Stranger Things Star David Harbour Once Thought About Killing a Cat for a Role

Stranger Things star David Harbour has made it clear in interviews that he'll do some pretty intense things to prepare for his roles – but he pushed that line to the breaking point when he considered killing a cat for a movie part. In a new interview, Harbour talks about how, when he was a younger man trying to find his way as an actor, he nearly took method-acting to a dark extreme: 

"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," Harbour said to GQ. "'I'm gonna go murder something to know what it feels like to murder.' I didn't actually do it, obviously. Not only is that stuff silly, it's dangerous, and it actually doesn't produce good work."

Method-acting has fascinated actors and film fans for years. The process calls for an actor to stay in character throughout an entire production. The Method was given new levels of fame and exposure by actors like Daniel Day-Lewis, who has won the Best Actor Oscar three times (and six overall nominations). However, as classic acting training has crashed through the veil of modern blockbuster franchise filmmaking by the likes of DC, Marvel, and Star Wars, techniques like Method-acting have also taken on new controversy. 

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(Photo: Netflix)

The most infamous example is no doubt Jared Leto, who has approached two major superhero movie roles (Suicide Squad's Joker and the titular Morbius) with total immersion (obsession?) in The Method. Humorous stories have been told about how Leto (or "Joker") terrorized his Suicide Squad castmates with surprise "gifts" like used condoms or dead rats – but one has to wonder how "fun" those encounters were for co-star Margot Robbie and others. The stories of how Leto caused production drags on Morbius by never dropping the act of Michael Morbius' physical crippling – even during bathroom breaks – are far less ambiguous. 

David Harbour has made it clear in interviews that he is drawn to the roles of misfits and "broken" people – and one look at his filmography seems to confirm it. It's a very good thing, then, that Harbour's technique as an actor evolved past The Method, or else he would have to stay immersed in some pretty dark places for a very long time. 

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Stranger Things Season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.