“I had become a little bit cynical about my place in film and TV,” reveals actor David Harbour in an interview with Gold Derby (watch the exclusive video above) about “Stranger Things.” He was nominated at the Tonys for his work on stage in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (2005) and has had many character parts on the big and small screens. But with his role as small-town police chief Jim Hopper on the Netflix breakout hit, Harbour notes, “ ‘Stranger Things’ really reinvigorated my belief in being able to tell a story that I really believed in.”
Harbour received widespread praise earlier this year for the uproarious speech that he made to accept the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Drama Ensemble on behalf of the cast. Harbour recalls, “I worked on it for about a week and I thought a lot about it and it was really about: I’m very proud of ‘Stranger Things’ and I’m very proud of a couple of the very subtle things that we do in the show. We embrace real people and in a sci-fi genre. There are people that aren’t that capable in a certain way; they have flaws and they have problems and I want to see more of that in my sci-fi, in my comic books, in characters that I admire.”
Although Harbour campaigned in the Best Drama Actor category for the Golden Globes and co-star Winona Ryder received a Best Drama Actress nomination, they have submitted in the supporting races for the Emmys. Harbour explains, “Because it is such an ensemble show, I don’t know that we get to do as much as those characters in the other shows. In something like ‘House of Cards,’ even though it is ensemble, it clearly is Kevin Spacey’s show and in this, it really follows three stories. You follow the kids and you follow the teens and you follow the adults, so we felt that there just wasn’t enough screen time to justify the leading category.”
If nominated next month for Best Drama Supporting Actor, Harbour intends to submit the season finale titled “The Upside Down” as his showcase to voters. “You really get to see the onion peel back and you get to see me go through a lot of stuff,” Harbour explains before lamenting, “It has the most emotional impact, but you don’t get to see him punch anyone.”
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