20 Stranger Things Actors In Their Very First Roles

Life didn't start in Hawkins, Indiana.

One of the things that Stranger Things has unquestionably gotten right is its casting. Even if you don't love every performance, there's no denying that the casting job done by Carmen Cuba, Tara Feldstein, and Chase Paris has created a perfect blend of new and familiar faces, giving the series a serious retro feeling while still being one of the freshest things on TV.

So what we're looking to do today is to dig deep into the histories of 20 of the most recognizable actors and actresses from the hit Netflix series and see where they got started.

Bonus: Shannon Purser - Barb Holland

Netflix

First role: Barb Holland in Stranger Things (2016)

Netflix

Believe it or not, breakout character Barb was the first time Shannon Purser ever acted on screen. She seems to be on track to make the most of her newfound fame, picking up the role of Ethel Muggs on Riverdale.

1. Catherine Curtin - Claudia Henderson (aka Dustin's mom)

Netflix

First role: Bridgette in Suspicions (1995)

Suspicions via YouTube

While you probably know her more from her role as Correctional Officer Wanda Bell in Orange is the New Black, Catherine Curtin has been acting on-screen since the mid 90's. The earliest image we could find was from a 1995 thriller where Curtin plays one of six friends who go on a trip to a snowy cabin, only to have them start to die one-by-one.

2. Sean Astin - Bob Newby

Netflix

First Role: Brian Reynolds in Please Don't Hit Me, Mom (1981)

via IMDb

You probably thought you had this one in the bag. "Yeah, I know Sean Astin was in The Goonies," you thought smugly. But that was in 1985. Four years before, Sean Astin starred with his mom, Patty Duke, in a TV movie where a babysitter discovers that the kid in her care (Astin) is being abused by his mother (Duke). That's a hell of a way to break into acting.

3. Paul Reiser - Dr. Sam Owens

Netflix

First role: Modell in Diner (1982)

MGM

Long before Stranger Things and Mad About You, Paul Reiser was a stand-up comic who got his first on-screen role in Barry Levinson's comedy-drama Diner. The movie also served as the screen debut for Ellen Barkin and Tim Daly.

4. Dacre Montgomery - Billy Hargrove

Netflix

First role: Fred in Betrand the Terrible (2011)

Betrand the Terrible via YouTube

I don't think anyone would blame you for missing Dacre Montgomery as Jason in the recent Power Rangers reboot movie. Stranger Things looks to be in a bigger spotlight than Power Rangers ever was. But before he started picking up regular roles, Montgomery starred in an Australian fantasy short film called Betrand the Terrible, where he played a bully who picked on the titular Betrand. Apparently Montgomery just looks like the bullying type.

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