Why David Harbour Has Fan Retweet Contests, According To The 'Stranger Things' Star Himself
Stranger Things fans know him for portraying Sheriff Jim Hopper, but David Harbour's Twitter interactions with fans are another reason why everyone adores him. While speaking with Bustle over the phone about his 2018 Super Bowl commercial with Tide, the 42-year-old actor took a moment to reflect on his Twitter journey and why he grants fans' wishes — like posing with them for their senior portraits.
"It’s a funny thing this interaction with fans, because I’ve had so many different relationships with social media," he explains. "I’ve been on it for the past two years, kind of since [Stranger Things] came out really, [and] I go through different phases where I think it’s a big political platform or I think it’s a place to complain."
It wasn't until he was approaching the end of his first two years on social media that Harbour finally started to see the real benefit of it — bringing people together.
"If I can do something that is annoying to me a little bit and I can reach out to touch someone’s life in a way that might really make their day or might make their month, that’s something where the platform feels pure and genuine and where I can actually add to the world as opposed to just getting in silly arguments," he says.
For him, it's not about getting likes, retweets, or becoming the most beloved person on social media, it's about impacting the world and those living in it. "Ultimately, my goal as an artist is always to bring people together," Harbour says. "I do think we all suffer the same common human experience, which can be so difficult at times. The idea is that I always want to bring people together [and] bring joy into the world in whatever form that I can."
He continues, "I sort of found my niche. We’ll have to see. I don’t want to get annoying about it, like start doing too much, but it’s really fun when it can be these little sort of confections that I can put out into the world. It’s as much fun for me as it is for anybody else."
That said, Harbour jokes, "I get myself into these ridiculous situations. Someone should really be in charge of my life and it shouldn’t be me." However, he has so much fun and realizes how big of an impact he's making in peoples' lives.
When he took senior photos with a fan (above), Harbour says, "It was just sweet and hilarious. I met her whole family and they really enjoyed it." He continues, "This is a fun, little thing, that costs me a little bit, but it can do so much in a playful way that doesn’t feel manipulative or weird."
And the Critics' Choice Award winner says he will always follow through with any promise he makes. As was made clear during Stranger Things Season 1, "friends don't lie" and that's exactly the motto Harbour lives by. "Once I get into [these situations], yeah, friends don’t lie. I don’t lie to people," he says. "If I say I’m going to do something, I am a man of my word."
That also pertains to the Netflix star officiating a fans' wedding, as he vowed to do in January. Yes, he is already looking into getting ordained, but Harbour doesn't want the wedding to become all about him.
"I certainly don’t want their day to be about me," he says. "I want it to be about them. I’m very sensitive to what my involvement could be that could be fun and that would add to the wedding, but that wouldn’t take away and make the day about me, because it is their day."
Another way Harbour is making fans' dreams come true is by starring in a commercial that will air during Super Bowl LII. Who doesn't want to see him pop up during the big game?
As you can watch below, he stars alongside Terry Bradshaw in an ad for Tide. Harbour says of his first commercial ever, "I’ve never done a commercial before. It’s never been something that I’ve been that interested in." He adds, "When they brought this to me, it just really felt as good as an indie film. I was like, 'Why would I not? This is hilarious and amazing and I want to do this.' The fact that it’s on such a big, grand scale like this, it’s just really fun."
Even though he says he's "not a huge sports guy" and is "more a sit on the couch guy and eat doughnuts and read The New Yorker guy", Harbour is glad he's part of the Super Bowl in this way, especially when it comes to working with Bradshaw.
"That guy's like a force of nature and just enormous in every way," Harbour says of the former NFL player. "I'm a huge person in real life. I'm like uncomfortably large. I'm like 6'3 1/2", 6'4", I, you know, weigh a tremendous amount. So, in general, I'm the largest creature in any given room. In that room, Terry Bradshaw both in personality and in actual frame was larger than me and I had a moment of intimidation."
Harbour is also sure to note that they had a great time filming together and Bradshaw embodies a lot of "kindness and sweetness".
Fans will definitely want to keep an eye out for Harbour's Super Bowl commercial when it airs in its entirety on Sunday, Feb. 4 — and, of course, keep checking his Twitter for whatever fan wish he grants next.