Stranger Things: David Harbor Talks Hopper’s ‘Spiritual Resurrection’ And Why Fans ‘Can’t Imagine’ The Ending

In 2019 the world saw him die, heroically sacrificing himself to close a portal that linked our world with an alternate dimension, inhabited by monsters as powerful as they are ruthless. In order to save those he loves, Jim Hopper, police chief of the fictional town of Hawkins, assumed his destiny with a smile on his face and the conviction that he was doing the right thing. But in stranger things, perhaps the most popular series on Netflix, nothing is what it seems. And in early 2020, the first trailer for the show’s fourth season showed him alive, imprisoned in a high-security prison in Kamchatka and at the mercy of the Russian military. Miracle? Magic? Temporary trip? Just a flash back?

Pandemic through, two years later than expected, the answers will arrive via streaming and with a dropper, starting on Friday the 27th, when the new episodes of the first part of the fiction capture the global attention of millions of fans (the second will arrive in July part). Exclusively, in the middle of the promotional tour of the series, David Harbour, the man who plays Jim Hopper, spoke with LA NACIÓN via Zoom, telling what can be told and fantasizing about the future of the character after the end that is approaching .

–Without spoiling anything, what can you tell us about Jim Hopper coming back to life?

-I can’t say how it happens, but I can anticipate that it is a kind of spiritual resurrection, something that the character needed to go through. How to explain what happens? We meet Hopper months after the end of the third season, imprisoned in Russia, in a wild environment and dealing with a lot of problems, so he is someone very different from what we knew. Although he is not really dead, in a sense he is, because a part of him is gone. And we are going to see him resurrected as a different person from the one he used to be.

–So, it is more about a redemption than a resurrection?

-Yes. To change, you have to redeem yourself. That is why he is resurrecting, because he has to expel or purge the secret that he has been keeping to himself. In the previous season, Hopper reached his limit in terms of the kind of father he wanted to be, the kind of man he could be, and the kind of cop he needed to be. But now, hopefully, he will be able to expel these dark secrets that haunted him and made him feel like a cursed person. If he makes it back, he’ll be a better father, a better man, and a better cop.

In the happier times of season three, Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder)
In the happier times of season three, Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder)Netflix

Born in New York in April 1975, David Harbor made his professional debut in 1999, with a small role in the Broadway production of The Rainmaker. Making a name for himself in the profession, he was alternating various participations in TV series (Law and Order, Pan Am, The Newsroom)cinema (Brokeback Mountain, War of the Worlds, 007: Quantum of Solace) and plays (?Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Merchant of Venice Y The price of ambition, the last two sharing the stage with Al Pacino). In 2015, he answered the call of the brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, who had thought of him as the adult protagonist of Montauk, about a secret US government project to develop psychic warfare techniques, manipulate electromagnetic fields, and time travel. Halfway between horror and science fiction, the series would be set in the 80s because, in reality, it was a love letter to the films of Steven Spielberg and the novels of Stephen King, which marked the popular culture of that decade.

When Netflix took over the project, the series took the definitive name of stranger things, won the choral leading role of a group of teenagers and Harbor stepped into the shoes of Jim Hopper, a sarcastic and somewhat violent policeman, existentially broken, who seeks to exorcise the premature death of his daughter and the collapse of his marriage through the abusive consumption of pills and booze. The irruption of the supernatural and the political conspiracy will force him to rethink his actions, recovering the capable, brave and compassionate man that he used to be. Over the course of three seasons, he will evolve from pitiful self-destruction to commitment to the Hawkins community, eventually forming a warm relationship with Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) and legally adopting Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), a young orphan with telepathic and psychokinetic powers.

Actor David Harbor does not deny the possibility of leading his own spinoff of the series
Actor David Harbor does not deny the possibility of leading his own spinoff of the seriesShutterstock

–Which Jim Hopper are we going to see more in this fourth season: the action hero or the father figure?

-As the episodes progress, I think they will be able to glimpse the two. But they will find a much cruder and more brutal version of this same person. Don’t just think of Hopper as a father taking care of his daughter, now he’s a brutal man who has to do brutal things to get out of a brutal environment. That’s the prevailing Hopper, definitely.

no one expected that stranger things would end up being the mass phenomenon it became. Released in July 2016, it grew to become the platform’s flagship series, rising to the podium it had previously occupied. House of Cards Y Orange is the New Black. The response of the public allowed the development of a second season (2017) and a third (2019). In 2020, while preparing for the release of the fourth part, the Duffers announced that the series would end in its fifth season. “For what we want to count, four is few and six are too many,” the brothers declared. That’s why we stay at five. And we already know how it’s going to end.”

–What can you tell us about the end of Stranger Things? If you know something, of course.

I know a lot, but I’m not going to say anything. It’s just going to be something spectacular. The Duffer brothers are great filmmakers and I know they are going to give the series the most satisfying ending for everyone. It is something that they have been building from the beginning, and it is going to make them return to see the program from the first season, but with another perspective. A tremendous, great, enormous closure that does justice to that beautiful group of characters: Eleven, Joyce, Hopper and all the rest. As long as they survive season four. It’s nothing that the fans can imagine, but I promise to read all the theories that appear on the internet.

Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbor in Stranger Things
Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbor in Stranger ThingsArchive

To Harbour, like the rest of the main cast, stranger things It opened the doors of fame, professional recognition and international consecration for him. She went on to star in the Hollywood tanks hell boy (2019), playing the infernal paranormal detective born in the comic; played the communist superhero Red Guardian, father of Scarlett Johansson in the Marvel production Black Widow (2021); and was part of the acting ensemble that Steven Soderbergh directed in the thriller Not a false step (2021). In addition, he has three feature films waiting to be screened: the fantastic comedy We Have a Ghostthe crime drama The Thrashers and the Christmas cop Violent Night. And a pending walk through the always mysterious Hawkins.

–After the end of Stranger Things, is it possible for Jim Hopper to win his own series? Is it something he would like?

“If Hopper survives, I guess it might be possible.” As long as there’s an interesting story to tell, right? But first we need to know how the series ends and find out if the public wants to continue watching something else. If Hopper survives, I’d like to fantasize about what his life would be like in twenty or twenty-five years. Something similar to what they are now doing with Picard (the Star Trek universe series starring Patrick Stewart, available on Amazon), chronicling the return of a long-married Hopper to Joyce. It’s pure speculation on my part, nothing more than that. It has nothing to do with what we know or don’t know about the series. I don’t know if this is the time to bring this up, but I do know that with Hopper there will always be fun. But first, I have to survive the fourth season of stranger things.

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