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The One Thing That David Harbour's Stranger Things Character Has In Common With His Other Roles

Despite David Harbour's success as Hopper in "Stranger Things" as the Red Guardian in "Black Widow" and the upcoming "Thunderbolts," and as Santa Claus in "Violent Night," Harbour said in an interview with Rob Brydon that he still thinks of himself as a New York theater actor, as that's where he got his start in acting. In the same interview, he talked a little bit about how he got the role of Hopper on "Stranger Things," and the actor explained that he was stuck on a show he hated that had only lasted one season and he was hoping it would be picked up for a second season to be able to pay his rent. The day immediately after it was canceled he got called in for the audition for "Stranger Things." Harbour thought there was no way he would get the role, so much so that, when he auditioned, he was asked to do a take with his baseball cap off and Harbour said no because he assumed that he wouldn't get the role anyway.

Harbour is particularly proud of his work on "Stranger Things." In an interview with Collider, Harbour was asked what someone should watch first if they wanted to become familiar with his work, and Harbour said he would want people to watch the first season of "Stranger Things." "The arc of that character, especially in that first season, it's the work that I think I'm proudest of at this point," the actor explained

Elsewhere, Harbour talked about what drew him to the role of Hopper, and he said it was the same thing that draws him to most of his roles.

David Harbour likes to play characters that have tried something big and failed at it

In an interview with GQ, David Harbour talked about what he looks for in roles he takes, such as Hopper on "Stranger Things," and the actor responded, "I like people that attempt in big ways, and fail." In another interview with GQ where Harbour broke down his most iconic roles, he talked about how he needed to go into a sort of state of depression to mirror what Hopper was going through in the first season of the show.

In that same interview with GQ, as Harbour explained each of his roles, he brought in that same element of failure that he tried to bring into every character. When talking about his role of Elliot Hirsch in "The Newsroom," Harbour explained that the show's creator, Aaron Sorkin, wanted everyone to be very smart and have a lot of integrity, and Harbour kept pushing for his character to be the only one in the newsroom he didn't have those qualities. Unfortunately, Sorkin wasn't very receptive to that.

Similarly, when talking about playing "Red Guardian" in "Black Widow," the same themes came up. "I mean, he is really kind of a silly guy, but even the guilt around his own narcissism and how he did fail his children is interesting, kind of comes through in the movie." So it would seem that failure is something that Harbour really enjoys playing through his many characters.