David Harbour wasn’t expecting a second season.

Stranger Things is a cultural phenomenon these days, but not everyone was so sure of its success. It turns out that David Harbour was sure the show would get canceled.

During an interview with BBC’s The One Show, the 47-year-old actor explained why he thought Netflix’s then-new sci-fi horror series was going to bomb.

“I remember when we were shooting the first season,” he said. “We were down in Atlanta, Netflix had given us a budget of about $20. Halfway through I remember my hair person coming up to me, like about episode four we were shooting, and she was like, ‘I don’t think it’s gonna work.'”

Despite the show’s low budget, Stranger Things became an overnight sensation. Debuting on Netflix in July 2016, the first season tapped into ‘80s nostalgia in a way we’ve never quite seen before. The show’s grainy film stock feel and low-fi retro soundtrack helped the show to find its place.

But before it debuted, Harbour still wasn’t convinced.

“By the time we finished, we wrapped, I thought we wouldn’t get a second season” he added. “We’d be the first Netflix show kind of ever to never get a second season. We thought no one would watch it, it was going to be a disaster.”

Of course, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Six years on and Stranger Things is still a massive draw for Netflix. In fact, the fourth season of Stranger Things recently became Netflix’s biggest English-language TV season ever – watched for a staggering 1.4 billion hours since it launched.

Stranger Things 4 Volume 2: First Look Images

stranger things star was sure it would be a 'disaster' in season 1
stranger things star was sure it would be a 'disaster' in season 1
stranger things star was sure it would be a 'disaster' in season 1
stranger things star was sure it would be a 'disaster' in season 1
stranger things star was sure it would be a 'disaster' in season 1
stranger things star was sure it would be a 'disaster' in season 1

IGN’s own review of Stranger Things Season 4 Part 2 said: “There are as many thrills as you could hope for, but also quite a few lovely, tender moments between characters we’ve come to care so much about. There are so many series-best performances that it’s hard to single out any in particular, but it’s especially nice to see Noah Schnapp’s Will get a bit more attention than he did in Part 1.

It still ends up feeling a tad bit unwieldy – a hard thing to avoid when juggling this many characters and storylines – but ultimately, these four hours pack in just about everything a Stranger Things fan could ask for.”

Want to read more about Stranger Things? Check out the 5 burning questions we have after the Season 4 finale, and take a look at how Vecna’s big action scenes were made.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

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