Warning: The following article contains spoilers for the Stranger Things season 4 finale.
Nothing could’ve prepared us for the truth residing at the heart of Stranger Things season 4. But then, that has always been the goal of the Duffer Brothers.
After going through one heck of an emotional ride filled with action and camaraderie, the hit Netflix show has left viewers for a brief while to catch their breaths until next month, when season 4 returns with two feature-length episodes that will supposedly wrap up this harrowing story arc.
Spoilers to follow.
If you’ve already managed to watch the 100-minute finale to volume1, you know that the terrifying Vecna —the villain brutally murdering the Hawkins teens since the first episode— is none other than the “Friendly Orderly” who watched over Eleven and the rest of the kids in Dr. Brenner’s clandestine psychiatric facility. He is also the son of Robert Englund’s Victor Creel, and the person responsible for killing his wife and other kid.
On top of all this, the finale reveals that he was the one who killed all the children besides Eleven, which is what compelled her to inadvertently banish him to the Upside Down, thus creating the Vecna.
Now, in a recent chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Jamie Campbell Bower has revealed what it was like to portray Henry Creel and his monstrous alter ego Vecna at the same time. When asked if the Duffer Brothers told him about the character’s full arc, here’s what Bower had to say in response.
“It was always the arc and, like you say, the evolution. I wanted to track that as much as possible. If I’m to be honest about the attraction, being able to be a part of this show and working with Matt and Ross, who are so intelligent both mentally and emotionally, was a very, very big draw. And on the work side, it was the opportunity to play sort of three different people — even though Henry and One are the same person, he’s presenting a very different version of himself. So to track that throughout episodes five, six, and seven, I saw it as a great possibility — not even an ‘opportunity,’ because that would sound like I went into it knowing I could do it. I went into it thinking, ‘Holy shit! Am I going to be able to do this?’
“I remember speaking to [makeup effects artist] Pat Foad, who works with Barry Gower [the makeup effects designer responsible for Game of Thrones’ Night King], and they knew a bit. I was talking to Pat about the whole thing, and I said, ‘Pat, I’ve got to present this super nice version, but underneath it all is this sort of darkness, manipulation, and hatred and anger for the world.’ And he said, ‘It’s an opportunity to show your rage.’ From an outside perspective, yes. But on the inside, I was fucking terrified!”
How the Hawkins bunch will confront and defeat the Vecna, or whether they can, is something that only Stranger Things can answer when it returns with the final two episodes on July 1.