english.elpais.com
english.elpais.com
Joe Keery: Actor and Musician
User avatar
Curated by
eliot_at_perplexity
5 min read
14 days ago
71
Joe Keery is an American actor and musician best known for his role as Steve Harrington in the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, which launched him to stardom after initially appearing in commercials and minor TV roles.

Early Years and Education

newburyportnews.com
newburyportnews.com
Joe Keery was born Joseph David Keery on April 24, 1992, in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He is the second of five children and grew up surrounded by four sisters. Keery attended River Valley Charter School, a local Montessori school, for elementary and middle school. He then went to Newburyport High School. During his younger years, Keery participated in Theater in the Open, a performing arts camp at Maudslay State Park, which sparked his initial interest in acting. However, he ultimately began acting in high school, initially performing there at his sister's insistence. Keery went on to study at The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting.
imdb.com favicon
kids.kiddle.co favicon
simple.wikipedia.org favicon
4 sources

Joe Keery's Career

en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org
Before his breakout role in Stranger Things, Keery had minor roles in commercials for brands like KFC, Domino's, and amiibo, as well as small parts in TV shows like Empire and Chicago Fire. His first appearance in a full-length film was in the 2015 indie Henry Gamble's Birthday Party. Keery's major breakthrough came when he was cast as Steve Harrington in the Netflix sci-fi hit Stranger Things in 2016. He initially auditioned for the role of Jonathan Byers but was later cast as Steve, being promoted to a series regular starting in season 2. As Steve, Keery earned widespread acclaim for his nuanced performance as the character evolved from an antagonistic jock into a more heroic figure over the show's run. Since Stranger Things, Keery has appeared in films like the satire Spree (2020), the blockbuster Free Guy (2021), and the period drama Finally Dawn (2023) opposite Lily James. He also had a major role in the fifth season of the anthology series Fargo in 2023-2024, playing cop Gator Tillman. Keery has demonstrated versatility by taking on diverse roles across genres like comedy, action, and drama.
en.wikipedia.org favicon
imdb.com favicon
imdb.com favicon
5 sources

Joe Keery as Steve Harrington in Stranger Things

en.wikipedia.org
en.wikipedia.org
Joe Keery's breakout role was as Steve Harrington in the Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things. He initially auditioned for the role of Jonathan Byers but was later cast as the popular jock Steve. While Steve started off as an antagonist in season 1, the character evolved into a more heroic figure over the course of the show, with Keery earning widespread acclaim for his nuanced performance. Keery was promoted from a recurring role to a series regular starting in Stranger Things' second season in 2017. He continued playing a pivotal part in the third season in 2019 and the fourth season in 2022, as Steve became a fan-favorite character and an integral part of the core friend group. Keery's portrayal of Steve's redemptive arc, going from a stereotypical bully to a protective father figure, was praised as one of the highlights of the ensemble cast. His natural chemistry with co-stars like Gaten Matarazzo also added to the beloved dynamics on the show.
imdb.com favicon
en.wikipedia.org favicon
capitalfm.com favicon
5 sources

Awards and Nominations Highlights

imdb.com
imdb.com
Here are Joe Keery's major awards and nominations:

Screen Actors Guild Awards

  1. Winner - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2017) for Stranger Things
  2. Nominee - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2018) for Stranger Things
  3. Nominee - Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2020) for Stranger Things

Other Nominations

  • Teen Choice Awards 2018 - Choice Hissy Fit
  • Sunset Film Circle Awards 2020 - Best Breakthrough
  • Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards 2022 - Best Supporting Actor in a Streaming Series, Drama for Stranger Things
Keery has received the most recognition from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, winning one ensemble award in 2017 and earning two additional ensemble nominations in 2018 and 2020, all for his role in the Netflix hit Stranger Things. He has also picked up a few other nods, including a Teen Choice nomination for his humorous performance moments and critics' awards recognizing his breakthrough success.
envelope.latimes.com favicon
blogs.depaul.edu favicon
kinoafisha.info favicon
4 sources

Djo: Keery's Music Ventures

screenrant.com
screenrant.com
Prior to his acting career, Joe Keery was part of the Chicago-based psychedelic rock band Post Animal, which he joined in 2015. He served as a guitarist and vocalist for the group, contributing to their 2015 debut album and 2018 sophomore album "When I Think Of You In A Castle." However, due to his rising commitments as an actor on Stranger Things, Keery left Post Animal in 2019 to focus solely on his blossoming on-screen career. In 2019, Keery launched a solo music project under the stage name Djo (pronounced "Joe"). He has released two solo albums to date - his debut "Twenty Twenty" in September 2019 and follow-up "Decide" in September 2022, both of which earned positive reviews. Keery's music career reached new heights in 2024 when his song "End of Beginning" from the Decide album went viral on TikTok, becoming a major trend used in over 1.4 million videos. The unexpected popularity catapulted the track to the top of music charts globally, hitting #1 on the Billboard Global 200. Keery has managed to carve out a successful parallel career as a musician alongside his acting work.
j-14.com favicon
screenrant.com favicon
reddit.com favicon
4 sources

Personal Life Highlights

usmagazine.com
usmagazine.com
Joe Keery's personal life has garnered attention due to his romantic relationships and interests outside of acting and music. Relationships:
Keery dated actress Maika Monroe from 2017 to 2023 after meeting her on the set of the film After Everything. They made several public appearances together during their relationship, including the Stranger Things season 2 premiere. However, reports surfaced in late 2022 that they had broken up. As of late 2023, Keery has been linked to actress Chase Sui Wonders after they were spotted together in New York City. Interests and Hobbies:
Aside from his creative pursuits, Keery is known for his great sense of humor and resemblance to actor Ben Schwartz, with some even theorizing his Stranger Things character could be the father of Schwartz's Parks and Recreation character Jean-Ralphio. He has showcased his comedic talents by recreating scenes from the classic film Ferris Bueller's Day Off in national commercials for Domino's Pizza.
j-14.com favicon
elle.com.au favicon
english.elpais.com favicon
4 sources

Closing Thoughts

chicago.suntimes.com
chicago.suntimes.com
Joe Keery has truly established himself as a multi-talented artist, seamlessly transitioning between his breakthrough acting role on Stranger Things and his successful music career as the alternative rock singer Djo. While he initially gained fame for his popular portrayal of Steve Harrington, a role that evolved from an antagonistic jock to a beloved hero over the Netflix series' run, Keery has simultaneously carved out a distinct identity in the music world. Under his stage moniker, Keery has released two critically acclaimed studio albums - Twenty Twenty in 2019 and Decide in 2022 - showcasing his skills as a singer-songwriter and guitarist in the psychedelic and garage rock genres. His unique musical style, blending elements of alternative and indie rock with experimental flourishes, has resonated with audiences worldwide. This was evidenced by the viral success of his 2022 single "End of Beginning" on TikTok, which propelled the track to the top of global music charts. Keery's ability to balance his commitments as a popular film and TV actor with his passion for music is a testament to his versatility as a creative force. Whether portraying complex characters on critically-acclaimed series or crafting immersive sonic landscapes through his solo work, he continues to captivate audiences with his authentic artistry across multiple mediums.
screenrant.com favicon
en.wikipedia.org favicon
j-14.com favicon
4 sources
Related
what is the significance of Joe Keery's stage name Djo
how has Joe Keery's music style evolved over his solo career
what are the main themes explored in Joe Keery's albums as Djo