David Harbour, who plays Sheriff Jim Hopper on the Netflix series Stranger Things, admits that he was deeply worried about the show failing before it came out.
He made these comments to the WTF Podcast, episode 921.
“When we were shooting it, about four episodes in, I thought ‘Yeah, no one’s going to watch this.’ I thought, you know, ‘I’m not good, and it’s not good,'” he said, and added that he had “grown very cynical” after “a long line of failures.”
David added that at the time, he was also in a play with a more successful actor (whom he does not name) and asked him if it was a bad sign that Netflix was not promoting the series ahead of its release. The other actor confirmed that yeah, they were probably trying to bury it, which made it only more surprising when the show became such a big success.
“They claim now that they did it on purpose, where people claim ownership over it because they discover it and then they tell their friends. And it is kind of brilliant, when you think about it, if that is the case,” David said.
Stranger Things is set during the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. Harbour’s character is the town’s sheriff, who is divorced and also haunted by the death of his daughter years before. He gets caught up in a mystery when a boy in town disappears, at the same time that a girl with psychic powers escapes from a nearby government lab.
The show has proven extremely popular for its mystery elements and its throwback to old Steven Spielberg and Stephen King stories. Two seasons are currently available for streaming on Netflix, while the third is expected out sometime in 2019.
It success has proven great for many of the actors involved, including Harbour. He won a Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, and has been nominated for both a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. It has also revitalized his career, as he has since gained the starring role in Hellboy, also set for release next year.
Whether Netflix really planned a “hands off” case to promote viewer interest, the show has certainly proven successful, so it seems that Harbour should have had a little more faith.