.Eleven is canonically 14 years old in season 3, the same age as Mike. In season 4, Brown is 18 toEleven's 15 or so - a slightly lesser gap than Wolfhard's 19 to Mike's 15.
Gaten Matarazzo: 19 Years Old
Gaten Matarazzo plays fan-favorite Dustin inStranger Things. Like Finn Wolfhard, Matarazzo is 19 during season 4.How old are theStranger Thingscast of characters? Dustin, like Mike and Eleven,is about 15.Since this is pretty much the case for all ofStranger Things' youngest group of cast members, it actually helps make each individual actor's visual difference less noticeable overall.
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Caleb McLaughlin: 20 Years Old
Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Dustin's best friend Lucas on Stranger Things,is the oldest of the core four at 20 years old. As the original group faces off against theStranger Things season 4 Vecna threat,Lucas is also 15,and he represents the largest age gap between character and actor in the quartet. For the most part, though, the smaller gaps between the four core characters and their actors work. This reflects a desire byStranger Thingscreators, the Duffer Brothers, to not cast too far above their youngest roles, which has proven to be a smart decision.
Natalia Dyer: 27 Years Old
Natalia Dyer plays Mike's caring, resourceful, and surprisingly tough older sister Nancy Wheeler on Stranger Things, andis 27 years old during season 4. Meanwhile, Nancy is 18, meaning Dyer will be a whole nine years older than her character. While a significant age gap, thisis much less noticeableas those of the younger cast, especiallyconsidering how teenagers are often convincingly played by people in their mid-30s.
Charlie Heaton: 28 Years Old
Charlie Heaton plays Jonathan, the brooding older brother of the Upside Down's first victim, Will Byers, and was a big part of the search for him during Stranger Things season 1. Heaton will be slightly older than his sometimes love interest Dyer, at 28 years old during season 4. Meanwhile, his character Jonathanis 18, putting andecade-longgap between actor and character, one of the biggest among the younger cast members. In Heaton's case though, he's always looked a bit older than his character, so it's not too jarring.
Noah Schnapp: 17 Years Old
Noah Schnapp plays Will Byers, friend to the core four and occasional inter-dimensional kidnapping victim. The youngest of the kids, Schnappis 17 duringStranger Things season 4. Since Will shouldbe about 14-15 like his friends, Schnapp will be closely in line with his character, again reflecting the wisdom of not casting the kids with older actors.
Related:What The Grandfather Clock Means In Stranger Things Season 4
Sadie Sink: 20 Years Old
Fear Streetstar Sadie Sink, who recently earned praise for her work as outsider-turned-survivor Ziggy in the aforementioned horror trilogy, plays Max, younger sister of formerly awful - and formerly living - person Billy Hargrove. Although she does indeed look much younger, Sinkis actually 20 years old inseason 4, while Max is 15. Coincidentally, this is the same age gap as Max's love interest Lucas who is played by McLaughin, who are also respectively 20 and 15 years old.
Joe Keery: 30 Years Old
Joe Keery is probably the third-biggest breakout star of the Stranger Things cast after Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard,playing a significant role in Ryan Reynolds' feel-good comedy adventure,Free Guy. Thanks to Steve Harringtonbecoming a decent, likable person during season 2, Keery's career has really taken off in recent years. If he had remained the huge jerk he was in most of season 1, things may have gone differently. InStranger Things season 4 Part 2,Keery is also the oldest of the actors behind the teenage characters, as the actor is 30 years old whileSteve Harrington is 19.
Maya Hawke: 24 Years Old
Maya Hawke, daughter of Ethan Hawke and another recent (fleeting)resident of Netflix's Fear Street, quickly became a fan-favorite as Steve's sarcastic but kind friend and co-worker Robin during Stranger Things season 3.In season 4, Hawke is24years old.This ends up puttinga relatively slight age gap between Hawke and her character Robin's 17 or 18.
How Long After Season 3 Does Stranger Things Season 4 Take Place?
Within the show's timeline, just 185 days have passed since the end ofStranger Thingsseason 3 and the beginning of season 4.Stranger Things season 3 wrapped up with the start of school in the fall of 1985, and season 4 is set at the start of spring break in 1986 - as evidenced by the many era-accurateStranger Things season 4Easter eggs. While plenty may have happened betweenStranger Things seasons 3 and 4, it's only been six months - a much shorter time span than the almost 3 years that have passed in the real world.
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How Millie Bobby Brown Played Young Eleven In Season 4's Flashbacks
Stranger Thingsseason 4 sees Elevenrecalling childhood memories ofDr. Martin Brenner's unethical genetic experiments, and apart from Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven's current 15-year-old self, flashback 9-year-old Eleven is played by 10-year-old actor Martie Blair. Notably, Brown wears a wig to simulate her head getting shaved so she can use the NINA facility to recall her past and get her powers back. This actually helps further blur the lines between Brown and Blair'scombined portrayalof Eleven.
In Stranger Thingsmedia interviews, Brown recalls working together intently with Blair on the Hawkins Lab flashback scenes, which is reflected in how the younger Blair captures how Eleven would have moved and acted. Brown then spent three days doing all of Blair's scenes while her facial movements were being captured through a process called the Lola machine.To complete the illusion, the visual effects team used footage fromOnce Upon a Time in Wonderland, a movie in which Brown was about 9 years. The result is Brown and Blair's performance being digitally combined to convincingly bring 9-year-old Eleven to life.While effective, the illusion is expensive and tedious, so only Eleven was de-aged.
Stranger Thingsseason 4, part 2 streams Friday, July 1, 2022 on Netflix at 3AM EST.