David Harbour Talks “Stranger Things” & Passion for Acting

DA MAN: Many actors say it’s not easy to make a living purely out of acting. What was it made you persist in following this career path?
David Harbour: There was little choice in my mind. I was very determined. And making a lot of money was never that interesting to me. Self-expression or expression of personal vision was much more important.

DA MAN: Who did you look up to in the world of acting?
David Harbour: So, so, so, so many actors—I can’t name them all here. And for so many different roles, or reasons. I really find something to admire in almost everyone’s acting, because even when it is bad, there is so much being revealed about that human being: Whether they are a kind or cruel person, selfish or generous. We cannot hide ourselves when we are in front of that lens and I find that endlessly fascinating.


David Harbour of Netflix's Stranger Things in Coat, shirt and tie by Robert James, hat by Worth & Worth
Coat, shirt and tie by Robert James, hat by Worth & Worth


DA MAN: What do you consider your biggest professional achievement so far?
David Harbour: I love the work I’ve done on “Stranger Things”—it’s my favorite accomplishment. Also, I really loved doing [the play] “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” on Broadway and in London for a year.

DA MAN: Do you still have a dream role that you’re still itching to play one day?
David Harbour: My dream role would be Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus.” Talk about a difficult guy!

DA MAN: Having been in the industry for more than a decade, what is the most important lesson that you’ve learned as an actor?
David Harbour: It took me a long time to stop being embarrassed by how much I loved acting. In Hollywood and in New York, there can be so much jaded cynicism, and I fell prey to it. Now I’m unabashedly in love with acting.

DA MAN: If you were not an actor, what would you be doing?
David Harbour: I could see myself teaching acting, but my life—big or small—will always have to have acting at the heart of it!

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