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Hellboy: David Harbour Called Ryan Reynolds on Dealing with Failure

Any high-profile actor can always sustain the occasional flop. Still, for David Harbour, 2019's Hellboy was his first major theatrical lead for a tentpole blockbuster that failed famously at the box office. While promoting the Netflix series Stranger Things, the actor spoke with GQ about his career and how he recovered by calling Ryan Reynolds, who recovered from his 2011 Warner Bros/DC flop in Green Lantern by reprising his X-Men Origins: Wolverine role in the rebooted Deadpool in 2016 for 20th Century Studios.

David Harbour in Hellboy (2019). Image courtesy of Lionsgate

"It was a very difficult experience because I wanted a lot out of it. I really like [Mike Mignola, Hellboy creator], I like that character," Harbour said. "And then immediately when it began, even when it was announced, I realised that people did not want that character reinvented. I was very naive and optimistic about what we were going to do." Upon the film's release, he recalled his conversation with Reynolds. "I know him a little bit. I called him, and I was like, Hey man, I just need to know something. You know Green Lantern? Huge flop for you. What the fuck is that like, because I think I'm going to hit that right now. Am I gonna be okay? Am I gonna survive this?" He called Reynolds' response, "Sweet."

While the deck might been pretty stacked against the actor, given Ron Perlman's previous incarnation for the successful Guillermo del Toro films, Harbour is no stranger to the comic conglomerates in DC and Marvel. After all, he had a supporting role in 2016's Suicide Squad as Dexter Tolliver, an associate of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). He had a significantly bigger role in 2021's Black Widow as Alexei, aka The Red Guardian, the adoptive father of Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) and Yelena (Florence Pugh). When he's not regaling stories of his past confrontation with Captain America, Alexi helped maintain his "family's" cover as they lived undercover while alluding the U.S. authorities. For more, you can check out the whole interview here.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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