Age: 24. Lives in: Ravenswood. Claim-to-fame: Keery plays Steve Harrington alongside Winona Ryder in the recently released Netflix original series “Stranger Things.” Finding a community: Keery moved from his hometown outside of Boston to attend The Theatre School at DePaul University, whose alums include Gillian Anderson and John C. Reilly. “It’s a great place to [spend] four years and not have to worry about your reputation in the theater community,” he says. “You just get to experiment and mess up.” Looking up: “Watching Winona Ryder work, it just reminds me what’s important,” Keery says. “Learning your lines [is] just the tip of the iceberg — it’s about being prepared and ready to collaborate once you get on set.” Being Steve: Steve is a “social, upper class kid who is taken with a girl who hasn’t really come into herself yet,” Keery says. “As the two form a relationship, supernatural events begin happening to her younger brother and friend group, so he gets sucked into it.” Fitness first: In the initial drafts of the script, Steve was a swimmer, so Keery trained in the water and learned the different strokes to prepare. Now, he favors weight training and running as part of his daily routine. “I’m super into exercise bands because it’s really easy to travel with them,” he says.
School’s out: He has gone on over 100 auditions since graduating from DePaul. “I heard some stat that if you get one out of every 30 auditions you’re doing really well,” he says. “That just puts into perspective how many times you have to be told ‘no’ before actually getting a part.” Chicago hangouts: Ten Cat Tavern (3931 N. Ashland) for a drink, Brooklyn Boulders Chicago (100 S. Morgan) for a fun workout and Osmium Coffee Bar (1117 W. Belmont) for a caffeine boost. Words of wisdom: “Do enough preparation and hard work so that when you’re in the right moment at the right time, you can be in the right frame of mind to relax and be yourself — that’s all you can do.”