David Harbour says method acting is “silly and dangerous”

“It actually doesn’t produce good work”

David Harbour has called method acting “silly and dangerous” in a new interview.

The actor, best known for playing Jim Hopper in Netflix series Stranger Things, offered his thoughts on the controversial acting technique during an interview with GQ.

“When I was younger – it’s so embarrassing – but I remember playing that famous Scottish King, and being like, ‘I’m gonna kill a cat’, or something, ‘I’m gonna go murder something to know what it feels like to murder,’” Harbour said.


“I didn’t actually do it, obviously. Not only is that [method acting] stuff silly, it’s dangerous, and it actually doesn’t produce good work.”

Stranger Things
David Harbour as Jim Hopper in ‘Stranger Things’ season four CREDIT: Netflix

Speaking about actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who famously adopts method acting, Harbour added: “He’s an extraordinary actor who I’m captivated and fascinated by. [But] when he explains his process it sounds like nonsense to me.”

Earlier this year, Mads Mikkelsen called the use of method acting “pretentious” and criticised actors who don’t drop their character off-camera.

“Preparation, you can take into insanity,” Mikkelsen said. “What if it’s a shit film – what do you think you achieved? Am I impressed that you didn’t drop character? You should have dropped it from the beginning! How do you prepare for a serial killer? You gonna spend two years checking it out?”

Speaking about possibly working with Day-Lewis, Mikkelsen added: “I would have the time of my life, just breaking down the character constantly.


“I’m having a cigarette? This is from 2020, it’s not from 1870 – can you live with it? It’s just pretentious.”

Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer recently announced they’re working on a spin-off and stage play based on the Netflix series, alongside the fifth and final season.

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