‘Stranger Things’ star Joe Keery addresses reaction to Netflix’s ‘Protect Steve’ billboards

“It was like: ‘why are they saying this?’"

Stranger Things actor Joe Keery has discussed the panicked reaction to ‘Protect Steve’ billboards used to promote the show’s fourth season.

Ahead of season four’s final two episodes, released in July, Netflix debuted a number of billboards emblazoned with the words ‘Protect Steve’ surrounded by roots related to the overgrowth in the Upside Down.

The marketing ploy caused many fans to fear for the safety of Keery’s character Steve Harrington in the final two episodes, something which amuses the actor today.

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“That was some very funny Netflix marketing,” laughs Keery to NME. “It’s pretty funny because they just freaked everybody out, but they knew how it ended!

“It was like: ‘why are they saying this?’ Why are they doing this to everyone!”

The actor however missed most of the anguish due to his absence from social media. “I haven’t been on social media for a while which I think has been good for me,” Keery added. “Social media is a very subtle poison that seeps into your self-esteem day-to-day.

“You have a sense of dread and you don’t know why. Getting rid of it for me really helped.”

Show creators Matt and Ross Duffer recently said they might not add new characters for the fifth and final season, so they can “focus on the OG characters”.

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“Whenever we introduce a new character, we want to make sure that they’re going to be an integral part of the narrative. But every time we do that, we’re nervous because you go, ‘We’ve got a great cast of characters here and actors, and any moment we’re spending with a new character, we’re taking time away from one of the other actors.’ So we’re just very, very careful about who we’re introducing,” Ross Duffer told IndieWire.

A release date for the final season has yet to be announced.

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