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David Harbour on ‘Problem’ Filming ‘Thunderbolts,’ ‘Stranger Things’


  • David Harbour said that he’ll film “Thunderbolts” and “Stranger Things” simultaneously.
  • His characters Red Guardian and Jim Hopper have physical differences that may cause difficulties.
  • Harbour said he hoped that the production overlap would force creative decisions.

David Harbour expects to have “facial hair conundrums” when shooting Marvel’s “Thunderbolts” and Netflix’s “Stranger Things” simultaneously in 2023.

In an interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, Harbour said that he’ll be filming both “Thunderbolts” and “Stranger Things” at the same time in Atlanta, Georgia, forcing the two productions to “share” him.

Unfortunately, his characters in the two films — Red Guardian in “Thunderbolts,” and Jim Hopper in “Stranger Things” — have different looks. 

“I have facial hair conundrums, I really have to figure that out, it’s a real thing,” Harbour said. 

“Also, you might want to be bigger for Thunderbolts, but you want to be thinner for ‘Stranger Things,'” Weintraub responded. “How do you pull that off?”

“Prosthetics have come a long way in so many different ways, so that’s wonderful,” Harbour said. 

David Harbour as the Red Guardian in “Black Widow.”

Marvel Studios

David Harbour and Winona Ryder on “Stranger Things.”


Harbour’s Red Guardian character (whose non-superhero name is Alexei Alanovich Shostakov,) and his “Stranger Things” persona, Jim Hopper, do have different facial hair: Alexei had a thick beard in “Black Widow,” where the character debuted in the MCU, while Hopper typically sports less facial hair. And because Harbour lost 80 pounds for the latest season of “Stranger Things,” the two characters also sit at different weights. 

This isn’t the first time that Harbour has had to navigate Marvel and “Stranger Things” overlap. The actor told the Los Angeles Times “The Envelope” podcast that he had “secretly” taken pictures on the “Black Widow” set and sent them to “Stranger Things” showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer to avoid overlap given that both projects involved him being held in a Russian prison.

But despite the tricky nature of shooting “Thunderbolts” and “Stranger Things” simultaneously, Harbour said that he hoped that the difficulties would bring about some creative solutions. 

“Hopefully the idea will be, because of these limitations, you have to shoot these two characters back to back, you use that as inspiration,” he told Collider. “What can I do that’ll be really cool for Hopper and really cool for Alexei, that’s gonna be able to do these things in tandem?”


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