From child stars to award-winning actors, the cast of Stranger Things has all had an unbelievable glow-up since the first season premiered in 2016. Keep reading to see the Netflix cast’s complete transformation over the years.

Ahead of the show’s season 4 premiere in May 2022, Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer took to social media and shared a heartfelt note about ending the series after season 5.

“With nine scripts, over eight-hundred pages, almost two years of filming, thousands of visual effects shots, and a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season, Stranger Things 4 was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one,” they wrote, in part, noting that it was “the beginning of the end.”

“Seven years ago, we planned out the complete story arc for Stranger Things,” the Duffer Brothers continued. “At the time, we predicted the story would last four to five seasons. It proved too large to tell in four but — as you’ll see for yourselves — we are now hurtling toward our finale. Season 4 will be the penultimate season; Season 5 will be the last.”

The show was a catalyst for many young actors’ careers, most notably Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Sadie Sink, Caleb McLaughlin and Gaten Matarazzo, who were all between the ages of 11 to 14 when first booking their parts.

Stranger Things executive producer and director Shawn Levy opened up to Variety after being asked if he was concerned that “the final act will have to be rewritten” given the cast’s increasing ages (they’re all over the age of 20 now).

“We’ve already watched the cast of our show grow up in the public eye, and between 12 and 22, every human being changes profoundly. This passage of time is definitely not helping,’” he began. “That being said, our hair and makeup and wardrobe department are pretty exceptional, using costumes and wigs and makeup. The ’80s are also our friends in returning these young adult actors to their iconic Hawkins characters. So we’re going to use all the all the tools available to us. And I know our cast is as eager to get back to work as the rest of us.”

Click through our gallery to see the Stranger Things cast’s transformation over the years. 

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