Stranger Things things Season 4 came with some unprecedented challenges for Jim Hopper — and for star David Harbour, for that matter. While many actors downplay the expectation for drastic body transformations in their profession, Harbour is not shying away from it. In a new Instagram post this weekend, he revealed that he struggled to lose 75 pounds before shooting the most recent season.
Warning: there are spoilers for Stranger Things ahead! Harbour went through a very visible weight loss between Season 3 and Season 4 of the Netflix original series, and he shared the details of that transformation in an Instagram post on Thursday. He tagged his personal trainer, David Higgins, and posted side-by-side photos of himself shirtless in different scenes of each season. He revealed that he weighed about 265 pounds while filming Season 2, and he dropped down to about 190 pounds for Season 4. At 47 years old, he admitted that he is struggling to stay in the right shape for Season 5.
Harbour is following in the footsteps of actors like Christian Bale who famously train their bodies to look the part for different roles. In this case, he wrote that he "recently ballooned up again to play jolly ole St. Nick in a flick I can't for you to see this holiday season." After that rapid loss then gain, Harbour wrote that he is "struggling to fight back down towards a good weight for wherever Hopper ends up in Season 5."
"All this up and down is not good for the body, and I'll have to give it up soon, but it is such a fun part of the job to live in a different version of your skin for a while," he concluded. Harbour reportedly worked with Higgins to lose the weight initially and then to keep it up while filming was delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic. He told an interview from British GQ that he did so through a combination of "intermittent fasting and Pilates."
The holiday movie Harbour was referring to was Violent Nights, an upcoming action-comedy where a group of mercenaries attack a wealthy family's estate around the holidays, forcing "Santa Claus" to step in and fend them off. Harbour is credited as Santa on the movie's IMDb, though it appears that many details of the movie are being kept under wraps for now.
Meanwhile, Stranger Things Season 5 reportedly begins filming in August, and should air on Netflix sometime in 2024. The first four seasons are streaming there now.