David Harbour Says ‘Stranger Things’ Co-Stars Don’t Have the Skills He Had at Their Age

For David Harbour, life just keeps getting better. The longtime character actor shot to fame after his appearance in the smash-hit Netflix series Stranger Things and is now enjoying all the perks of fame. Although Harbour is now one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, he remains down-to-earth and humble about his success. Recently, the actor opened up about his everyman upbringing and how he believes that much of the younger generation (including his Stranger Things co-stars) aren’t taught many valuable life skills. 

David Harbour smiling in front of a 'Stranger Things' backdrop
David Harbour | Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

How did David Harbour get started in acting?

David Harbour was born in Tennessee in 1975. Harbour was raised by working-class parents, including a father who worked in commercial real estate and a mother who was a residential real estate agent. He received a good education and attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire as a young man. In the late nineties, Harbour officially embarked on his acting career.

Harbour’s early acting work was a mixed bag of television, stage, and film. He appeared in some popular TV shows such as Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit and landed small but impactful roles in movies like Brokeback Mountain, Kinsey, War of the Worlds, Revolutionary Road, and Quantum of Solace. Although Harbour was experiencing some success in Hollywood, he hadn’t yet enjoyed the renown that came with being a big-name star. All of that would change in 2015, with the release of the Netflix series Stranger Things

What is David Harbour best known for?

The character of Chief Jim Hopper seemed custom-made for David Harbour. Stranger Things became a huge hit for Harbour, as well as the series’ other young stars, and the show went on to have two more highly successful seasons. Recently, Netflix announced the fourth season for the cult-classic show, although no release date has officially been set. Harbour will be returning to the role of Hopper, although fans will see him in a set of very different circumstances from when they last saw him. After all, Hopper is seemingly imprisoned in Russia, and in the teaser for season four, he appeared to be working in a labour camp.

His work as Hopper has led David Harbour to some other major film roles. In 2019, he played the title character in the action film Hellboy, and he stars opposite Scarlett Johansson in the upcoming film Black Widow. It is clear that Harbour has made his mark on Hollywood and doesn’t have any plans of stepping away any time soon. 

David Harbour believes that the younger generation is lacking life skills

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Mean. Just mean.

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David Harbour arrived rather late to the fame game, which meant that he had a while to brush up on what he would consider “normal” life skills. In a recent podcast interview with Justin Long, Harbour opened up about how lucky he was to have learned basic skills pretty early on in life — skills like changing a flat tire. Harbour said that since he didn’t really become famous until later, he “was fixing cars with my dad. I did woodworking, I can do some carpentry.”

Harbour contrasted his experience with that of his Stranger Things co-stars, who have grown up in front of the camera. “I am grateful for growing up, you know, I look at the kids on my show, and they don’t have (those skills), they stopped at like 11 or 12, and now they’re Hollywood stars.” Harbour acknowledged that there could be some issues with growing up in the limelight, stating “I do think the younger generation is like ‘how do I get famous, how do I be an influencer.’ That’s the last thing they need to know.”

Although Harbour is known to be close to his young co-stars and frequently offers them life advice, it is clear that he doesn’t hold back his opinion when it comes to something that he cares deeply about.