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Though it’s hard to imagine “Stranger Things” without Hawkins’s beloved single dad Steve – as he’s lovingly been dubbed by fans, thanks to his care of the kids on the show – series star Joe Keery says that, in the beginning, he wasn’t confident Steve would exist past Season 1.
During an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Monday, Keery explained that when he first got the role, he thought Steve was simply the “jerky boyfriend.” On top of that, there wasn’t a long, built-out plan for him to be clued in on.
“I read one, maybe, episode of the show – two episodes,” Keery explained. “And it was kind of like a – we read three episodes, and then they had two more. It was really, they were building it out as we were going. It was day to day.”
Of course, Keery now takes a little more credit for Steve making it through Season 4.
When Fallon called up a photo of the billboard that Netflix created ahead of the second part of the season – one that ominously said “Protect Steve” surrounded by Upside Down tendrils – Keery joked that he was actually the one responsible for creating it, not Netflix.
“So I actually paid for this, it was really expensive,” he joked. “I pretty much broke even, but it was worth it!”
You can watch Keery’s full interview with Fallon in the video above.