David Harbour Said ‘Stranger Things’ Made Him Realize He Wanted a Family

"The show sort of opened my heart in a lot of different ways."

David Harbour has become a family man, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. The Stranger Things actor, who is married to Lily Allen, credited the Netflix show for opening his eyes to having a family of his own. Harbour, who is 46, plays a bit of a father figure to Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven on the hit show, and pretty much showed him what real life could be like if he settled down.

On a recent episode of That Scene with Dan Patrick, Harbour said that for a long time, he was content with his life how it was. But when he started filming Stranger Things, which debuted in 2016, he started to see things a little bit differently.

“The show sort of opened my heart in a lot of different ways, and one of the ways that it did was it started to make me realize how thin my existence was without a family,” he said on the podcast. “I’m very much a New York sort of city rat. I liked my freedom, my independence. And then it was really this part that did change a lot of that perspective.”

He noted that his character, Jim Hopper, matured on the show and settled into Eleven’s father figure, and he said he felt it was something his “subconscious was crying out to do.” In the three seasons of the show, Hopper—who is easily a fan favorite—has changed quite a bit, because Harbour believes the character truly needed a family, and so did he.

Once his heart was open to having a family of his own, he cemented his relationship with Allen, who had two kids of her own. The couple had a pandemic wedding in 2020 in Las Vegas, with Allen’s two girls by their sides. Harbour seems more than thrilled to have the new role of stepdad, even saying that the girls—Marnie and Ethel—were the ones who made him realize that he and Allen should get married sooner rather than later.

“We were riding bikes out in the country trying to figure out what we were gonna do for the next year or however long it was going to take,” he recalled during a June episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!. “And the little one was riding along, and she was going like, ‘David, Dad, David, Dad.’ Because the ‘D’ got her confused,” Harbour continued. “The older one got very upset with that, which I understand, and was like, ‘He’s not our dad! He’s not our dad!'”

So rather than draw out the wedding planning and hem and haw over details, they hopped a plane to Las Vegas and skipped right to the happy family part. They seem happy as can be these days, and maybe they have Netflix to thank for that.

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