Edit
David Harbour Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (6)  | Personal Quotes (99)  | Salary (2)

Overview (2)

Born in New York, USA
Height 6' 2¾" (1.9 m)

Mini Bio (1)

David Harbour is an American actor who has performed in film, television, and the theater.

He is known for his role as CIA agent Gregg Beam in Quantum of Solace (2008), Shep Campbell in Revolutionary Road (2008), Van Hauser in End of Watch (2012) and Dexter Tolliver in Suicide Squad (2016). He also plays Chief Jim Hopper on the Netflix original series, Stranger Things (2016).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Trivia (6)

Nominated for a 2005 Tony Award as Best Actor in a Featured Role (Play) for the revival of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?".
Graduated from Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York
Graduated from Dartmouth College, with majors in drama and Italian, in 1997. He was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter at Dartmouth.
Was previously engaged to actress Maria Thayer.
Long-time and current student of Philip Seymour Hoffman's acting teacher, Tony Greco.
Nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category for his role as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things (2016), but lost to Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones (2011).

Personal Quotes (99)

I was diagnosed as bipolar.
I think that storytelling, at its essence, allows us to feel like we all suffer the same insanity or a similar insanity of existence: that nobody escapes scot-free. We're all going to wind up - at the best-case scenario - 80, 85, 90, broken, in pain, and feeling like it was all a dream and not really understanding the point of any of it.
When I got to be, like, in high school and stuff, I sort of was drawn to that feeling of feeling uncomfortable in my skin and being confused by human beings, like, just constantly confused.
If you want to really get in shape and get strong, there's these things called 'sleds.' You take a weighted sled, and you just push it across the floor, and then you drag it back. And, basically, if you do that for 20 minutes a day, you'll look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you put enough weight on it, it's the hardest thing in the world.
There are certain societal laws that are just accepted, things that are arbitrary. I think the fun thing about psychotics is that they question that. It can be very freeing... like, my ego or my individuality trumps society's law.
The mythos of superheroes is our mythos today. They are American myths. 'Captain America,' 'Iron Man,' 'Hulk' - these are the biggest movies in the world. But sometimes, superhero movies can be a little bit thin.
I'm around 6'4" and 240 pounds. So I rarely feel that intimidated by other men. But I've got to give it up to Terry Bradshaw. That guy is a complete bulldog.
I'm a bit of a strange human being - I love to work. I love art. I love self-expression.
I'm normally a pretty loquacious, kind of fun person.
The more I work in the film business, the more I see that those guys, the directors, have the most fun on set.
I'm very interested in the drama of the leading man being someone who is incapable, becoming capable.
The one thing I can say about the 'Stranger Things' cast that I don't often feel when I do television and movies is that every single actor on that show that I've interacted with is a good-hearted person.
I want to bring love handles and eating sandwiches back.
I'm just trying to give the best human expression that I can to any particular genre, which could be comedy, could be drama, could be horror, could be thriller.
I love all kinds of stuff. I really am so eclectic in my taste. I love film noir, I love thrillers, and I love big blockbuster popcorn cinema stuff, but I like it when it's twinged with a bit more social consciousness.
Never take advice, including this.
One of the most beautiful things about Shakespeare's Hamlet is when he stops in the middle of the play to ask, 'To be or not to be?' Then, right at the end, he decides to 'let be.' The first season of 'Stranger Things' was Hopper asking whether 'to be or not to be' and the second is to 'let be.'
I think I'm very hard on myself. I think I've always been very hard on myself since I was a kid.
All of Aaron Sorkin's characters are so smart.
In this business, certainly it's a lot crazier for women than it is for men, but there's such a thing where there's a lot of judgment on the way you look and on your body.
One of the things about having played a lot of villains is... I don't have the same experience of someone who maybe has been a leading man since they were 22 and therefore looks at certain things in a character to romanticize themselves. I actually very much embrace the bad stuff.
I'm always fascinated emotionally in the moment that someone pulls a gun, even a cop. That action - I don't know that I, personally, as a human being, could do it.
I love taking people on that journey, which I feel like can open them up to seeing human beings a little more complexly. People that you originally don't like, maybe they have reasons for the way they are, and maybe we can start to understand each other a little better as opposed to being quick to judge and dismiss people.
I am a dude who is meant to be on a couch in New York City thumbing through magazines.
I got the 'Stranger Things' script, like, a week before NBC canceled 'State of Affairs.' I really had this moment where I'm like, 'I'm done.' My neuroses is very sophisticated: I was like, 'I am done. Hollywood is done with David Harbour. They are finished.'
