‘Don’t Mess Around With Jim’. It’s not just a Jim Croce song title, it’s a mantra when it comes to ‘Stranger Things’‘ breakout leading man Police Chief Jim Hopper, the emotional anchor of the series, portrayed by David Harbour. But… it is also a Jim Croce song, which was handpicked by Harbour for the fun dancing scene from ‘Stranger Things 2’– a scene that breaks the normally bleak narrative and has spawned a viral sensation with a animated GIFs like the one above flooding the internet.
Harbour just wrapped filming ‘Hellboy’ in Bulgaria. For the superhero epic, Harbour had to get ripped, but rest assured Hopper lovers, Harbour is getting back in Dad Bod shape for when ‘Stranger Things 3’ begins production.
“I’ve already started the donut training. Six donuts a day! We’ll get there, folks.”
Regarding that dance sequence, he said:
“I thought when we shot that scene, I thought Jim Croce would have a huge resurgence. All the kids are going to be reintroduced to Jim Croce, who I f—ing love. But the f—ing silly little dance that I do? I thought that was going to be overlooked. But unfortunately Jim Croce has not had the tremendous resurgence that I wanted him to, but my dance GIF has become a huge thing. It’s as funny to me as it is to anyone else. Let’s all enjoy him dancing!
“That was ad-libbed. [Director] Shawn [Levy] and I have different memories of this. I chose the song, and I remember him saying put on the music. But I said, ‘Shawn, I want to dance. I know it’s going to be weird, but I want to do it.” I think one of the reasons why it works is because Hopper is such a serious, sensitive, dark dude. He’s not normally a dancer. That’s what I found compelling about it. So on the day it was us playing around. They said, “We don’t even know if we’ll use it, we’ll probably cut away.” And then when they were in the editing room, it became this thing.”
Maybe if ‘Don’t Mess Around With Jim’ had been on one of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ soundtracks, it would have had a bigger resurgence? Here is the original scene:
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Here is a fan re-edit with him dancing to various other songs, including Wham’s ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ and the Benny Hill theme song:
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Harbour also opened up about his role as an unlikely sex symbol:
“In this business, certainly it’s a lot crazier for women than it is for men, but there’s such a thing where there’s a lot of judgment on the way you look, and on your body. The fact is for years I had been trapped in a certain narcissism and a desire to have a certain body and look sexy. The fact that I got famous and become a sex symbol around my normal frumpy love-handled self is so gratifying. And dare I say culturally gratifying as well. What makes someone sexy in my mind is who they are. It’s not necessarily how they look. If you have a dad bod, if you wear it well, and still shake your hips pretty good, I feel like you too can be a sex symbol! I think that’s what we should venerate as sexy. Not people who eat organic chicken all day and spend nine hours at the gym. That’s not a society that I really care about.”
Harbour speculates that ‘Stranger Things 3’ won’t arrive until early 2019, so sadly it doesn’t look like fans will get a return trip to Hawkins, Indiana or the Upsidedown this year. But hopefully, the extra time will allow the creators to put together the best possible series– one that will hopefully not have as divisive an episode as Season Two’s Episode Seven, ‘The Other Sister’.
Until then, he have this:
What would you like to see in Season Three when it finally arrives?