The SAG-AFTRA strike is officially over and David Harbor is set to return to Hawkins as the beloved and grumpy police chief Jim Hopper.
On the red carpet at the BoxLunch gala honoring Feeding America, where Harbor was named a Giving Ambassador, he expressed his excitement about returning to the set of “Stranger Things.” He expressed a sense of urgency to return to work, sharing that production could resume in “just a few days.”
When asked what was first on his post-strike schedule, Harbor responded, “I mean, we have to film the final season of ‘Stranger Things,’ right?” I should be there in a few days. We have to go – we’re late.
Production on the final season of the Duffer Brothers’ hit Netflix series, which infuses classic sci-fi elements with 1980s nostalgia, was halted along with other film and television projects when labor strikes the WGA and SAG-AFTRA began earlier this year.
Harbor also spoke about the importance of the strike and what the new contract means for emerging players. He reflected on the artist protections provided by the tentative agreement between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP, and how that compared to his experience as a young, burgeoning actor in New York in the early 2000s.
“We had a show there called ‘Law and Order,’” he said. “And we would all work on off-Broadway shows where they are literally allowed to pay you nothing. And then Dick Wolf hired us for an episode of “Law and Order.” And we would be able to live on this episode of “Law & Order” for a year and train to become the actors, the stars, that we are today. And I don’t think I could have survived without this model.
He continued to welcome the progress coming from the ongoing negotiations, saying: “I think one of the beautiful things now is that we are taking care of the people who are still training to become the stars of tomorrow – giving them a decent salary. . I think it’s fantastic.
Harbour’s Hopper is known for both his gruff personality and an underlying tenderness that endears him to audiences. Although “Stranger Things” is coming to an end soon, Harbor doesn’t want to completely let go of his character.
When asked what qualities of Hopper he would like to take with him beyond the series, Harbor replied, “I hope it’s not his broken inability to express his emotions directly… But certainly his strength, his courage, his dedication. His powerful love for his family and for good and evil – his ideas about justice.