At the end of the day, my biggest fear in life is that I'm gonna wind up being an actor who plays the dad on a TV show like 'Full House' or 'Small Wonder' or something - I'm, like, the desexualized dad in the show 'Alf.'
I try to keep it separate as I can, but also, I'm not going to live my life in complete privacy. If I'm feeling something, I'm going to live my life. I will not hide things.
Life really is too short.
The perils of success at a young age is being afraid to make a mistake.
I'm terrified of the ocean. I think it's beautiful and magical, but I never go in. That deep, dark water, with no understanding of what goes on behind it - I think that's a metaphor for a lot of things.
It was always my dream to be a New York theater actor. I never thought I was pretty enough to be on camera.
Untangling Christmas lights is the true tragedy of 'Stranger Things.'
The fact is, for years, I had been trapped in a certain narcissism and a desire to have a certain body and look sexy.
The interesting thing about my career is for years I was trying to do that thing of getting in shape and looking cool - I would look at myself in camera angles and think how my chin looked the best and all this stuff. And I really couldn't get that much work.
I'll put 'Stranger Things' up there with the best of it. I think it's such a profound show - it's very subtle in the way that it tells its story, but it's very effective. Every time I watch it, I feel something, which is very rare for me.
With a lot of projects, you never know if it's going to be executed properly. And also, you never know if people are going to respond to it.
When I was in 8th grade, I saw Branagh's 'Henry V' in the Paris Theater, and it changed my life.
At the end of the day, what I try to bring to villainous characters is a sense of humanity.
A lot of the characters I gravitate towards feel like outsiders.
I'm a man. I'm not gonna wear dad jeans or whatever you call them.
It's, like, weird to watch a human being develop.
I really like big swashbuckling superhero films, but I feel like that Marvel universe is not adult enough.
Always, with speeches, I feel like it's an opportunity to say something.
I don't associate success with happiness, and I don't take it to heart, like, 'Oh, I'm so special.'
When you push and pull heavy things, your body thinks it's going to die, and so it's like, 'I better get bigger, in case we do that tomorrow.'
You gotta do things your own way. You have to find your own path. You have to take what appeals to you and leave all the rest.
One of the things I've been interested in my whole career is exploring masculinity and what it means to be a man. The sensitivity of a man, but also the violence and power that goes along with it.
Some people get very successful for something they're very cynical about - like Alec Guinness in 'Star Wars.' He thought it was ridiculous. Whereas for me, I'm so proud of 'Stranger Things.' I'm so proud of everyone's work in it. And it's become so successful. So for those two to meet is incredible.
I did this movie, 'A Walk Among the Tombstones' - I truly play a horrible, horrible individual in that - and I would occasionally go to the theater and watch what people's responses were, and they would laugh. He makes jokes, and people would respond to him in a human way. Then I've really done my job if I've humanized a really horrible person.
The Duffer Brothers are so attentive to story and detail while being wildly respectful of me and what I bring to the process.
In a sense, human beings are human beings. Their feelings of aloneness, of brokenness, their feelings of hurt and disappointment, are universal. It's the ways they choose to act on their feelings that separates them.
My natural state is a state of an explorer - a performer, but someone who wants to explore their experience and reflect on their experience more than just lie on the beach. Even when I go on vacations, I get stressed out if I'm at the beach for, like, two days. I'm like, 'Can't we do something? I can't just sit there.'
What I'm dealing with in 'Hellboy' is a lot different, bigger in a certain way. It's very Shakespearean. It's demons and witches and stuff like that. But it has a similar core to a dude who's trapped in horrible circumstances who's just trying to be a good guy.
I don't want to do procedural: I want to do longform.
I love to watch human beings figuring out their limitations.
I think people feel like other people are very different from them... And that people who are different from them are actually sort of unworthy of the same rights or empathy. I don't understand that.
Sometimes I feel like, those superheroes, if you threw a cookie at them, they would be more terrified than the villain because they might have to eat a carbohydrate.
If you are misunderstood, I want you to know that I feel the same way.
People are more complicated than you give them credit for.
Myself, I suffer from loneliness. And I think we all feel alone. I'm looking for stories that help people deal with loneliness and help them if they are monsters: they don't have to undertake monstrous actions. And maybe they're not monsters.
One of my impulses in acting has always to make people feel less alone.
Those Duffer Brothers really know how to tell a story, and I think it makes you want to watch. 'Stranger Things' is remarkably watchable.
I don't even know what memes are, I'm, like, an old person, so I don't really know what a meme is.
I'm a big fan of public trust.
