One of the most unexpected delights from Stranger Things Season 2 is the character arc of "Slowly Maturing Steve." He's gone from last season's bully jock to a guy who recognizes his educational limitations and his role as a good partner — both when he's with Nancy and how he handles the breakup after she leaves him. Plus, he finds his own inner hero when faced with the demodogs. Actor Joe Keery, who plays the heartthrob with a hairdo of gold, discussed his changing role, including that Stranger Things Season 2 fight scene with Billy that had everyone talking.
This is the second time in two seasons that his character has taken a beating, and Keery jokes that it'll happen again in Season 3.
Steve gets beat up once per season. So next year he’ll probably get beat up. I think it’s in my contract.
Last season, Steve's beating was the character's comeuppance, as he gets taken down and bloodied by Will Byer's outcast brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton). It's less a moment to care about Steve than one to cheer on an underdog finally taking down his tormentor, first for breaking his camera, and then for allowing Nancy to be called a slut on the town's movie marquee board.
This season when Steve gets beaten, it's a completely different ball game. Instead, his attacker is the new jock-bully in town, Billy. (The Duffers admitted in the aftershow Beyond Stranger Things that Billy was created to take the place of the character Steve was originally meant to be.) Now we're rooting for Steve to win the fight. But sadly, the guy who couldn't beat Jonathan does even worse against a real menace.
Unlike last year, where Heaton accidentally landed actual punches to Keery's face during filming their fight choreography, working with Dacre Montgomery, who plays Billy, made the fight scene go far more smoothly.
The fight scene wasn’t too bad. Last year, Charlie punched me in the face once or twice so I was like, “Oh man I gotta get ready.” No offense to Charlie, but Dacre is like a big dude. He could do some damage.
The only time we got close to getting hurt was the plate we used to break was a homemade plate and it was a little thicker. And we only got two takes in but he hit me right with the ridge on the side of my head and that was like, “Oooof,” and after that I was like, “Okay guys, I think we got it! Let’s wrap it up!
But while the fight scene might have been Steve's nadir, Keery was overall, really happy with where his character went this season, especially his unexpected bonding with Dustin.
Story-wise, I kinda look at it as these two characters that kind of get left in the cold by their friends. They’re kind of there for each other when no one else is. It’s kind of an unlikely friendship because it’s almost as if they don’t get along but they do get along very well and they kind of learn a lesson from each other that they needed to know.
Of course, the real question on everyone's minds: Was the Luscious Steve Locks hair care regimen shared with Dustin the real deal? Were there really products in the '80s with names like Faberge and Farrah Fawcett?
Actually, yes, though they're all discontinued now, obviously. But apparently Keery's own dad remembered them. As far as the actor's concerned, he thinks they should come back with a vengeance now, since hipster hair is such a big thing.
...they discontinued the Faberge Organics but I’m hoping that maybe Netflix will get a deal with Faberge where they can reissue the stuff.
Let's hear it for male hair care products, America. It's time all of us admit how much work goes into our hair.