Exactly How David Harbour Lost 80 Lbs in 8 Months for ‘Stranger Things 4’

  • David Harbour opened up about losing 80 lbs. for his role as Chief Jim Hopper in Stranger Things season 4.

  • The 47-year-old shed the weight in eight months using Pilates and intermittent fasting.

  • “I don’t think I’ll ever do that again,” he said of his intense weight loss journey.

If you’ve seen David Harbour over the last year, you’ve likely noticed some changes to his appearance.

Warning: Stranger Things season 4 spoilers ahead.

And, if you watched Stranger Things 4 in its entirety, you know that David Harbour’s Chief Jim Hopper looks a lot different than he did in previous seasons. After being held captive in a Russian prison eating a diet of “watery soup, moldy bread, and maggots,” as he says in the finale, the once hardy dad is quite gaunt—which is a transformation Harbour had to spearhead in his real life. The actor recently told British GQ that he lost 80 lbs. for the role, and he doesn’t care to do it again.

“I lost about 80 lbs. from season 3—I was about 270 [then], and when we shot [season 4] I was around 190,” he explained. And he did it all in just eight months with Pilates workouts and intermittent fasting, he told the outlet.

“I don’t think I’ll ever do that again,” he continued, adding that the weight quickly returned for a new role. “I have this Santa Claus movie [Violent Night] coming out for Universal in December and I gained [it all back]. But now, yeah, never again. The prosthetics are too good,” he said.

In fact, they’re so good that they allowed him to transform into past Hopper for season 4 flashback scenes. At the end of season 3, fans thought his character had died in an Upside Down gate explosion, when in fact, he was captured and imprisoned.

On Instagram, Harbour explained that he suggested filming season 4 “post ‘death’” flashback scenes before he lost the weight to avoid continuity issues. But they hadn’t been written yet. Luckily, the hair and makeup team came to his rescue and recreated his “‘fuller hopper’ face,” as he called it. And because season 4 Hopper rocks a cleanly shaved head, they even had to place prosthetic hair for the scenes.

“I hate prosthetics, but Barry/team made it as painless as possible. The results speak for themselves,” Harbour captioned photos of his transformation. “We only had one shot at it🙀.”

As for what’s going to happen in season 5, Harbour’s guess is just as good as any. Season 4 ended with Hawkins residents fleeing an “earthquake” that ripped the town in half. But Hopper and his crew know the supernatural powers responsible for such destruction.

“There’s like, huge rift earthquakes going through all of Indiana, one would assume,” he told GQ. “So I don’t know what the f*ck is gonna happen in season five now.” He added that filming will likely resume next year. “They’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prep and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year,” he said. “But I think that’s the plan. So it’d probably come out mid-2024, based on our track record.”

We can’t wait to catch Harbour on screen again soon. And if you haven’t seen his performance as Hopper, head to Netflix ASAP.

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