Fans of Stranger Things are well aware that David Harbour, 42, is just as much of an adorable papa bear as his beloved alter ego, Jim Hopper.
Unlike Hopper, however, who lives in a shack in the middle of the woods and looks like he barely knows how to turn on the TV, Harbour is very adept at social media. For the last few months, he’s been trading retweets for funny stunts that make people laugh, shed light on important causes, and general add a little brightness to the world. He’s posed in high school yearbooks, and been ordained to officiate someone’s wedding this fall, but, in late January, he set his sights on something more global. And you may remember that he was the undisputed star of this year’s Super Bowl, courtesy of his hilarious string of Tide ads.
On January 21, he asked Greenpeace on Twitter how many retweets it would take to send him to Antartica to do the infamous Hopper dance with emperor penguins and “tell [them] I think they have terrific parenting ideologies” (after the female lays the egg, it’s the dad who sits and nests it through the winter, an inversion of traditional roles that makes them one of the most dedicated dads in the animal kingdom).
Greenpeace responded quickly, setting the bar at 200,000 retweets, a goal the actor, who has 870,000 followers, hit in under 5 hours. Greenpeace made good on their promise, and, on February 4th, flew Harbour and his girlfriend, Alison Sudol, to join them on a mission in the snowy wonderland. He’s been documenting the once-in-a-lifetime trip ever since, and it’s been pretty spectacular watching him navigating icy waters, looking for his ‘guins, like an actual seafaring captain.
On Monday, his dream finally came true, and he got to dance with his ‘guins. It was beautiful. As was his little Sports Illustrated spread on the pebbled beach afterwards.
In the videos, he admits that by the time he actually got there, he didn’t even want to dance with the penguins anymore, because he was blown away by the majesty of the environment and the need to protect it.
“I thought this was gonna be, like, a silly thing, and I thought I was just gonna dance with penguins, but ultimately…it’s turned into kind of another thing, about protecting the Antarctic waters,” he said in the video.
— David Harbour (@DavidKHarbour) February 19, 2018
In his second video, he linked out to a petition to protect the Antarctic, asking to bump it up from 1 million signatures to 1.8.
here’s a petition to create the largest protected area in the world.@Greenpeace has 1M sigs.
let’s give them 1.8.
1 for every proposed square km
for the ‘guins.
here’s me dancing with them,
they don’t have netflix.@Greenpeace ? pic.twitter.com/jjLBk2XOIr
— David Harbour (@DavidKHarbour) February 20, 2018
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