David Harbour has responded to comparisons between his Stranger Things and Black Widow roles. The actor gained worldwide recognition for his performance as police chief Jim Hopper in Netflix’s hit series about a group of intrepid kids who seek to uncover the cause of strange events taking place in their home town of Hawkins, Indiana. Throughout Stranger Things, Hopper finds himself battling against a slew of interdimensional monsters from the “Upside Down” and later adopts the telekinetic Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) as his daughter. While the closing moments of season 3 saw him sacrifice himself, Stranger Things season 4 confirmed Hopper survived, only to be captured by Soviet soldiers and taken prisoner in a Russian labor camp.
Following Harbour’s debut as Hopper, the actor began appearing in more big-budget action movies, such as headlining the latest reboot of Hellboy. Harbour also notably appeared in the MCU film Black Widow, as the titular superhero’s father-figure Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian. After stealing S.H.I.E.L.D. intel for Russian intelligence, Shostakov is taken to a prison in Russia, but later rescued by his adopted daughters Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Naturally, viewers have made a number of connections between Stranger Things and Black Widow before, but this similarity between Hopper and Shostakov’s situations has garnered particular attention after the release of Stranger Things season 4.
Now, Harbour himself has reacted to this correlation between the two projects. In response to a Twitter user’s observation that Harbour has now played “a surrogate father…trapped in a Russian prison” twice, the actor shared the post on Instagram, commenting “Alright, let’s hear them all. Allll the jokes. Get it out of your system. Rival Tyler here, who had me laughing out loud.” Check out Harbour’s full response to the Stranger Things and Black Widow comparison below:
Interestingly, the resemblance between Harbour’s characters has had more far-reaching consequences outside of online jokes and observations. The actor recently revealed that Black Widow changed Hopper’s Stranger Things 4 look, as the Duffer Brothers wanted to make sure that Harbour didn’t look identical in Stranger Things to how he did in the MCU blockbuster. Regardless of how apt they may be, it’s clear that the actor thoroughly enjoys the comparisons being made by audiences. His call for users to “rival Tyler here” appears to be an open invitation for more jokes about the uncanny correlation between Hopper and Shostakov.
Given the amount of memes around Stranger Things season 4 that have already begun circulating online, it seems more than likely that Harbour will have his request granted from devotees of the sci-fi/horror series. The similarities between the pair are somewhat impossible to ignore, though it’s likely that Harbour’s Stranger Things and Black Widow characters’ storylines are about to diverge from here on in, as the men are ultimately very different people. That said, with Stranger Things season 4, part 2 releasing on July 1, many may be wondering if there are any more parallels to be found between the hit Netflix series and Black Widow’s solo onscreen outing.
Source: David Harbour