He’s growing up! Finn Wolfhard has starred as Mike Wheeler on Stranger Things since the show premiered in July 2016, and fans have watched the actor transform from a young star over the years.

“When you start a show that young, there’s drama and there’s rivalries because it’s like school,” the actor told The Washington Post in November 2021. “And then you become older, and you stop caring. I think it’s actually such an incredible thing to come back to each other and be like, ‘Wow, I really understand you. We’re all going through this thing together. I love you.’”

Following the show’s first season, it was a major hit and Finn — alongside costars Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp, among others — became a household name. But the Canada native has never let the fame get to his head.

“Number one, I have great parents, a great family and people who support me, but who also keep me in line. I have been weirdly disciplined since I was seven or eight years old,” Finn recalled during a chat with Interview Magazine from December 2019. “I remember watching a bunch of movies and realizing I wanted to be a filmmaker. I found out about NYU Tisch School of the Arts and the film school there, and I was like, ‘OK, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go there after high school.’ And then, I started acting, doing small indie stuff, and those are so fun to do.”

Finn added that when he thinks about his career, he likes to focus on his “end goal” instead of everything that comes from fame, “like the weird Instagram followers.”

“Most kids and teenagers are constantly messing up and doing crazy things, but they’re not in the spotlight and they’re just kind of testing the boundaries,” he also told Interview. “When you’re in the spotlight as a kid, you can’t do that. You can’t make a mistake, or else it’s public and your career will be over. It’s one of those things where you have to be ultra-vigilant about what you say and what you do.”

When it comes to his future, Finn has dreams of working behind the camera.

“I only wanted to start acting because I wanted to be a filmmaker. I still do. I still want to be a director,” he told the Irish Times in August 2019. “But I thought acting was the best way to get into the film industry, so I started acting when I was nine and I loved it and I’ve never looked back.”

Scroll through our gallery to see Finn’s transformation over the years. 

Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.