By Christian Holub
April 05, 2019 at 06:27 PM EDT

Hellboy (2019 movie)

A few weeks before his Hellboy reboot hits theaters, David Harbour was awarded Action Star of the Year at CinemaCon 2019’s Big Screen Achievement Awards in Las Vegas on Thursday. In his acceptance speech, he expressed disbelief at the career arc that led him to even playing action hero roles — such as the new film’s big red monster hunter, or the valiant Chief Hopper of Stranger Things — in the first place.

Harbour started off the speech by telling the audience that the first movie he ever saw was a bona fide action classic: Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. After being taken to see the movie by his grandmother, Harbour says he requested rewatches at subsequent visits: “I saw the movie 14 times in a movie theater, and my grandmother put up with that because she liked the air conditioning.”

Harbour also gave shout-outs to other “huge action stars” in attendance at the ceremony, all of them female: Charlize Theron, Jamie Lee Curtis, Halle Berry, and Olivia Wilde.

Harbour ended the speech by invoking another classic action film, Die Hard, to explain the strangeness of his trajectory.

“I never thought I’d be an action star! I started my career off as a villain, and usually you kind of remain a villain,” Harbour said. “I thought I’d always be on the Alan Rickman side of the equation, saying, ‘You think you can handle us, Mr. Cowboy?’ Or something. And I can easily say now, ‘Yippee-ki-yay, motherf—er!’”

Watch the clip above for more.

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