Stranger Things Actor David Harbor Opens Up About Battling Mental Illness As Netflix Season 4 Returns | Ents & Arts News

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Stranger Things actor David Harbor has described mental illness as “a natural condition of poverty” while reflecting on fame as the popular series returns to Netflix.

Harbour, 47, rose to fame for his portrayal of Jim Hopper in the sci-fi drama series Stranger Things and also made headlines when he married British pop star Lily Allen.

However, he reflected on how success later in life affected his mental health over the years due to “worry about not having enough money to live on”.

Speaking to Big Issue magazine about his experience living with bipolar disorder, he said: “My particular big problem is what society would call mental illness.

“I was diagnosed as bipolar at 26 after an episode that landed me in an institution.

“I’ve definitely been in and out of the system. And there were times in my life when I could have very easily found myself on the streets, but luckily I had a family who was able to support me during those difficult and very trying times.”

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While assessing potential triggers for mental illness, Harbor added that poverty played a role.

He said: “It’s not like a broken leg. What defines insanity is social inadequacy. But it’s very socially inappropriate, in a sense, not having enough money to live.

“Being mentally ill is a natural condition of poverty. When you can’t participate in society by going out to buy your lunch and going to a store and all that, it will drive you crazy.

“It’s chicken and egg. They go together.”

Before landing the role of Hopper in Stranger Things, Harbor had many acting roles, none of which ever made him famous.

He said: “I hit the age of 35 and in my mind I had done pretty well. I could pay rent for an apartment, have food on the table and I was very happy with that. happy.

“The dream of being on a talk show was always the marker for me and I gave up at 35.

The cast of Stranger Things at the premiere of season 4 in New York
Image:
The cast of Stranger Things at the premiere of season 4 in New York

“And then it hit really hard a month after I hit 40. I remember walking in and I was really upset because I was still in this place where I didn’t have any money, I was worried how I was going to pay my rental.

“I thought it was one of those situations, which you often encounter when you’re a journeyman actor where they’ve offered the part to a star.

“They’re just looking for a backup. I loved the script but didn’t really invest a lot in it.”

Reflecting on the success of Stranger Things, which won multiple Emmys and received four Golden Globe nominations, Harbor said: “Even when we were shooting it, I felt like it was a show I would love but that no one would watch.

“It was unlike anything I had experienced in my career. One by one I started getting tons of text messages saying, ‘Stranger Things is amazing, I love this show.’

“I’ve never experienced this before or since. It was truly a magical moment. The reviews and the numbers hadn’t arrived but I knew at that moment that it was something special that really touched the people.”

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