Stranger Things Star Called Ryan Reynolds After Career Low Moment

One of the stars of Netflix's Stranger Things knew just who to reach out to in a moment of crisis: Ryan Reynolds.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

stranger things ryan reynolds

Being one of the leads of one of the most successful streaming shows ever must be nice, but it does not completely insulate you from failure. That is certainly the case with David Harbour, who has starred as Sheriff Jim Hopper in Netflix’s Stranger Things since 2016, giving his career a huge boost after years of toiling on also-ran shows like State of Affairs and Manhattan. However, when the Stranger Things star hit a huge snag with one of the bigger flops of 2019, he knew just who to get in touch with: Ryan Reynolds. 

In a recent interview with GQ, David Harbour revealed that he went into something of a panic mode when it became clear that his 2019 reboot of Hellboy was going to flop. According to the Stranger Things star, his impulse was to call one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, Ryan Reynolds, and ask him his advice on how to deal with an enormous failure. This does not exactly sound like the kindest move the Stranger Things could pull on Ryan Reynolds, who surely does not need any reminders of how poorly Green Lantern, R.I.P.D., and Criminal did at the box office. 

However, Hellboy was David Harbour’s very first starring role in a feature film since he shot to prominence with Stranger Things and there are more extreme reactions to failure than calling up Ryan Reynolds. According to the Stranger Things star, he knew Ryan Reynolds “a little bit” and essentially asked him whether an actor could come back from an enormous flop. Specifically:

Hey man, I just need to know something. You know Green Lantern? Huge flop for you. What the f*** is that like, because I think I’m going to hit that right now. Am I gonna be okay? Am I gonna survive this? 

David Harbour probably did not need to worry quite so much, considering he was still an integral part of a television series so popular that the last two episodes of the fourth season crashed Netflix itself. But even with Stranger Things as a fallback, it has to sting to have a colossal failure like Hellboy on your resume and to be fair, Ryan Reynolds is a very prominent actor who managed to come back from a number of notorious flops. 

Also to be fair, pretty much everyone in the world thought that a Hellboy reboot was a bad idea. The first two movies starring Ron Perlman and directed by Guillermo del Toro are beloved cult horror-action classics. While the 2019 Hellboy originally began as a sequel to those films, Guillermo del Toro was offered a producer credit rather than his previous role as writer-director and opted not to return. That caused Ron Perlman to refuse to reprise the role of everyone’s favorite giant, red, demon-slaying son of Satan. The Descent director Neil Marshall was recruited as director, the movie was reconfigured as a reboot rather than a sequel, Stranger Things was poached for David Harbour, and, as usually happens with franchises, Ryan Reynolds was eventually involved. 

The Stranger Things star did not go into detail about Ryan Reynolds’ response, other than to say it was “sweet,” but we have to imagine he suggested he find an ultraviolent Deathstroke knock-off to play in a movie if he wanted box office success. At least, that’s what we would advise.