‘What the Hell Is This?’ Was David Harbour’s Response When Asked To Play Santa Claus

When David Harbour was asked to play Santa Claus in Violent Night, he had about the same reaction as everyone else did when they found out he was going to play Santa Claus, which was: wtf?

“My initial thoughts were like, ‘What the hell is this? I don’t know what you guys are talking about,’” Harbour told Variety at the premiere of Violent Night this week. “It was pitched to me as an action-comedy Christmas movie with Santa Claus at the center — who had a very different past and 10,000 years ago was a very different man — and that he has acquired a certain set of skills that he must use to fight bad guys in the future. I thought, ‘Wow, this is… I don’t know about this.’”

But once Harbour met with the film’s director Tommy Wirkola, his mind was changed, and he gladly accepted the role as Santa, but Liam Neeson in Taken. “There was something so special about the attempt that I thought, ‘Wow, if we can hit the right sweet spot with this, it’d be quite a leap — it’d be quite an achievement,’” Harbour said.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:

An elite team of mercenaries breaks into a family compound on Christmas Eve, taking everyone hostage inside. However, they aren’t prepared for a surprise combatant: Santa Claus is on the grounds, and he’s about to show why this Nick is no saint.

Along with Harbour, Violent Night stars John Leguizamo, Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, Leah Brady, André Eriksen and Beverly D’Angelo. It comes to theaters Friday, December 2.

(Via Variety)