David Harbour says he isn't sure his young 'Stranger Things' costars will ever understand what it's like to lead normal lives
"Stranger Things" star David Harbour said he was lucky to have become famous at 40.
He said he saw what his younger costars had "to deal with" after becoming famous as preteens.
Millie Bobby Brown was 12 when the show premiered and has spoken about being sexualized as a child.
David Harbour said he was lucky he didn't become famous until he was 40 years old, saying he witnessed what his younger "Stranger Things" castmates went through after debuting on the show as preteens.
"I see what these kids have to deal with and, look, whatever. I mean, there's a lot of people that go through, I guess a lot worse stuff," Harbour told The Los Angeles Times for its "The Envelope" podcast.
"But mentally and psychologically, I think getting extremely famous and being so doted on at 11 years old is really hard for the psyche to reconcile with," he continued.
"Stranger Things" premiered in 2016 and made Harbour, along with castmates such as Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard, household names. The show, which focuses on the supernatural happenings in a town in Indiana, has since become one of Netflix's biggest titles. Its youngest cast members have grown up with it: 18-year-old Brown, who plays the psychic teen Eleven, was 12 years old at its premiere.
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"I'm lucky because it didn't happen to me til I was 40," Harbour told the newspaper of becoming famous. "So I know what it's like to go to the mall. I know what it's like to be bullied and humiliated. People not think I'm great. I know what it's like to have to find friends, not to have people come to me. I don't know that they'll ever have that feeling."
Brown has spoken out in the past about being sexualized as a child in the spotlight, such as in an Instagram post made on her 16th birthday.
"There are moments i get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults that ultimately have resulted in pain and insecurity for me," Brown wrote in the February 2020 post.
Harbour told The Los Angeles Times that he felt similar feelings for his younger cast members as his character, Hopper, feels for Eleven, his adopted daughter, despite the fact that his and Brown's relationship isn't "as close offscreen."
"I feel all the feelings that Hopper, you know, feels in a sense," Harbour said. "And then I have to struggle with the control idea, and I have to struggle with my own savior complex."
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