Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Stranger Things: David Harbour Was Scared The Series Would Fail

To say that Stranger Things is an overnight sensation-turned-cultural phenomenon would be a fitting statement, but one of the show's stars believed it wouldn't achieve even a fraction of the success it has. 

Speaking on GLOW star Marc Maron's WTF Podcast (via ComicBook), actor David Harbour, who plays the lovable Chief Jim Hopper, admitted that he was scared Stranger Things would fail. Not only was he worried that he wasn't a good fit for the series, but he was also fearful that Stranger Things as a whole wasn't good and that no one would watch it. 

"I actually didn't think that I would get cast, and then I wound up getting cast. It's a big Netflix show, you know? I didn't think they wanted to take a chance on me," Harbor began, noting his early excitement about the project. "But when we were shooting it, about four episodes in, I thought 'Yeah, no one's going to watch this.' I thought, you know, 'I'm not good, and it's not good.' And it didn't help that, we were all working hard, but we were in a bubble. I just thought it was like, you know, in a long line of failures. Not tremendously. I mean, I'm being a little bit hyperbolic. But still."

Harbour then discussed how his worry culminated into a "very cynical" outlook and extremely low expectations for Stranger Things on his part, especially as the series grew closer to launching on Netflix and still hadn't rolled out any major promos or issued any advertisements. 

"Before it came out, I was scared ... I was actually doing a play with a guy who was on a very successful TV show. And before it came out, like three weeks before it came out, there were no ads in New York. No ads on buses, nothing. And then a week before it came out, no ads anywhere," said Harbour. "I talked to [the actor] and was like, 'There's no ads. Is that a bad sign?' And he was like, 'They're burying it. They're trying to bury it.' And I was like, 'Oh my god. My one f***ing shot, and they're burying my show.'"

Harbour's worries would ultimately prove to be unfounded, since Stranger Things released to thunderous critical response and commercial success. However, his fears shine a light on an issue some creatives have been plagued by: being too close to their projects to suss out true potential. Some series and movies that weren't given much hope of success have gone on to become quite popular — just take a look at our list of box office flops that went on to become cult classics. On the other hand, certain projects get bolstered up to astronomical heights and end up falling hard upon release. 

Thankfully for Stranger Things, it snagged the former fate and everything turned out wonderfully for David Harbour. The series became a smash hit and the actor's "one shot" has turned him into a dad bod-rocking sex symbol. How's that for a sweet outcome?