David Harbour on Who Influenced Him as an Actor and Why He Likes Playing an “Everyman”

“As artists, the primary purpose is to reach out to the discomfited and to say to the comforted that, maybe, you should feel a little more discomfort.” – David Harbour

Even though David Harbour‘s most famous role is playing Jim Hopper on Netflix’s Stranger Things, he has had a nearly twenty-year career on screen. He also stars in the biggest film role of his career in the title role of the reboot of Hellboy. In an interview with GQ, Harbour spoke about how he might be playing a comic book character on screen, but his influences come from a very different place.

Though Harbour portrays the buff Hellboy in the new movie, he points out that he’s not typically the action film type. He says, “You don’t hire me because you want The Rock. I’m more of a psychological actor.”

And while Harbour is playing a larger-than-life comic book character, he admits that being an on-screen “everyman” is what interested him in acting in the first place. He says, “The trend is for us to work out. Then stand up on screen and dazzle the world with godlike perfection. But I got into acting because of Walter Matthau. I like the dudes who are less-than-capable seeming, who then overcome odds. That’s much more dramatic, but we have to battle narcissism on every level – this navel-gazing self-love. As artists, the primary purpose is to reach out to the discomfited and to say to the comforted that, maybe, you should feel a little more discomfort. But it’s becoming harder to do that.”

More: David Harbour: “You gotta do things your own way. You have to find your own path”

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...)For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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