Exclusive: Gran Turismo star David Harbour discusses how his onscreen relationship with co-star Archie Madekwe mirrored his real one as a mentor.
- David Harbour’s real-life mentorship of his younger co-star, Archie Madekwe, translates onto the screen, adding authenticity to their dynamic in Gran Turismo.
- Harbour’s experience in mentoring younger actors, such as in Stranger Things, has allowed him to develop tangible chemistry with Madekwe, making their on-screen relationship feel genuine.
- The relationship between Harbour and his co-stars is often the heart of the movie, with their mentorship being a key emotional core in Gran Turismo, pushing the character of Jann to surpass his potential as a racecar driver.
Gran Turismo star David Harbour breaks down his on-screen and off-screen mentorship of his younger co-star, Archie Madekwe. Gran Turismo tells the incredible true story of Jann Mardenborough and his journey from a player of the eponymous video game to real-life racecar driver. Madekwe takes on the role of Mardenborough, while Harbour plays his trainer, first during the GT bootcamp and later when he becomes an actual driver for Nissan.
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant for Gran Turismo, Harbour discusses his relationship with his young co-star. He explains how his on-screen mentorship mirrors his real-life dynamic with Madekwe, while also revealing how easy and natural it was to step into that role and work with Madekwe, which he describes as rare. Check out Harbour’s full quote below:
To see [Jack] reawaken through this surrogate of Jann, and with Archie, was really easy and natural. I think he’s just a natural talent, and he’s very game. He really wants to do good work. And it becomes meta in another way, where it’s like I’m this older actor looking at this younger actor and saying, “You could do greater things than I can. You can do something in this world. I’m just grizzled and angry and tired. Take the mantle, my friend.” But there was something really special about that, and it was pretty easy, and it was pretty natural, and that’s rare. A lot of times you got to do a lot of work to create chemistry, and this didn’t have to be that way. I think that’s a testament to Archie.
Editor’s Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, and the movie covered here would not exist without the labor of the writers and actors in both unions.
How David Harbour & Archie Madekwe’s Chemistry Elevates Gran Turismo
Harbour has become an expert at mentoring younger actors in the last few years, beginning with Stranger Things. The Netflix show helped him step into that role of father figure and mentor, both on screen and off, with his younger co-star. Now, Harbour is bringing that dynamic and the tangible chemistry that comes with it to his role in Gran Turismo.
Related: Gran Turismo True Story Explained
Leaning into the role of a mentor in real life makes that dynamic feel more authentic on screen, because Harbour and Madekwe actually know what it feels like to fill those roles. Watching Madekwe look to Harbour for advice and wisdom in Gran Turismo rings truer because they have that chemistry in real life. When the relationship depicted in Gran Turismo goes beyond acting, it feels real to both the actors and the audience.
Harbour has had a string of great performances with younger co-stars, whether it’s with those newer to the craft like Stranger Things or those who are already great actors like Black Widow. He makes the relationships feel genuine. His relationship with his co-stars is often the heart of the movie, with Gran Turismo being a perfect example. While Jann’s story is the driving force, his relationship with his coach is one of the emotional cores, especially when he faces hardships as an actual driver, which his coach has experience with and pushes him to be better than he could be.
Key Release Date
- Gran Turismo Release Date: 2023-08-25