David Harbour, who plays Sheriff Jim Hopper on Netflix hit show Stranger Things, has spoken out about his struggle with his bipolar diagnosis for the first time. Harbour, who was born and raised in New York, started acting professionally at 24 when he landed a Broadway role and has seen his career rise to stratospheric heights since winning the role of Sheriff Hopper in the surprise streaming smash hit. In Stranger Things, the troubled Sheriff is struggling with the loss of his child and self medicating with alcohol when he's suddenly thrust into caring for a young girl and helping a plucky band of local kids solve the science fiction mystery surrounding her appearance. Harbour may not be a million miles away from the man he portrays on the show.
With a lot of laughter and acknowledgment of how pedestrian it is to be a part of the tribe nowadays. If someone you love still suffers shame about a diagnosis, or a fellow parent worries that their bipolar kid won’t be able to make it, our @WTFpod could soothe. Last 30mins❤️ https://t.co/hUjExm2ukg— David Harbour (@DavidKHarbour) June 5, 2018
In a podcast by 'WTFpod', David talked about his time spent in what he describes as a 'mental asylum' in his twenties after suffering a mental break. Apparently, his parents sectioned him and send him in for observation because they were concerned after he started to believe he was speaking with God: "I was actually into this Catholicism thing and I was sober for, like, a year-and-a-half. I was 25, and I actually did have a manic episode. I was diagnosed as bipolar. I really had like a bit of a break where I thought I was in connection with God. I wasn't really in connection. It was like I had all the answers suddenly." In trademark fashion, he couldn't help but quip that the experience hadn't quite lived up to his expectations, explaining "Really not as fun as you think it is. No, but you do have a romanticise idea of it – 'you're a genius' – and it just ends up being sad and smells like s***."
Few iPhone snaps off the monitor of shots that didn’t make the cut. For good reason. Bottom right is front and center of the development board for our new soap opera, ‘the bulky and the beautiful.’ Many thanks to @yamphoto , @latimes and @glennwhipp for the lovely article. #jopper heads rejoice. When it rains it pours. #winonaforever http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/la-en-st-stranger-things-winona-ryder-david-harbour-20180523-htmlstory.html
His Stranger Things character has gone on quite the journey over the course of the show so far, taking Eleven in and trying to keep her safe from the Demagorgon who was still terrorising Hawkins. The season ended with the obvious triumph over evil, and Hopper gave Eleven a birth certificate which listed him as her father. Cute! Fan speculation has been rife over what we could be looking forward to with season three, and comments from the Duffer twins who create the show have let slip the fact that Eleven was supposed to die at the end of series one. Could she be on borrowed time? We'll have to wait another year to find out.
Stranger Things is available to stream on Netflix.