The actual outfit Jamie Campbell Bower wore to represent Vecna is revealed in a new behind-the-scenes film from the set of Stranger Things season 4. Throughout the first three seasons of Matt and Ross Duffer’s eerie ode to the 1980s, Eleven and the residents of Hawkins have battled Demogorgons, Demodogs, and the Mind Flayer. Season 4 of the series returned to Netflix this month after a nearly three-year absence, introducing viewers to Vecna, a game-changing major evil.
Vecna invades his victims’ minds and preys on latent guilt before twisting their bodies into human pretzels, inspired by iconic villains such as Freddy Krueger and named after the Dungeons & Dragons spellcasting demon. While Bower’s baritone voice may resemble that of Freddy Krueger, the character is actually played by Robert Englund (who plays Victor Creel in the series). He wore a pound of prosthetics to stalk Chrissy, Fred, and Max, in stark contrast to his duty as the “Friendly Orderly.”
Stranger Things’ cast reacted to the scene from episode 4, “Dear Billy,” in which Max escapes Vecna in his mind lair owing to Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” in a recent interview during Netflix’s Geeked Week. Following Bower’s reaction, viewers are treated to behind-the-scenes footage of him in the villain’s realistic outfit. Take a look at the following:
Vecna was built with 90% actual effects, as mentioned in the video above. Bower’s persona has a passing resemblance to Game of Thrones’ Night King, thanks to the Duffer Brothers’ collaboration with famous makeup effects artist Barrie Gower in 2020. Stranger Things’ creators wanted Vecna to be constructed with minimal CGI, evoking classic horror villains. Bower had to start his day early in the morning to get into Vecna’s prosthetics as a result of this. While using CGI, as with the Stranger Things creatures, might have been easier, it’s safe to say that all of the hard effort paid off. Vecna not only terrified the audience, but also the performers, including Millie Bobby Brown, who cried when she saw Bower on set—which may or may not have been intentional.