‘Stranger Things’ actor David Harbour says ‘it’s gratifying’ to watch cast-mates grow

‘Stranger Things’ season 5 was set to begin production in June 2023 but hit a snag due to SAG-AFTRA strike
‘Stranger Things’ season 5 was set to begin production in June 2023 but hit a snag due to SAG-AFTRA strike

Before the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, David Harbour, who plays Jim Hopper and acts as a paternal figure to the kids in Stranger Things, discussed his perspective on witnessing his fellow cast members grow up during the show’s first four seasons in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

He said, “ …early on, it was very funny to see the sprouts of Stranger Things kids. We had, like, five of them that first season. The brood keeps growing, but they were all little saplings.”

He added that he had his own ideas about what the young cast members would end up doing, but was always surprised by them. “So we all put bets on various ones going in various ways, and I was wrong about every single one of them. So it’s gratifying, sometimes, and not gratifying the next. But it’s been interesting to see kids surprise me in this business.”

During the filming of Stranger Things season 1, the young actors’ ages aligned with the characters, around 12 years old. By season 4 in 2022, characters had aged to about 15, in their first year of high school.

However, the actors were already in their late teens to early twenties. The start of filming for season 5 is delayed due to a double strike, causing the once child-aged cast to become adults before reprising their iconic roles.

The actors’ ages could disrupt series continuity. If season 5 follows season 4 closely, actors would portray 15-year-olds, even though they’re in their twenties.

A prevalent theory suggests season 5 might feature a time jump, aligning cast and characters’ ages. Harbour hinted at this, mentioning the new season won’t immediately follow season 4. A substantial time jump could bridge the gap between characters’ ages and actors’ mature appearances, restoring coherence.

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