David Harbour Talks “Stranger Things” & Passion for Acting

NO STRANGER TO THE STAGE. Many actors are passionate about acting; some are infatuated with the craft. “Stranger Things” star David Harbour is definitely one of the latter


David Harbour of Netflix's Stranger Things in Blazer and shirt by John Varvatos Star USA, tie by Eton, denim trousers by AG Jeans
Blazer and shirt by John Varvatos Star USA, tie by Eton, denim trousers by AG Jeans


Once in a blue moon, the film industry comes up with a really intriguing TV show (or a web series—this is 2016, after all) that proves to be an instant hit. The story of such a show is, of course, a key factor; but so too are the actors bringing that story to life. One such show and one such actor that have taken the world by storm recently are “Stranger Things” and David Harbour, the series’ male lead playing opposite Winona Ryder and the young but talented Millie Bobby Brown. You’ve also probably seen the New Yorker in films like “Quantum of Solace” and this year’s “Suicide Squad.” He’s also an accomplished stage actor who has been nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

For now, Harbour has his hands full with the upcoming second season of “Stranger Things” and is set to appear in at least three other film projects, to speak nothing of his theater work. But, then again, he’s definitely no stranger to hard work, busy schedules and success stories.


DA MAN: “Stranger Things” has been a great success and even gained a bit of a cult following here in Asia. What do you think is it that made the show successful?
David Harbour: I think there’s real magic in it. Sometimes things come together in a project. It’s rare, but when it does, it can be magical. The story, the acting, the design, the direction all came together with this, and we were able to tell a really compelling tale.

DA MAN: Looking back to the start, what went through your mind when you first read the script for “Stranger Things”?
David Harbour: It’s a very earnest story. It’s got a lot of heart or, even more so, it’s got a lot of soul. All of the characters are rich and multidimensional, almost iconic. And as I read, I kept wanting to read more—which is, of course, a good sign.

DA MAN: What personally attracted you to play the character of chief Jim Hopper?
David Harbour: I loved that he was so broken and behaved so badly in the beginning. I love characters that are difficult people, people you’d initially distrust or dislike, but as you understand where they are coming from you develop compassion for them. Hop’s one such guy.

DA MAN: How did you prepare yourself to get into the shoes of this particular character?
David Harbour: I did a lot of personal work. I really tried to capture Hop’s soul. It meant a lot of thinking about how David and he are similar and how we are different, and really cultivating those aspects of myself. I really focused mainly on who Hop is in his soul as a man, and the physical life of the character grew from that.

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