David Harbour, who today earned his first Emmy nomination for Stranger Things, was tasked on the series with the challenge of ascending to the position of a leading man — or at least, of a supporting actor who leaves an indelible mark on an acclaimed series with an all-around solid ensemble.
“I was so in love with the project and the script that I was quite intimidated going in,” he said. “It was something I’d never been asked to do, to really be the male protagonist of the show. I sort of knew that I had to go to work in a much deeper way, I felt, than I had in the past in movies and television. I’d done that work in theater before; in movies and television, I hadn’t really had that opportunity, so I knew I had to try to figure out his soul much more deeply. That was the biggest challenge going in, spending that time alone, sort of working on the role by myself.”
Along with the Duffer Brothers and Millie Bobby Brown, Harbour gave his take on where the show and his character are headed. “[Season 2] will surprise you, and I think you will also be very happy. It still contains that magic I think we have in the first season, which is that sort of Amblin Entertainment-esque, Steven Spielberg kind of ‘magic of the movies’ feel to it, but it’s also very different.”
He added: “In terms of Hopper, it plays to a lot of darker themes. Even though in Season 1 he certainly had his darkness, it plays to a lot of his struggles, and it sort of peels the onion back of how he struggles to deal with the pressures of feeling like you have saved a kid, and now who does that make you?”