Don’t mess with a TV dad!
If you loved Jim Hopper’s on screen relationship with his adopted daughter Eleven on Stranger Things, rest assured that the bond you saw is very real. We know David Harbour and Millie Bobby Brown have been close since their Netflix series became a huge hit, but in a new interview, the actor explained his paternal feelings towards the 17-year-old — who has faced a bit of personal trouble of late.
Speaking on the podcast That Scene With Dan Patrick, the Black Widow star shared:
“Millie and I have always had sort of a special relationship because I knew her when she was so young. I knew her before any of this big fame hit.”
The teen idol has faced a lot of scrutiny since Stranger Things launched her into stardom. First there was her friendship with Drake when she was only 14, something many thought was an example of grooming.
More recently, her name was in the headlines after influencer Hunter “Echo” Ecimovic made sexually inappropriate remarks about her, commenting on an alleged relationship between the two when he was 20 years old and she was only 16. (A representative for Millie called his comments “dishonest” and “offensive,” and threatened legal action against him.)
Reasonably, then, David told the podcast host:
“I have a real protective feeling for her. I have a real, like, worry. I worry about her and the fame and all that she has to struggle with. And I’ve just always felt this kind of deep fatherly affection for her.”
It’s so nice to hear that MBB has adults looking out for her as she navigates the darker side of fame.
But becoming a TV dad didn’t just create a paternal feeling towards his co-star — it also helped him to become a stepdad IRL, to wife Lily Allen’s two daughters. He reflected:
“I’m very much a New York sort of city rat. I liked my freedom, my independence. And then it was really this part that did change a lot of that perspective. The show sort of opened my heart in a lot of different ways, and one of the ways that it did was it started to make me realize how thin my existence was without a family.”
The 46-year-old observed that Hopper “maturing into a father” on Stranger Things was also “something clearly my subconscious was crying out to do.” He added:
“I think that’s partially why things are so successful because there’s some unique alchemy between the performer and the role. I feel like there was something in Hopper that had a deep need for family, and there was something in me that had it too but that I wasn’t even aware of. … As I began to explore this role, the role allowed me to do that in my real life.”
Wow. We knew Stranger Things was a phenomenon, but it was really special in ways we didn’t even realize. We’re glad David has honed his paternal instinct and is using it for good out in the world.
Hopefully he can help Millie a bit with whatever nonsense she has to deal with from trash men…
[Image via Apega/WENN & David Harbour/Instagram]