David Harbour Interview: ‘Stranger Things’
“It makes me want to work harder,” admits David Harbour of his second Emmy nomination announced in July. The actor received another Best Drama Supporting Actor bid for Netflix’s “Stranger Things” for his performance as Jim Hopper. The continued support from the Television Academy can give him a “tremendous sense of anxiety,” but the goodwill from a fan base “full of so much love” pushes him to dive deeper into the character. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Harbour reveals that he was “worried” about continuing the story of “Stranger Things” with Season 2 because the first season had such a complete arc. “Gilligan’s off the island now” says the actor, who wanted to avoid rehashing the same plot points as Season 1.
One element that helped Season 2 feel distinct and different was Hopper’s father-like relationship towards Eleven (Emmy nominee Millie Bobby Brown). Their dynamic was a major focal point of the season, bolstered by the increasing chemistry between the performers. Of Brown, Harbour thinks “a lot of the world treats her as if she’s this very sophisticated movie star… I don’t have that relationship with her.” His ability to treat her as a normal 13 year-old on set allowed the two to be “free with each other” and dive into the very personal aspects of their scenes together.
The actor also discusses his infamous acceptance speech at the SAG Awards when “Stranger Things” claimed the drama ensemble victory in 2017. Harbour adds, “I do have one thing I would like to tell people” if he proves lucky enough to win the Emmy Award. The speeches and the experience of the industry coming together are more important for him than the actual trophy itself. “I consider it like passing a torch,” says Harbour of each year’s new crop of winners: “You’re lighting where we’re going with our art.”