David Harbour lost 75 pounds for Stranger Things season four

**SPOILERS for Stranger Things, Season 4***

The Sheriff Hopper storyline for Stranger Things season four took place in a Russian jail. I understand why they separated Joyce and Hopper from the kids because otherwise it would have simply rehashed the other seasons. I didn’t like the get into/out of/back into the Russian jail storyline, but I appreciated what they did. However, if you put someone in a Russian jail in what appears to be Siberia, the character is going to be physically affected. And that’s what happened to lovable dad-bodied Hopper after being sent to the Upside-down and ending up in Russia to work in a labor camp. He lost all the Dad. David Harbour, who plays Hopper, posted side-by-side shots of the pudgy Hopper and the lean, mean fighting machine Hopper who can kill demogorgons with Conan’s sword. To get into convict shape, David dropped 75 pounds. And apparently, he’s put it all back on to play a murderous Santa Claus.

David Harbour is no stranger to transforming his body.

If there’s one thing Stranger Things fans have noticed in Season 4 of the Netflix series, it’s that Harbour’s beloved character Hopper has lost a significant amount of weight — of course, it’s all explained in the series, which you’ll just have to watch. No spoilers here!

The actor, 47, recently opened up about the process he’s gone through in the last couple years with losing 75 pounds for the latest season then having to gain it all back to play a murderous Santa Claus in the upcoming holiday thriller Violent Night.

“Many of you have asked about Hopper’s physical transformation from season 3 to season 4,” he captioned a series of photos on Instagram.

In the first image, Harbour shares a before and after pic of his slimmed-down character from the third and fourth seasons. In the next photo, he shares a glimpse of the first week when he and his personal trainer, David Higgins, began the process. In the third and final image, Harbour is seen on a shooting day of Stranger Things with black x’s all over his body so video editors can work CGI magic to produce a more “practical effect” of his character’s weight loss.

“All told I lost over 75lbs. 265-270 in season 3 and all the way down to 190 when we shot,” the actor continued. “Recently ballooned up again to play jolly ole st. Nick in a flick I can’t wait for you to see this holiday season, so I am struggling to fight back down towards a good weight for wherever hopper ends up in season 5. All this up and down is not good for the body, and I’ll have to give it up soon, but it is such a fun part of the job to live in a different version of your skin for a while.”

[From Yahoo]

Prior to season four, David played Hellboy, for which he also underwent a physical transformation. So his body was primed for the fluctuation. Still that’s a lot of weight. However, 75 pounds in eight months is about nine pounds a month, which is just about two pounds a week, so that’s within the healthy recommended weight loss. And he worked with a trainer, which means they likely did it in the healthiest way possibly. Although he was mostly clothed, as you can see from the photo above, David really did look gaunt for the show. It’s accurate for the character, but that must have been a tricky weight loss. I know David can’t tell us anything about season five, but I can’t imagine Hopper’s going to go back to sheriff weight right away. I’ll bet he has to lose the Santa weight. And David’s right, all this up and down isn’t good for the body. It makes for an interesting question about fat suits. In this case, David owns the character of Hopper, I couldn’t imagine anyone else stepping into that role. So do we okay him using a fat suit because he’s already established in that role? Of course, in David’s case, I guess he’d have to wear a corset.

In superficial speculation, Winona Ryder’s probably thinking – wait, why do I get the scarecrow? They teased her for years with the schlubby sheriff and now that she gets to roll around in the hay with him, he looks like he’d fly away in a strong wind? I bet she’s petitioning for Hellboy Hopper. Joyce deserves her choice of Hopper.

Photo credit: Instagram and Netflix

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13 Responses to “David Harbour lost 75 pounds for Stranger Things season four”

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  1. Amy T says:

    That’s a lot, but as you point out, he did the weight loss in the healthiest way possible. I’m actually more curious about how he piled on the 75 for the Santa flick. Was it all steak and milkshakes while binging streaming shows, or was a trainer and nutritionist involved. It’s an aspect of acting that, as Harbour points out, isn’t really great for one’s overall health.

  2. Emmi says:

    Is this going to stop at some point? Losing and gaining that much weight is awful for your body. Your liver especially but your gallbladder might flip you off as well. He’s an adult so you do you I guess. But he needs to take a good hard look at Gyllenhaal and McConaughey to name just two guys. After a certain age, losing a ton of weight changes your face for good. It ages you.

    • Both Sides Now says:

      @ Emmi, it is hard on your body and at the core is the rules for Hollywood in the roles that they play. Granted they could make choices based on protection their body from the yo-yoing with their bodies, but I wonder if any of them take that into consideration.

    • ElleV says:

      agreed! i’m sick of the glorification of extreme body transformations just like i’m sick of the glorification of method acting and “suffering for your art”

      if an extreme transformation of a specific actor is necessary, there’s makeup and cg for that, otherwise, just hire someone who physically fits the bill and call it a day

      (no shade to dave harbour tho – love him!)

  3. L84Tea says:

    I’ve never found him particularly attractive–the huge mustache is just too much for me, but I will admit that slimmed down with the buzzcut…Hopper got hot!!

  4. MeganC says:

    Everyone on Stranger Things was super thin this season.

    • wordnerd says:

      I noticed that — and how some of them had their lips plumped and faces tweaked, which is sad because they’re so young.

  5. KBeth says:

    David Harbour is a sexy beast.
    Chubby, slimmed down….either way, I’ll take him.

    • L84Tea says:

      I like a guy with meat on his bones, but the mustache was too Colonel Mustard for me. Without it though…yowza!!

  6. smee says:

    I prefer the more full-bodied Hopper ❤

  7. tealily says:

    “…It is such a fun part of the job to live in a different version of your skin for a while.” I’ve never heard anyone describe a body transformation for a movie that way. It doesn’t seem fun to me, but glad he enjoys it at least.

  8. iseepinkelefants says:

    Agreed he didn’t look good but I’m more worried about Lily Allen. I guess they did it together? And now she’s scary skinny.