“Stranger Things” Star David Harbour On Playing Santa Claus In The New Movie “Violent Night”

David Harbour (@dkharbour) is an actor known for his roles in Stranger Things, Hellboy, Suicide Squad, Extraction, Black Widow and many others. He joins Chris Van Vliet from Budapest to talk about his new holiday movie “Violent Night” where he plays a version of Santa Claus with a twist. He also talks about putting a twist on other holiday characters like the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

So good to see you again. When I saw the title of this film, Violent Night, I was like oh this is cute, it’s like Silent Night. Then when I watched the movie, I don’t know if you got the title right. I feel like it should be Extremely Violent Night.

“Violent is not enough for you? You need more adjectives. I’m sorry but I think violent sums it up, there is a lot of extreme violence.”

There is a lot! I’m curious, is playing Santa something that was on your bucket list?

“No, never in a million years. You know, there’s Hamlet and King Lear, but Santa? The thing is I never thought that I would be invited into that world. There’s people out there who are like well one day I will play Santa. But not me, I’m a more complicated guy. I look at the characters that people like and are more complicated individuals. Someone like Santa seemed pretty straight ahead. When this came to me, I was like OK, this is a Santa Claus I could play, because this is a complicated Santa Claus. But one of the great things is that there are films that people watch every year for Christmas, it puts them in the holiday spirit. The greatest thing about this movie is that there is this extreme violence, but at the end it feels like a Christmas movie. Once I got the part, the violence and the humour took care of itself.”

Now we have opened the door to having R rated Christmas movies. What’s going to be next?

“I’ve already pitched a bunch of my cool actor friends The Easter Bunny. That is a creature that is little understood. We do have these things, like a guy in a red suit that comes in your house once a year, who is this guy? What is his deal? I feel like our movie tries to attempt to somewhat understand that guy. Then you’ve got The Easter Bunny, what up with him? And then there is The Tooth Fairy, where is she getting all that money?”

When you play Santa, the pinnacle is getting the Ho Ho Ho correct. How much time did you spend on nailing it for this version.

“It’s sort of a pivotal point in the movie. He talks about how it’s his iconic thing, but he can’t do it in the beginning of the movie. It literally sticks in his throat until the end of the movie. We did shoot it a bit sequential, as the movie went on I couldn’t find. It sort of came out by the end of the film, and I liked what I found.”

Would Jim Hopper be on the nice list?

“If my Santa was making the list, then yes. But I think Jim Hopper would be too embarrassed to be on it.”

Featured image: NME

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