David Harbour Says He Wants to Focus on Movies After ‘Stranger Things’: “I Got More in Me”

David Harbour Says He Wants to Focus on Movies After ‘Stranger Things’: “I Got More in Me”

While David Harbour is appreciative of the success Stranger Things has brought him, he is ready to focus on projects for the big screen.

During an interview with Insider, published online Wednesday and conducted before SAG-AFTRA went on strike, the actor explained that a “whole new world opened up” for him after his role in 2022’s Violent Night and he wants to continue on that path.

“I’ve been on Netflix … but this was a small original movie that’s going to a cinema,” he said of the 2022 film, which sees him as Santa Clause, trying to save a family held hostage on Christmas Eve. “I like this playing field. I want to make original movies that go to the movie theaters.”

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Harbour has been previously open about feeling like “it’s definitely time” to move past Jim Hopper in the Duffer brothers-created show, but he’s actually ready to move past the TV medium as a whole.

“The first year of Stranger Things, I remember having a discussion with a publicist and her saying, ‘Maybe you don’t want to be associated with the show so much,’ and I was like, ‘Why? I love this show. I love the character,’” he recalled. “And I do love the show. And I do love the character, but I don’t want to be just that character. I don’t want to be just that guy.”

He continued, “I think about George Clooney leaving ER. Now we just see him as George Clooney, but there was a time when it was, ‘The guy from ER is doing a movie with Nicole Kidman.’”

Though the fifth and final season of Stranger Things is currently delayed due to the ongoing writers and actors strikes, Harbour admitted that he is thinking about life after Hawkins and “trying to navigate” what’s next.

“It’s tricky because you don’t want to shit on the people that love you for this thing that you did that you also love,” he said. “But at the same time, you kind of want to leave the nest. I got more in me. I got different stuff in me, and I want you guys to see that. I don’t want people yelling ‘Hopper’ on the street every five minutes the rest of my life.”

Since Stranger Things‘ debut in 2016, Harbour has starred in a handful of films, including Hellboy, Violent Night, We Have a Ghost, Black Widow and Gran Turismo, which is set to premiere Aug. 25.