'Stranger Things' David Harbour Talks Being Definition Of Dad Bod, Recalls X-Men Audition

Given the vastness of the English language, it's not often that a new word or term gets noticed by Merriam-Webster, the publisher of reference books, most known for their dictionaries. When it came time to define "dad bod," the organization merely tweeted a photo of David Harbour, star of Stranger Things. During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the actor reluctantly accepted the honor of being the "definition" of a dad bod, despite not actually having children.

"Some people win Emmys, some people...ya know," the actor joked. Mirriam-Webster might not have an official definition of the term, but the phrase is often used to describe the physique of an older male who has a slim-to-moderately-sized figure that lacks much muscle definition. The implication being that the term describes a male who used to be in shape and has stopped working out due to having a child, yet isn't overweight.

"I do not have children," the actor pointed out, with Colbert clarifying that it makes it impossible to have a dad bod without actually being a dad.

"Or you're such an amazing actor, that it goes beyond even having children to this place where you have studied dads so intensely, and their bods, that you've just incorporated one, ya know, just like that," the actor described. "It just jumps over the children part."

Despite the success the actor is enjoying for portraying Chief Hopper in the Netflix series, the actor's physique has often hindered his attempts at other roles.

"I did have a moment, like, years ago, I remember an audition. I got called to audition for a character in the X-Men series called 'The Blob,' which is a character who controls gravitational forces with his stomach, basically. He's a big dude," Harbour recalled. "And I remember, at the end of the audition, I made a tape, and at the end of the audition I kind of pulled up my shirt a little bit and I squeezed my belly and I said, 'I got your blob right here,' and the director was apparently very interested in me and he called me in for a meeting at this hotel and I went and I met with him."

One would think Harbour's early embrace of the character's physique would be helpful, but the director had a different opinion.

"He was like, 'David, we love you, we think you're wonderful, you're just a wonderful actor, we're just a little worried about something,'" Harbour reminisced. "And I was like, 'Then there's no problem, let's do this.' And he was like, 'It's just, we saw your stomach, at the end, and we're just worried that you're not going to be able to carry this suit and you're just not healthy enough to play the role.' I was like, 'So you're saying I'm too fat to play The Blob?' That's when I knew I had a dad bod.'"

Harbour was most likely referring to 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in which the character appeared, played by Kevin Durand.


You can see Harbour's dad bod in Stranger Things, now streaming on Netflix.

[H/T YouTube, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert]