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David Harbour Says Paul Wesley Told Him Netflix Was Trying to 'Bury' Stranger Things Before Its Premiere

People logo People 10/9/2021 Tristan Balagtas
Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty; Craig Barritt/Getty © Provided by People Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty; Craig Barritt/Getty

Before Stranger Things became a worldwide phenomenon, actor Paul Wesley told David Harbour that Netflix was trying to "bury" the show.

While appearing at a panel during New York Comic Con on Saturday, the Black Widow actor said he was going to "throw Paul Wesley under the bus" with a revelation from one of their past conversations.

Before the release of the hit sci-fi series, the pair was working together in an off-Broadway play, and Harbour, 46, remembered telling Wesley he was worried there wasn't enough publicity surrounding Stranger Things.

Jason LaVeris/WireImage © Provided by People Jason LaVeris/WireImage

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"So about two weeks before the show I was like, 'There's still no ads, man, like buses and phone, there's no ads,' and he [Paul] was like, 'Sorry man, they're trying to bury it.' It was clearly a terrible show," Harbour revealed to NYCC attendees.

David Harbour told audiences at New York Comic Con that he was worried about the initial lack of publicity for the hit sci-fi show © Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty; Craig Barritt/Getty David Harbour told audiences at New York Comic Con that he was worried about the initial lack of publicity for the hit sci-fi show

After that conversation with The Vampire Diaries star, Harbour told the audience a sense of panic started to set in.

"I was like, 'Oh no, man. I blew it. I had like one of the leads on a Netflix show, and I blew it, we all blew it,'" recalled Harbour.

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Clearly, the actor, who plays Chief Jim Hopper on the smash series, had nothing to worry about. He said Netflix viewers quickly embraced the nostalgic, '80s-themed sci-fi horror show and it became a huge success for the streaming giant.

"I think one of the things that people love about it, and it's so hard to have in today's culture, is you discovered it," said Harbour. "I mean, like, you didn't hear much about it, and you just sort of were playing around on Netflix and … people were like, 'Oh this looks kind of good,' and there was a sense of discovery about it. That was brilliant."

Harbour also said the decision not to promote the first season of Stranger Things was allegedly planned by Netflix.

"The advertising department claimed later on that that was the manipulation the entire time, and that they're just geniuses. But, I don't know what's true," Harbour added.

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During NYCC, Harbour also revealed that the entire cast is still tight as ever.

"I mean, the funny thing about us is that the whole thing has changed so much, right? And yet when we get together on set, it's like the first day of the first season, where they're afraid of me because I'm an angry New York actor, and they're little kids," Harbour told the crowd. "So that has been preserved."

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"And I think we all have that relationship where we've been [through] so much that when we get on set together, it still feels like day one. It still feels very creative," he continued. "The hoopla around us when we step off that stage is insane ... but for those kids ... what I do like is that they are grounded enough to be [the same] when we are on set working on the show."

"Everybody loves the show still," Harbour added. "We love the creators and we love our characters, and we love each other and we feel like a family. We could have big special effects and all that stuff, but we'd miss that thing that to me is really what the show is about. So that's very much preserved."

The fourth season of Stranger Things premieres on Netflix in 2022.


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