Stranger Things star David Harbour thinks acting has helped him deal with his bipolar diagnosis.
The 44-year-old actor was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in his 20s, but he has only publicly opened up about his mental health, after landing the role as Jim Hopper in Netflix’s Stranger Things.
And addressing his diagnosis in a new interview, David has said he thinks acting has had a positive impact on his mental wellbeing. So much so, that he’s called his onscreen career a ‘lifeline’.
Appearing on the Blank Podcast, David suggested that the creative nature of being an actor brings him stability and he’s never had an ‘episode’ while working.
‘First of all the interesting thing about my own particular brand of it, is that I never have an episode when I’m working,’ he revealed.
‘So, in some way I’ve generally been able to see a link between my own creative energies when they’re channelled into some kind of work form and that when they are not channelled – it goes off into some kind of madness.’
David said: ‘It has made working even more vial to me – it’s kind of a lifeline… if I wasn’t an artist I’d be a lot worse off and [it’s] made work more vital.’
David has previously said that he was worried his bipolar would cost him his acting career, so he chose not to reveal his diagnosis for several years.
‘As an actor, you’re worried about getting hired, but now I’m at a place where I can talk about this [now],’ he told British GQ. ‘Also, I’m in my forties, I may as well be myself, whether I get work or not.’
David has become well known for his role as cop Hopper in Stranger Things, but his character’s fate was up in the air at the end of the third season.
And while we’re all eager to know what’s happened to Hopper, it turns out David is too and he’s been demanding answers from show bosses.
He joked that a ‘lack of phone calls’ from producers after season three has had him questioning whether Hopper really is dead, after getting trapped in the Upside Down at the end of the series.
‘I haven’t gotten many phone calls,’ he said on Late Night with Seth Meyers, before FaceTiming producers to ask if Hopper was dead.
Their response? They’re still figuring things out…