That's all I've ever wanted to do is to feel like what you're doing moves someone, and that ultimately, maybe they can make a different choice in their life that may be better, right?
The fact that I got famous and became a sex symbol around my normal, frumpy, love-handled self is so gratifying - and, dare I say, culturally gratifying as well.
I've always been passionate about the stories I want to tell.
Social media should be more like a cocktail party than anything else. You can have your fun jokes, and you can also express yourself and your beliefs. It's a conversation, not a sledgehammer.
I grew up doing regional Shakespeare, and when Hamlet sees the ghost of his father, there's something about that that you don't really do in film anymore.
If acting has any meaning, it is so that we can have greater empathy for other people.
I loved 'True Detective' so much in Season 1, and then when the Season 2 monstrosity came around, I was like, 'What is this show? What have you done to this show?'
As much as I can, I like to curate the information the people know personally about me.
I have one thing to say about the mental asylum. I've romanticized two things in my life, and both have fallen short. One is being in a mental asylum. Really, really not as fun as you think it is.
I'm terrified of the unknown, which is a driving force for me. I like this idea that the things that terrify us also draw us in.
With 'Deadpool' and 'Logan,' they are trying to do different things.
People who are deep thinkers, who have sort of a weird way of looking at the universe, are wildly attractive to me.
What makes someone sexy in my mind is who they are. It's not necessarily how they look.
I was sober for, like, a year and a half, and I was 25, and I actually did have a manic episode, and I was diagnosed as bipolar.
I would like to see sexiness sort of embodied in people's real bodies, as opposed to those bodies that are just full of narcissism.
I can like Michael Keaton's Batman, and I can like Christian Bale's Batman.
When that Twitter account came out, @HopperDancingTo, and they put me to all these different songs, I thought that's pretty much one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I watched that for a couple hours straight, him dancing to George Michael and all these stupid songs.
I feel like Shakespeare is so epic, in a way that sci-fi genre stuff is epic, it transcends the mundane, and it takes you to this place of real passion and real beauty.
All the work I do is personal, so the good stuff and the bad stuff that you see in there is all good stuff and bad stuff that I have, and part of the journey, for me, has been to embrace these things that I find embarrassing about myself: my stubbornness, my ego, my maudlin-ness - these things that I see myself do, and I go, 'Oh, David, stop that!'
We are united in that we are all human beings, and we are all together on this horrible, painful, joyous, exciting, and mysterious ride that is being alive.
I tend to find that movies have become so slick that I have trouble identifying with the characters.
I think that's what 'Stranger Things' does, it opens you up - it has a real beating heart to it.
There is a lot of good television out there, stuff that is better for you than 'Stranger Things,' that, critically, people would be like, 'This is an important show,' but I would press you to find a show that's more watchable. That's hard to do.
I was very resistant to my intellectualism for a while. I do start with an intellectual idea for a character. A lot of the times, it'll be the opposite of what I feel like is on the page, or it'll be just an idea that I read in a psychology textbook or in a philosophy book. I'll apply something to it that I can start to tinker with.
I think one of the worst notes I think I've ever received was Ang Lee on 'Brokeback Mountain.' He came in on coverage, and he was like, 'More, more handsome.' I was like, 'I'll try that.'
I actually went back and watched all of 'True Detective''s Season One again, which I think is a true masterpiece.
I can like Jack Nicolson's Joker, and I can like Heath Ledger's Joker. There's other Jokers I don't have to like.
I feel, in storytelling, people are so afraid that you won't get it unless you pound them over the head.
I feel like the most human among us are the weirdest among us. Those voices can be the most creative and the most special. You look around at your parents, your friends, your aunts and uncles, and you realize nobody is normal.
If I was in high school, and we had Twitter, and Harrison Ford was on Twitter, I totally would have tweeted him and asked for him to take my high school photos with me.
I do feel like anything benefits from character logic. That can be from the dumbest ad to the greatest Shakespearean drama to the silliest 'Saturday Night Live' sketch. There is a certain specificity in detail, which you can get when you're paying attention to stuff like that.
People are three-dimensional. They're not good or bad. They're not righteous or unrighteous. They are a million different things.
All I've ever wanted to do as an actor was move people.
Netflix sees people as users or subscribers or customers. Historically, networks have seen people as viewers.
I did a movie with Jamie Foxx that was kind of action, and, you know, Jim Hopper's a little bit action; he does throw a good punch.

Salary (2)

Stranger Things (2016) $80,000 per episode (Season 1 & 2)
Stranger Things (2016) $350,000 per episode (Season 3)

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed