"It does feel like it's time," Keery says, while also acknowledging, "it won't be easy for it to end."
The 31-year-old actor reflected on the upcoming final season of the 1980s-set Netflix smash in a recent interview with Women's Wear Daily. "I owe my whole career to being on that show, and all the opportunities that I had since are because of that show," he said. "So it's very convoluted. There's a sense of relief, there's a sense of sadness."
Netflix Joe Keery on 'Stranger Things'
Stranger Things premiered on Netflix in 2016 and launched the careers of its young stars, who also include Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, and Gaten Matarazzo. Keery was 23 when the series kicked off and made waves as bad guy–turned–surprisingly sympathetic guy Steve Harrington, who has grown into a full-blown hero over the course of its four seasons.
Work on the fifth and final season of Stranger Things has been halted due to the writers' and actors' strikes, but when it resumes Keery has a plan for his last days on set. "I guess my goal is to just really soak it up as much as I can while we're doing it and not take any of it for granted because it's been an amazing ride with such great people," he told WWD. "And then once it's done, move forward and try to just hold on to the joy that we had when we were making it."
Keery's costar Brown, who stepped into the role of the mysterious Eleven when she was just 11, told the outlet that she's also prepared to move forward. "I think I'm ready. It's been such a huge factor in part of my life, but it's like graduating high school — it's like senior year," she said. "You're ready to go and blossom and flourish and you're grateful for the time you've had, but it's time to create your own message and live your own life."
Netflix 'Stranger Things' season 4
David Harbour, one of the show's adult stars, told Insider that he plans to focus on movies after his time as chief of police Jim Hopper is done. "I got different stuff in me, and I want you guys to see that," he said. "I don't want people yelling 'Hopper' on the street every five minutes the rest of my life."
Before production ceased in May, a teaser for season 5 hinted that the spooky show would loop back to its early days as "the beginning of the Stranger Things story might hold the key to what comes next." Its final installment will also feature series regular Winona Ryder, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Terminator star Linda Hamilton in an undisclosed role.
Meanwhile, Keery is approaching the end of his time in Hawkins, Indiana, with a full understanding of what it takes to make a good story. "Everything has a beginning and the middle and an end," he told WWD. "It'll be nice to have the end of this too."
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