Drop, Cover, and Hold On: Joe Kerry
Like a lucky sailor making the most of a good gale, Joe Keery is cruising to success at a heady clip, wielding the many blowing breezes of life to his advantage. What else do you say about a guy who graduated from The Theatre School at DePaul University, rocks out as the guitarist in Chicago-based band Post Animal, and plays the bad-boy-every-girl-hates-to-love on the hit series Stranger Things?
It’s a fitting metaphor for a man of his type who rides from success to success like a navigator helming a ship, manipulating the winds to his advantages. For a good navigator, that might sometimes mean allowing those draughts to blow him whichever direction they please, just because he knows he can make do wherever he lands.
“For what I would be doing otherwise,” Keery says, pondering how his time would be spent if not for acting, “it’s hard to say. Something in the arts I guess. Music would be my first answer, but so far in life the two have come hand in hand, one fueling the other, so that feels like a cheap answer. I like to write stories. I like history. If this hadn’t worked out the way it had, odds are I would be still working at a bar trying just as hard to make something happen. The chase is an equally dull and incredibly exciting time.”
That calm in the face of uncertainty is reminiscent of the character he plays on Stranger Things, who faces winds of change that would blow many of us away. The character, Keery says, “is someone going through a massive change, things shifting without your control.”
Keery has been busy in the break between Stranger Things seasons, the second scheduled to air this October. He lends his acting chops to dramas Molly’s Game and Shotgun, the first an Aaron Sorkin-directed biopic about an Olympic hopeful skier who gets embroiled in a risky international poker ring; the second an indie film from two first-time directors about a couple’s relationship after one of them receives a life-altering medical diagnosis. Keery’s quirkier upcoming project is Slice, a campy horror comedy about a pizza delivery boy turned serial killer whose co-stars include Chance the Rapper as a “disgraced werewolf.”
Winds are also forces of nature that shift without your control; they can be as shaky and unpredictable as they are robust and dynamic. Life comes at you fast, and all you can do, then, is stand in the eye of the hurricane to witness it all. When asked about the last time he second guessed himself, Keery answered in his own cheeky whirlwind of a way: “Answering all of these questions.”
Photos by Carlos Serrao
Styling by Mui-Hai Chu
Hair: David Cox
Makeup: Sarah Uslan
Manicure: Camille Black
Photographed at Hubble Studio