Superhero slimdown. While most actors lose weight to join comic book blockbusters, David Harbour gained weight to play the retired Red Guardian in Marvel Studios’ Black Widow. His wife, Lily Allen, fell for him when he was overweight with long hair.
“It’s a true testament to my undeniable charisma when I say that my wife met me at 280 pounds with this beard and this hair,” Harbour, 46, joked to the New York Times on Sunday, July 11. “We went on a date at The Wolseley [restaurant] in London, and she really fell for me at my worst, physically and hair-wise.”
The movie filmed in 2019 just as Allen, 36, and Harbour met. Though a flashback sequence in the film, released Friday, June 9, shows Harbour in tip-top shape as an undercover KGB spy in the 1990s, that’s not how he looks in most of the movie.
The Red Guardian has been in prison for years and has let himself go. When he reunites with his surrogate daughter, Natasha (Scarlett Johansson), in the late 2010s, Harbour describes him as, “this dude who’s big and violent with tattoos and gold teeth and also needs you to like his jokes.”
After Black Widow finished filming, Harbour slimmed down to his normal size, and he admitted that the change surprised the “Smile” singer, whom he married in September 2020.
“So as the thing went on, I started losing the weight and working out,” Harbour explained. “And she honestly has some mixed feelings about it.”
It seems getting used to her slimmed down hubby is a bit jarring, but Harbour doesn’t hold those feelings against Allen. In fact, he thinks that “is a good place to be in a relationship.”
The Hellboy star, who is stepdad to Allen’s daughters, Ethel, 9, and Marnie, 8, whom she shares with ex-husband Sam Cooper, explained that it’s the opposite of many longterm relationships. “It’s really good to start the relationship from that part, as opposed to being the young, handsome buck and watching yourself degenerate over the years,” he added.
While he’s a happy husband, Harbour added that he’s not made for lockdown life. The SAG award-winner filmed No Sudden Move last fall, his first movie made during the pandemic. He said it was a much-needed reprieve.
“Stranger Things had come back for season 4 in September, and they didn’t need me until January. And I freaked out,” he revealed. “I love my wife and kids, but I also need to go to work, because I’ll lose my mind here, trying to home-school them.”
The actor explained during a June appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he and Allen got married during the pandemic after Ethel called him “just some guy in our lives.”
Harbour explained: “We were riding around beginning of pandemic — she has two kids, these beautiful daughters, 8 and 9 — and we were riding bikes out in the country trying to figure out what we were gonna do for the next year or however long it was going to take. And the little one was riding along and she was going like, ‘David, Dad, David, Dad.’ Because the ‘d’ got her confused. And the older one got very upset with that, which I understand, and was like, ‘He’s not our dad! He’s not our dad!’”
That made the decision to get married in Las Vegas easy for the actor, who proposed to his love shortly before the pandemic. “I was like, ‘I need to marry this woman,’” he quipped. “Because the emotional fallout…”
Us Weekly confirmed that the two obtained a Las Vegas marriage license and had a small wedding in September 2020.