Warning: This post contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2.
In the epic two episodes of Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 (the release crashing Netflix on Friday), Jamie Campbell Bower’s Vecna/Henry/One is one of the most compelling, frightening and rousing performances we’ve seen in a series.
While some of us may still be slightly heartbroken and emotional from watching Stranger Things this weekend, particularly after the death of breakout star Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson (after giving us an incredible rendition of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”) and leaving Max (Sadie Sink) in a coma, we still can’t get enough of Bower’s sinister character.
‘The things that he believes, I think resonate with us on a deeply human level’
So what makes Vecna/Henry/One so appealing and obsessively captivating? While we know much of it is pegged off of Jamie Campbell Bower’s performance, the actor believes that what we learn about the motivations for his evil ways is a large part of that attraction.
“I think what makes the character attractive is the fact that what he’s saying and the things that he believes, I think resonate with us on a deeply human level,” Bower told Yahoo Canada. “The idea of isolation, the idea of feeling like the world is unjust, I think is something that we all feel, I know I feel it.”
“That’s what really excited me about the job is the writing comes from, yes OK, externally, to look at the character visually, it’s a monster. Fine. But underneath that is a real person, and the writing is so bang on the money and bang on true that I, as a performer, have no option but to fall in, and fall in love, and hopefully that translates.”
It’s been well documented that Bower really dove into the character of Vecna/Henry/One, telling The Hollywood Reporter that he would sit and stare at a vial of black widow spiders (linked to his character’s fascination with them), meditate, wrote and drew like young Henry in the show, and spent hours staring at his fingers and “actualizing and visualizing them being longer.”
Of course, not to mention the seven hours of physically transforming into the new character and nailing down that perfectly creepy voice.
In terms of actually stepping away from his work, trying to leave behind a character with such an incredible force when filming concluded, Bower revealed that it did take a couple of days to really disconnect.
“I took a couple of days after filming, mostly just to kind of re-land and be somewhat human again,” Bower said. “It was a very intense and tiring process, both physically and emotionally.”
“I’d often find myself quite drained after the experiences, so food became a big comfort for me. Nature was needed dramatically. Obviously, filming in Georgia, there’s a lot of beautiful nature and a lot of lovely waterways out there. So it’s been a lot of time at the water on my days off… but I’m fine!”
While Bower is still keeping quiet on any details of his possible return in Season 5 of Stranger Things, the show’s finale season, after Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) reveals he can still “feel” Vecna a the end of Season 4, we’re highly anticipating even the possible return of our current favourite TV/streaming villain.