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The Worst Advice New Hellboy Actor David Harbour Was Ever Given By A Director

david harbour in brokeback mountain

David Harbour has taken a lot of different types of roles over the years. He's become more of a household name recently thanks to stints on Stranger Things and getting cast in the upcoming Hellboy reboot, but back before most of us knew him by name, he had a small role in Brokeback Mountain. And it's a role that will forever live in David Harbour's memory because of the totally bizarre advice Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee gave Harbour during filming. The actor recently told the story at a San Diego Comic-Con panel, noting,

It was kinda like there was a language barrier. And it was kinda mysterious and zen-like. I had a little part in a film called Brokeback Mountain, I'm sure you don't remember me, I was like the third gay cowboy in a two cowboy movie... I remember we were doing the close-up. I came in and it was angle-y. We were doing the last take, coming in tight. [The Director] came in and ran up to the monitor and said, 'OK, OK good.' And then we did it again. 'OK, OK good.' And then finally on the third take he runs up and says, 'OK, OK. More handsome.' Hired the wrong guy!

If there's anything you'll notice about David Harbour if you ever sit in on a panel or interview with him, it's that he's self-deprecating, but in an amusing way. The Brokeback Mountain scene was laid out pretty clearly by Harbour, here, with the actor noting that he had a bit part in a movie--a part so small it's unlikely the average person would remember it. But it will forever be burned into Harbour's memory because Ang Lee seemed pleased enough about the takes for most of the day, and the one note he gave David Harbour was that he needed to be more handsome.

During the Brave New Warriors Panel that also featured Ricky Whittle, Rodrigo Santoro, Christopher Meloni, Richard Rankin and Colin O'Donoghue, plenty of the other actors had awkward director stories. Westworld actor Rodrigo Santoro also admitted that one director told him that he needed to tone himself down and be "a little less Latino" while filming a sex scene. And Scottish born and bred Outlander actor Richard Rankin says it's very common--and frustrating--for directors to think they want Scottish accents, and tell him they want Scottish accents, only to force him into a crisper accent as shooting wears on.

History has shown that directors and actors do clash on occasion, and if David Harbour's worst story really is that one time a director told him he was too ugly for one scene, things could be far worse. Still, we can see how this interaction with the director was burned into his brain. We can't wait to hear how things go down on the set of the Hellboy reboot. In the meantime, you can can catch Stranger Things Season 2 when it hits Netflix on October 27.

Jessica Rawden

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.