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[VIDEO] David Harbour on Jim Hopper’s “Completely Different Arc” in Stranger Things Season 2 and Feeling Like He’s in the Upside Down

We were at the Writers Guild Awards last night, where Police Chief Jim Hopper himself talked to us about Stranger Things season 2, aliens, and how we all sometimes feel like we’re in The Upside Down. Celebrities, they’re just like us!

Naturally, David Harbour was careful to avoid spoilers, but he talked a bit about what kind of emotional journey the protector of Hawkins will go through when season 2 arrives in October. After all, season 1 Jim Hopper was all about skepticism, research, and alcohol. Now that he knows what was happening at the Department of Energy, he’ll probably react a bit differently when he’s confronted with eerie weirdness. Harbour calls Hopper a “newfound man” who will struggle to “continue to rise to the occasion.” That challenge definitely explains that troubled expression he has on his face in the recent photos from Netflix. Poor guy is roped, yet again, into some scary stuff. I also asked him if he believes in the supernatural or aliens, and he said no.

Here’s a transcript of Harbour’s answers!

On whether or not he expected Stranger Things to be the phenomenon it is and how that feels:

Not at all, I did not think it would be a phenomenon at all. I thought that we’d have a small following of sci-fi geeks and stuff like that, but the fact that it exploded in the way that it did was just–it’s super fun and it gives us a kind of focus now to even take it to the next level. I think we’re all gung-ho about people love this show so we have to make it even better now.

On how Jim Hopper’s story will change, since he spends so much of season 1 being a skeptic jerk and now he’s seen some things:

It’s interesting, his arc is completely different from the first season. The first season he starts out as kind of a jerk–he hates kids, and then he starts to kind of rise to the occasion, he starts to find a reason to live again and that is a beautiful journey.

Now, in season 2 he’s found a reason to live but we’re a year later, this event has happened in this town, and some people know about it and some do. And he’s sort of pulled in all these different directions now and he’s got a completely different arc where he is this newfound man, but we’re going to see where that goes and if you really can continue to rise to the occasion or if he has to revert back to who he was. So it’s an exciting journey.

“Do you believe in aliens or the supernatural?”

I do not, but I have had some friends who have told me some pretty wacky experiences. But I myself think it’s all what we see right now.

When asked if he ever feels like he’s in The Upside Down:

I do very much feel like I’m in The Upside Down. Yes, very often. Throughout my 20 years of having been out of college and as an adult I have very much felt times where I’ve felt like I’m in The Upside Down.

Are you excited to see Jim Hopper go through more struggle in Stranger Things season 2?

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