Extraction Director Sam Hargrave Explains Chris Hemsworth And David Harbour’s Backstories


Extraction Director Sam Hargrave Explains Chris Hemsworth And David Harbour's BackstoriesNetflix

Extraction director Sam Hargrave has revealed why David Harbour was cast for the role of Gaspar, particularly in relation to his character’s backstory with Chris Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake.

In a new tell-all interview, Hargrave explained the reasons behind casting the Stranger Things actor, as well as Netflix’s reaction to this. Spoiler: the streaming service couldn’t have been happier.


The key to it all, apparently, was the backstory between both Harbour’s and Chris Hemsworth’s characters, which meant they both had similar fighting skills. And they needed someone who could ‘stand toe-to-toe’ to Hemsworth for this to work.


Enter: David Harbour. Speaking to Collider, stuntman-turned-director Hargrave explained why it was necessary for Gaspar to beat Hemsworth’s character Rake in Extraction’s infamous fight scene – the only time Rake loses in a fight throughout the entire film.

He said they needed to ‘justify the use of heavy force by Ovi’, and the only way to do that was to put Rake in a ‘compromised position’, or to put his life in danger.


So just how exactly did Gaspar succeed where others couldn’t? Well, that’s where the backstory comes in, with Hargrave revealing the two actually trained together in the past and so had similar skills; they just went in separate directions.

david harbour chris hemsworth extractionNetflix

Starting his explanation with the disclaimer, ‘here is a spoiler alert’, Hargrave said:

These guys have trained together and they just kind of, not grew up but spent a lot of time together in their service in the military, and even outside of that in the private military sector.

Their skills, I think they would be matched but they just went in different directions. You know, Harbour went kind of native as you say, he kind of found a life in Bangladesh and stayed there, and Rake kept going down that path. But their skill set, if you matched them up, they’re kind of evenly matched.

And so to make up for the fact that Rake has been doing it consistently and Harbour’s character had not, we made sure that if Chris had enough damage, if he was beaten down enough, we would believe that Harbour had the skills to take him down.

tyler rake and gaspar fightNetflix

He went on to say the two actors had a ‘great’ chemistry on screen – ‘It’s very fond yet tense, kind of a cool interaction they have’ – and so there is ‘a lot of potential’ to delve into their backstories in the form of a prequel.

While nothing has been confirmed yet, Hargrave certainly seems keen, stating: ‘There’s a very interesting way, if you were to go backwards in time, that you could play out the prequel to a story like this.’

Incredible. Let’s keep everything crossed he can make this happen.


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Topics: Film and TV, Chris Hemsworth, David Harbour, Extraction, Film, Netflix


  1. Collider

    ‘Extraction’ Director Sam Hargrave Reveals David Harbour and Chris Hemsworth’s Characters Backstories

Lucy Connolly
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