From the moment that he appeared on-screen in Stranger Things, pulling up to Hawkins, Indiana in a blue Camaro, Dacre Montgomery, in his role as Billy Hargrove, skater girl Max‘s menacing older stepbrother, is about as far as you can get from a sweetheart. Still, that’s nothing compared to the transformation he undergoes in Stranger Things season 3, which premiered on Netflix on Thursday. At first, Billy is Billy as usual—which is to say participating in his favorite activities, which consist of lifting weights, rocking a mullet, and flirting with Hawkins’s finest married moms. (Spoiler alert for episode 1: The latter quickly leads to his downfall; there’s nothing remotely smooth about his failed attempt to take out Mrs. Wheeler, played Cara Buono, on a hot date to a motel.)
As the show’s super-fans—and not to mention Montgomery’s 2.1 million Instagram followers—are well aware, the 24-year-old Australian-Canadian actor is nothing like Billy in real life. And yet, it’s worth clearing that up for those outside of his cult following. After all, Montgomery, who was born—and named his high school’s “most likely student to become a Hollywood star”—in Perth, is still surprisingly new to the screen. Aside from a couple of short films and music video appearances, he only made his feature film debut in 2017—the same year that he pulled up to Hawkins, Indiana, on Stranger Things. (His other breakout role that year, as the Red Ranger Jason in Power Rangers, couldn’t have been more different from Billy, effectively proving he had the range from the start.)
But there’s another reason Montgomery has managed to maintain an air of mystery. His first post on Instagram—a shirtless, mullet-less showcase of his abs—was promising, to say the least. But since then, when it comes to thirst traps, he’s all but abandoned the account since 2016.
Montgomery has, on the other hand, succeeded at maintaining a perfectly curated grid—and still regularly receives tens of thousands of likes for the blank squares he posts to be able to do so. For some fans, they’ve been a mounting source of frustration; for others, like those who comment “omg u look AMAZING,” they’ve turned into something of a running joke.
Aside from excerpts of his magazine editorials, the more candid snapshots of Montgomery are few and far between. Indeed, you can find practically all of them with a few simple scrolls. At this point, his fans are practically begging for more; “update us with a selfie and then ill watch stranger things in july AND buy this cologne thx sweetums,” one commented on a photo of a perfume bottle that Montgomery posted to tease his upcoming podcast.
Yes, you read that right: Social-media shy Montgomery is getting into the podcasting game. Mentions of it are omnipresent—his bio promises that DKMH, which is also the only account that he follows—launches on July 11. It’s no spree of thirst traps, but at least it’s more Montgomery-related content.