David Harbour is grateful for the success of Stranger Things, but he is ready to shift his focus to big-screen projects, as he shared in a recent interview with Insider.
Harbour explained that starring in 2022’s Violent Night opened up “a whole new world” for him in film, beyond just his Netflix work. “I’ve been on Netflix…but this was a small original movie that’s going to a cinema,” he said of Violent Night, in which he plays an unconventional Santa trying to rescue a family. “I like this playing field. I want to make original movies that go to the movie theatres.”
The actor made clear that while Stranger Things has been career-changing, he feels he has more to offer creatively on the big screen moving forward. The harbour is eager to take on more starring film roles and bring his talents to original cinematic storytelling.
While David Harbour has cherished his time as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things, he is ready to bid farewell to the character and the small screen.
In a candid interview, Harbour revealed he feels “it’s definitely time” to move on from the Duffer brothers’ acclaimed Netflix series. Though he initially relished playing Hopper, Harbour admitted, “I don’t want to be just that character. I don’t want to be just that guy.”
Harbour pointed to George Clooney’s transition from ER to movie stardom as inspiration. “I think about George Clooney leaving ER. Now we just see him as George Clooney, but there was a time when it was, ‘The guy from ER is doing a movie with Nicole Kidman.'”
With Stranger Things’ fifth and final season on hold due to industry strikes, Harbour is mapping out his post-Hawkins acting career. He’s eager to navigate “what’s next” and establish himself as a leading man on the big screen in original films. Though Hopper opened doors, Harbour is ready to leave the sheriff behind and show he has much more to offer beyond one iconic TV role.
Harbour recognizes the tricky balance of moving on from a career-defining role while still honouring the fans who love him as Hopper. “You don’t want to shit on the people that love you for this thing that you did that you also love,” he explained. “But at the same time, you kind of want to leave the nest.”
Though grateful for the opportunities Stranger Things provided, Harbour stressed, “I got more in me. I got different stuff in me, and I want you guys to see that.” He hopes fans will embrace him in new roles rather than forever yell “Hopper!” when they see him.
Since Stranger Things premiered in 2016, Harbour has begun branching out on the big screen with roles in films like Hellboy, Violent Night, We Have a Ghost, Black Widow, and the upcoming Gran Turismo. He’s eager to continue proving himself as a versatile actor beyond just his star-making Sheriff Hopper part. Harbour wants fans to know while he cherished playing Hopper, he has much more talent to share.