‘Stranger Things’ Stars Score Massive Pay Raises for Season 3

Sources say the streaming giant is ponying up as much as $350,000 an episode for each of the show's adult actors.
Illustration By Matt Collins

The stars of Stranger Things are cashing in on the Netflix drama’s wild success.

The cast of the Emmy-nominated show have scored major pay raises following an intense renegotiation ahead of the sci-fi drama’s third season. Sources say the new deals for the kids actors are worth roughly 12 times their previous salaries, and that the streaming giant is ponying up as much as $350,000 an episode for each of the show’s adult actors. Insiders say the deals closed last week as production on season three is scheduled to begin April 23. Netflix declined comment.

According to sources, the main actors are divided into different pay tiers. Winona Ryder (Joyce) and David Harbour (Jim Hopper) make up the “A tier” and are making up to $350,000 an episode. The “B tier” consists of the young stars — Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Noah Schnapp (Will) — who are each collecting $250,000 per episode. Meanwhile, the actors in the “C tier” — onscreen teenagers Natalia Dyer (Nancy), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) and Joe Keery (Steve) — are each pocketing roughly $150,000 an episode.

What remains a mystery is where the show’s 14-year-old breakout, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), landed among those tiers, as her camp has been tight-lipped throughout the dealmaking process. What is known, however, is that Brown, as The Hollywood Reporter reported last year, separated herself from the rest of the cast during the renegotiation, and is at least making the $250,000 that the other younger actors are earning. But some sources suggest Brown may be getting even more, possibly the $350,000 per episode that Ryder and Harbour are making. Others balk at the idea of Brown earning as much Ryder, an Oscar-nominated actress who has been working for three decades, and say the young starlet is instead in her own tier of $300,000 in between the adults and the other kids.

Regardless of Brown’s exact payday, the hefty salary bumps represent massive raises for television stars. Even though the actors were handed out bonuses of about $60,000 once it became clear that the show was a phenomenon, a renegotiation was still all but a given heading into the drama’s third season. Sources say the child actors were making in the low $20,000…