Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 1.
The cat is finally out of the bag! Jamie Campbell Bower spoke to Entertainment Weekly about playing the big bad Vecna, aka One in Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4. Initially, introduced as a Friendly Orderly, the finale of Season 4 Volume I finally revealed his true identity as One, the first kid with psychic powers who inspired Dr. Martin Brenner’s program.
During the show, it is revealed that before coming to Brenner’s facility One (born Henry Creel) terrorized his family with his powers. However, when he got older, a device was planted in his neck to suppress his psychic abilities, and he was forced to work as an orderly at the lab. While not much is shown about his transition from One to Vecna, a demon creature in the present, he’s using his powers to kill teenagers in Hawkins.
It is easy to mistake the demon for CGI. However, Bower gave a practical performance, wearing the costume and doing the voice work. The only thing added were the vines moving on the demon’s neck. In talking about how prosthetics helped his performance, the actor admitted the physical element of Vecna came beforehand as he spent hours looking at his hands, taking a midnight stroll around downtown Los Angeles, among other things just to get the feel of it. Nonetheless, wearing the prosthetics for long hours was daunting. “When the costume was on, it was about applying those sensitivities that I created in my mind. The hand is this amazing thing that has all these metal wires in it, so the fingers become quite dextrous,” Bower said.
While the physical elements came easy the voice work took its time. The actor revealed he had done enough work on Henry and One before the read-through. Although he knew how Vecna felt, the demon’s voice took some time. Bower said:
“I would send Matt and Ross audio recordings of myself with spooky vampire music underneath it as this voice was progressing. I’ve got countless videos on my computer of me doing it… well, doing it badly, walking around pretty much naked. It was funny.”
The seven episodes of Stranger Things Season 4 Volume I are out on now Netflix, however, Volume II which consists of only two episodes premieres July 1.
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