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Marvel Studios is notoriously strict when it comes to spoilers. So, when David Harbour landed the role of Alexei Shostakov (a.k.a the Red Guardian) in Black Widow, he was expected to keep details about the film under wraps.
However, the actor did confide in two very specific people about his part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who exactly were those lucky humans? None other than Stranger Things co-creators Matt and Ross Duffer.
"The circle of secrets contains other people that keep secrets," he exclusively told E! News, noting how everyone in his life begs for Stranger Things spoilers, too. "I felt like I could share Marvel secrets with them because, you know, they understand how to desperately keep a secret and the power of that."
Later on, David noted, "But then there's people who really want to know and I just wouldn't tell them anything."
Before Disney, who owns Marvel Studios, reads this and gets upset with David, we should note he had his very particular reasons for divulging some tidbits to the Duffers.
"Both things also take place, at one point, in a Russian prison," he shared. "So, there were certain production things that I wanted to be different. Costumes I wanted to be different for Stranger Things than I did for, you know, Black Widow."
According to David, he would "secretly send the Duffers photos of production, photos of my costume," just to make sure the projects were differentiated.
So, who can blame him for spilling just a bit?!
For those who may need a refresher, it was unclear at the end of Stranger Things season three whether David's character was still alive. By February 2020, Netflix released a teaser that showed a bald Jim imprisoned in Russia.
And, while David admitted that there are similarities between Jim Hopper and Alexei Shostakov, who is a surrogate parent for Scarlett Johansson's titular character in the film, he hoped fans would see his Black Widow character and think more than just, "Oh, there's the guy from Stranger Things doing his, like, dad thing."
"One of my biggest concerns though is that I want to make them different," he said. "The most obvious parallel is that they're both father-figures in a sense, and in a weird way, they're both father-figures to adopted daughters."
So, how did David make Alexei a standout and unique role? He concluded, "So, Alexei's narcissism, even his loudness of personality, even the amount of hair he has on his body is, like, all of it is trying to make this character behave much differently based on these set of circumstances, based on these traumas."
Black Widow hits theaters Friday, July 9.