David Harbour has mixed feelings about the popularity of his “dad bod.”
His Stranger Things character Sheriff Hopper has been a fan favorite since the hit Netflix series premiered, and interest in the star’s physique piqued late last year when Merriam-Webster tweeted a clip of him dancing on the show as a visual definition of the term “dad bod.”
“I have a funny relationship with this dad bod thing,” Harbour confesses in the winter issue of CNET Magazine. “I sort of love it and the reason why I love it is actually very serious. I do think that in a certain way, I’ve become a bit of a sex symbol for our time — there are articles about people digging Hopper. But I’m also a little big and a little chubby. I love the idea of real bodies on television. And I love the idea of making real people beautiful and loved.”
The New York native goes on to say that he is “sick of these bodies on television that are impossibly thin” and hopes that the positive reaction to his “real body” might encourage Hollywood to continue to expand the idea of what leading ladies and leading men look like.
“I want people to feel good in their bodies, like I’m sick of twigs on both ends of the spectrum, men and women. I’m totally tired of twigs,” he says. “I want people to love their bodies. Look, I don’t want you to be unhealthy. I want you to take care of yourself, take care of your heart. We don’t want you to be obese. But these impossible standards that Hollywood sets — I don’t find those people sexy anymore.”
Harbor says those impossible standards of beauty are “cruel to culture” and he doesn’t “want that cruelty in our bodies anymore.”
“I want more big girls in leading roles,” he says. “I want big guys in leading man roles. I want them to be the hero.”
The Winter 2018 issue of CNET Magazine featuring Harbour is now available on newsstands.