Over the years, David Harbour has had supporting parts in many popular films like Brokeback Mountain but his real breakthrough came when he managed to secure a leading role on one of the most well-known shows of all time – Stranger Things. His performance as Jim Hopper transformed him into a true global icon.
In an interview, Hopper reflected on the impact of Stranger Things and the details about the new season. The actor also opened up about his own acting process and criticised the omnipresent use of method acting, claiming that the various techniques of method acting had nothing to do with acting at all.
He said: “When I was younger — it’s so embarrassing — but I remember playing that famous Scottish King and being like, ‘I’m gonna kill a cat’ or something: ‘I’m gonna go murder something to know what it feels like to murder.’ I didn’t actually do it, obviously. Not only is that [method acting] stuff silly, it’s dangerous, and it actually doesn’t produce good work.”
Harbour cited the example of Daniel Day-Lewis who is often seen as the perfect representation of method acting. According to Harbour, Day-Lewis’ process fails to impress him: “He’s an extraordinary actor who I’m captivated and fascinated by. [But] when he explains his process it sounds like nonsense to me.”
Recently, other prominent actors have also criticised method acting including Mads Mikkelsen who said: “It’s bullshit. But preparation, you can take into insanity. What if it’s a shit film — what do you think you achieved? Am I impressed that you didn’t drop character? You should have dropped it from the beginning! How do you prepare for a serial killer? You gonna spend two years checking it out?”