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David Harbour opens up about protective instincts towards Stranger Things co-stars

The Netflix star's paternal vibe on and off-screen

david harbour father figure
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad SanwariSenior WriterNew York
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David Harbour has become a global star since his appearance as Jim Hopper on Stranger Things, and he shares the spotlight with several co-stars who are only in their teens.

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Along with playing a father figure to the younger actors on the show, particularly lead Millie Bobby Brown, he tends to display the same instincts in real life as well, opening up about his conflict with them in a recent interview.

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Speaking with Christiane Amanpour on CNN, he talked about trying to find a line between protecting them and learning to let them grow on their own given the current social climate.

"It's not my world anymore," he explained. "Now I feel like there's an entire world of branding and a mesh of celebrity and actor, which is a whole different world than I grew up in.

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"I've always felt, as narcissistic as I am, that my path is the path. And the further I go with these kids, I start to realize that it's not and that I have to let go of these ideas that I thought make a good career and good life."

He continued: "I've done my best to try and guide the best that I can and to stay hands off and say that this is your world and it's a new world, and you have to define it for yourself."

david millie bobby brown© Photo: Getty Images

David confessed to feeling protective towards his younger co-stars

He also talked about the pitfalls of fame for younger stars, with Christiane emphasizing that some end up having "slightly dangerous experiences with early fame."

David responded: "I would say that it's a very tricky thing to navigate for anyone. I was lucky it didn't happen to me till I was 40, so I had a true experience of life, being able to go to the grocery store and make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

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"Developmentally, to have that amount of attention and that amount of need," he continued. "I think it's somewhat unfair to do to a child.

"I think fame is, in certain ways, a prison, because you do become a brand and you become something where people want something from you. And if you can't deliver, you risk and you fail, then it's detrimental to your brand."

david harbour lily allen© Photo: Getty Images

The star is married to singer Lily Allen

David continued: "I would hate to feel that way at 45, but would really hate to feel that way at 13."

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