Just like the rest of his newly-minted fanbase, Joe Keery’s mom loved the actor’s “Stranger Things” character arc on the newest season of the Netflix smash hit series. A far departure from his character’s initial camera-smashing, bat-wielding macho bully vibe, Keery gifted viewers with a much softer side to Steve Harrington in the show’s second season.
Entering meme culture as the surprising Internet hero we didn’t know we needed, Keery breathed life into the new duality of Steve Harrington–part stereotypical jock and part doting aunt to the “kids” of the hit sci-fi series.
— jess lisette (@omgfabulous) October 28, 2017
Speaking to Bustle about the overwhelmingly positive reaction to his character’s development, Keery revealed that he was at first unprepared for his new celebrity status.
“It’s so weird, it definitely makes me a little more hesitant to put myself online or anything like that,” he said. “It’s not like I’m just sharing it with my friend, I’m sharing it with a couple million people now. It makes me a little more hesitant, but it also doesn’t make me want to change my outlook for the way that I use it, just as kind of like a fun, funny tool, and not use it as an ‘on at 10!’ self-promotional thing.”
However, Keery’s aversion to the A-list lifestyle brought on by his growing “Stranger Things” fandom is definitely softened by his mom’s newfound approval of his character.
“”I gauge it by the way my mom reacts,” said Keery in reference to his character’s varied fan reception. “She saw the first season and was like, ‘Man, you were a total jerk, I didn’t know you were going to be a jerk.’ But, yeah this year, she’s a little more excited that I was, you know, hanging out with kids.”
We feel you, Mrs. Keery. We feel you.