David Harbour felt the pressure of filming Hopper and Joyce's reunion on Stranger Things 4

·3 min read
David Harbour felt the pressure of filming Hopper and Joyce's reunion on Stranger Things 4

David Harbour let out an expletive the moment he learned his character would reunite with his closest confidant, Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), in the script for Stranger Things 4: Volume 1.

In one of the many big moments in the first volume of season 4, Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper (Harbour) is rescued by Joyce and former investigate journalist and Russian expert Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman) at a high security prison in Kamchatka in episode 7. After Hopper and his Russian pal Enzo (Tom Wlaschiha) narrowly escape a demogorgon, he comes face to face with Joyce and the two share an emotional embrace.

Harbour told IndieWire he felt the pressure to film such a pivotal moment in an interview published Sunday. "It's an amazing moment. And the problem with amazing moments are that you read them in the script and you're just like 'F---,'" Harbour said. "You just feel the pressure. Here it is: He's been away, he feels like he's killed her. He's in such despair, and then lo and behold, his miracle, his knight in shining armor who saves him is this woman that he cares so much for."

STRANGER THINGS. David Harbour as Jim Hopper in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. David Harbour as Jim Hopper in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Netflix David Harbour as Jim Hopper in 'Stranger Things'

The actor said the crew shot the "epic" moment in various ways before landing on the final scene. "Initially there were some that we did where she'd run over to me and I just embraced her [right there and then]," he said. We did about 10 takes of it, and then I was like, 'You know what I think it is, man? I just think he's so in survival mode, I don't even think he thinks she's real.' So when she comes over to him there's this moment where he kind of stares, pulls her away from him and looks at her, and then embraces her again."

"I was really appreciative of the Duffers allowing me to find the reality of this moment," Harbour added. "I had a lot of takes that were big and emotional and all that stuff and then I was like, 'No, it's got to be simple, it's gotta be weirder than that.' And I was very happy we all came to that and that they let us use that take because I think it is the most sophisticated."

The actor also teased that the final two episodes, premiering on Netflix on July 1, will be "a race to the finish." Viewers will be "blown away," Harbour said. Series creators and showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer previously told EW the conclusion would be much darker than seasons past.

"We're dealing with darker themes, and issues that come along with being a teenager, because for at least Ross and I, and I think for most people, high school is a challenging time," Matt teased. "And you're experiencing a lot of dark emotions for the first time. Whereas for us, middle school was such a magical time."

Matt continued, "And that was why that was reflected in season 1, whereas this has gotten darker... We wanted the whole season to feel like everybody is in jeopardy. And we felt like that was something you couldn't really do as well when they were these cute little kids. But now, you know, everybody's life is on the line." Ross added of Vecna, "With this formidable monster that they've come across. He doesn't mess around."

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