Stranger Things has introduced a lot of villains over the years, but we have to confess that Jamie Campbell Bower’s Vecna definitely takes the cake as one of the show’s creepiest villains yet!
Despite not knowing he was going out for the role of the season’s key villain when originally auditioning for the role — turns out Bower’s original audition included reading an expert from Hellraiser and Primal Fear instead of source material from the season — Campbell has quickly established himself as one of the series’ most iconic foes.
His portrayal of the character is truly chilling with his performance being elevated even further through the terrifying creature the Duffer Brothers and company created. Vecna is truly the stuff of nightmares, giving his inspiration Freddy Krueger a run for his money in the horror department.
Does Jamie Campbell Bower really play Vecna? Or is Vecna CGI?
While the general assumption among many when watching the series was that the character was brought to life using the magic of CGI, it turns out Jamie Campbell Bower actually brought the character to life with help from carefully crafted prosthetics.
Rather than using a stand-in and simply recording lines in post-production, Bower suited up as Vecna to shoot the scenes with CGI being used to help elevate the character’s final look rather than to create it entirely.
Jamie Campbell Bower Vecna transformation
To help bring Vecna to life, the Stranger Things special effects team created a full-body lifecast of Jamie Campbell Bower which was based on a 3D body scan. Using these two tools, the effects team created a whopping 18 prosthetics which were applied each day of shooting to transform Bower into season 4’s Big Bad.
The process is rumored to have taken roughly six to seven hours for make-up artist Barrie Gower and his team to apply, with the prosthetics for Bower’s neck and shoulder areas alone weighing roughly nine pounds!
In a day and age when so many studios turn to CGI to help bring otherworldly characters such as Vecna to life, it’s insane to think that Jamie Campbell Bower brought the character to life through the use of prosthetics.
It’s even more impressive that the actor himself underwent the tedious makeup process for the character and that a stand-in was not used on set, meaning that’s truly Bower we see on set alongside those unlucky enough to cross paths with Vecna.