Paul Reiser Binge-Watched ‘Stranger Things’ Before Landing Role


For the second season of the hit sci-fi series Stranger Things, executive producers Matt and Ross Duffer wanted a Paul Reiser-in-Aliens-type to play the new head of the mysterious facility Hawkins Lab. They landed the real deal. When they approached Reiser, who binge-watched Season 1 with his son, he jumped at the chance to join the Net­flix hit. “It was the easiest decision I ever made in my career,” he admits. “I said, ‘You’d be crazy to call somebody else.’”

But playing the morally ambiguous Dr. Owens had its challenges. Reiser says the Duffers kept him in the dark regarding Owens’s motives: “They didn’t say, ‘You’re good’ or ‘You’re bad.’” Reiser struggled with that while filming scenes. The first time the Mad About You alum faced off with David Harbour’s prickly Police Chief Hopper, he hesitated. “Every time I said, ‘Trust me,’” Reiser says, “I went, ‘I don’t even trust me.’”

Stranger Things, Netflix