Feeling a little too chipper? Get ready to have your day ruined: Stranger Things star Joe Keery has a girlfriend, whom he took to the Stranger Things Season 2 premiere. I repeat: Steve Harrington has a girlfriend in real life. Feel free to take a moment to volunteer yourself to scientists as a potential super weapon for combating drought, because will the tears ever end? Probably not. If you're wondering who Keery's girlfriend Maika Monroe is, then join the club. The fan club, that is, because it never rains, only pours: She's undeniably cool.
The 24-year-old started her career with a double life — like a spy, but better. Instead of ordering martinis in a really specific way and courting her secretary, Monroe used to work as both an actor and a professional kiteboarder. In a statement that may make you feel weird about your sole after-school job being a babysitting gig, the star told Los Angeles Magazine that she started kiteboarding and acting at age 13 "and just progressed more in kiteboarding." The actor uprooted to the Dominican Republic at the age of 17 "so [she] could pursue kiteboarding professionally," apparently something that happened because she felt like she had more control over her athletic career than her acting roles.
According to the same interview, she stayed in the Dominican Republic for approximately seven months, but flew back to the United States when she got a call saying the director for the Zac Efron movie, At Any Price, wanted to meet her.
That led to bigger and bigger roles. According to Interview Magazine, Monroe won a reputation as "a scream queen after roles in consecutive indie horror films The Guest and It Follows." But the joy of her career is partly based on how she hasn't just stuck to one genre. Per IMDb, she's done dramas (Labor Day, in which she acted alongside Kate Winslet), crime (playing an unnamed character in The Bling Ring), as well as taking roles in sci-fi movies (The 5th Wave and Independence Day: Resurgence).
But what is she like when not on set? Thankfully, so not that gossip mag cliche of "Stars — They're just like us!" According to an Instagram deep-dive, Monroe is every bit as hipster cool as you'd expect of the partner of Post Animal's guitarist, a band reviewed by the likes of Brooklyn Vegan and i-D. She rocks Selena Quintanilla-Pérez T-shirts, hangs out with Chloe Grace Moretz on Halloween (and presumably at other times, too), and gets friends to take photos of her on a disposable camera (hip) in a '90s style slip (hipper) at a spot not dissimilar to a seedy nightclub from a David Lynch film (hippest).
The rest of her account features many of the same tropes you’ll see covered by the Instagram of any friend currently studying at art school and/or living in Montreal: that Lost In Translation style pink wig, internet cat content, Roy Lichtenstein (or Lichtenstein-style?) comic cuttings, black and white passport pics. You know the drill. Basically, she looks like a lot of fun to hang out with.
The most obvious question now is how the couple met. That, friends, is what we in the business call a mystery, since there's no material currently available about this. But, if we operate via the simplest possible explanation being the most likely one, presumably the pair met on the set of upcoming film Shotgun, in which, according to IMDb, they both star. However, despite what the premiere PDA might suggest, the pair seem to be keeping things as low-key as possible on social media, with no couple selfies.
Let's face it: Given his endless waterfalls of hair, psych rock band, and bad-guy-turned-good on-screen persona, the fact that Keery has a girlfriend isn't a — wait for it — strange thing, heartbreaking though it may be for fans at the moment. But the fact that she's just as cool as him? Now that's worth talking about.