David Harbour is probably best known to today's audiences as Jim Hopper on Netflix's smash hit set in the 80s, Stranger Things. Soon the actor will be fronting a big budget comic book adaptation, the reboot of Hellboy. Playing the heroic half-demon required the actor to get on that superhero diet to pack on muscle and cut fat. Judging from the first promotional image, the results speak for themselves and Hellboy will be suitably action figure-y when he returns to the big screen. But some prefer their heroes to look more like the everyman, the Jim Hopper look or the trademark 'dad bod.' David Harbour knows this and will be working his way back into Hawkins Sheriff form. In fact, he says he's already begun the process:
I've already started the donut training. Six donuts a day! We'll get there, folks.
What a struggle; I hope he is strong of will. Seriously that must be quite the swing, going from being in what I imagine is the best shape of his life for Hellboy and having to work his way back down to baseline for Stranger Things. If this new Hellboy is successful and spawns a franchise, which the studio is obviously angling for, he may have to do it all over again.
Of course, for a guy who almost quit acting prior to Stranger Things, you could do a lot worse than getting paid to be ripped and then getting paid to eat donuts. Given the stereotype, it's also pretty funny that he will be getting into 'dad bod' shape to play a cop by eating donuts. Method acting folks. Apparently Stranger Things' Jim Hopper has become a bit of a sex symbol in spite of or a bit in part due to his dad bod. David Harbour has found this surprising and actually really rewarding as he explained to Variety:
The fact that I got famous and become a sex symbol around my normal frumpy love-handled self is so gratifying. And dare I say culturally gratifying as well. What makes someone sexy in my mind is who they are. It's not necessarily how they look. If you have a dad bod, if you wear it well, and still shake your hips pretty good, I feel like you too can be a sex symbol! I think that's what we should venerate as sexy. Not people who eat organic chicken all day and spend nine hours at the gym. That's not a society that I really care about.
It is cool to hear how much fortune has turned for David Harbour. He went from struggling toward a certain body ideal and trying to breakthrough as an actor to finally paying off in such a huge and unexpected way. Thanks to Stranger Things he landed Hellboy and one imagines he will now be a Hollywood mainstay for years to come. He did all of this without having to drastically change his lifestyle or kill himself to reach some unattainable goal. Of course if Hellboy succeeds and Stranger Things continues, along with other roles, David Harbour may find himself in a constant state of body transformation like Hugh Jackman or Christian Bale.
I believe in physical fitness and am no advocate of the dad bod, but David Harbour hits on an important point, that who you are as a person is a big part of what makes you sexy. While I can't testify to Hopper's relative attractiveness or the allure of the dad bod, I imagine that the character of the Hawkins Sheriff also plays a huge part in his appeal. He's a good person and a loving father who works hard to provide and protect. That carries a lot more value than just having a six pack.