David Harbour Nearly Quit Acting Before Stranger Things

Hap in his office in Stranger Things

In just a month's time it will be one year since Netflix released the sci-fi period piece Stranger Things. Since then, the Duffer Brothers' series has become pop culture royalty, with tons of Netflix subscribers binge watching it and even dressing up as the various characters during last year's Halloween. The fantastic ensemble cast has since been racking up tons of new acting jobs; this includes David Harbour, who will be taking the helm of Hellboy when the franchise is rebooted. But it turns out that Habour nearly quit acting, with his role as Hop in Stranger Things stopping him from going through with it.

David Harbour recently spoke to the LA Times ahead of Stranger Things' sophomore season. It was here that Harbour revealed his plans to quit the business, before landing the character Hopper in the popular series.

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.' And then these two young dudes, these North Carolina Duffer brother dudes sent me the script and they were really interested in me. But I was like, 'This is a lead in Netflix, there's no way I'm going to get it. This is amazing. There's no way.' And the script was so beautiful, well-written, sweet, fun and exciting. It was an indie movie and then you throw in like Jaws, a shark or something. I went in, read one scene and signed on very early.

What a fantastic story. It shows how hard work and perseverance can really pay off, and how quitting can lead to missed opportunities.

During upfront season, networks usually end up dolling out cancellations like they're candy. This is exactly what happened with NBC's short lived State of Affairs. Starring Katherine Heigl, Alfre Woodard, and David Habour, the political drama ran for one season in 2014. And despite Harbour's already impressive career, this news nearly caused the actor to leave the biz. Luckily, the audition for Stranger Things came shortly thereafter, and Harbour saw what an original and fantastic concept the Duffer Brothers were working with.

And that timing is extremely lucky, as David Harbour is now seeing a resurgence in his career following the massive success of Stranger Things. In addition to his viral acceptance speech upon Stranger Things' SAG Awards win, he'll also be playing the title character in 2018's Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen. With other cast members like Shannon Purser and Millie Bobby Brown booking tons of new work, it looks like we'll be seeing plenty more of Harbour in the future.

Stranger Things release Season 2 in its entirety October 31st on Netflix. In the meantime, check out our summer premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.