Stranger Things ' Jamie Campbell Bower Printed Photos of Vecna's Victims and 'Crossed Their Eyes Out'

·3 min read
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Netflix

This post contains spoilers for Stranger Things 4, Vol. 2.

Jamie Campbell Bower was fully committed to his most evil role yet.

The Stranger Things star, who has played Grindelwald in Harry Potter movies and a Volturi leader in The Twilight Saga, tells PEOPLE the great — and creepy! — lengths he went to get into character to play season 4's big bad, Vecna (a.k.a. Henry, a.k.a. One).

"I would take photographs of each victim," the British actor, 33, admits. "I'd print them off, my next victim, and I would cross their eyes out and put them up on my wall. And I'd stare at them."

Aside from that — and up to eight hours in a makeup chair, of course — getting ready to play such a relentless villain was all about alone time in the dark.

"Resentment is a massive driving force for Vecna. He already has this belief system that the world is a lie and that it's unjust. And so preparing was about bringing that up and digging that up more, [which meant] a lot of heavy, dark meditation, low-frequency sounds, a lot of saying the same kind of thing over and over again," Bower explains. "I would clear my mind and then have these phrases that I would just put in over and over and over again. Walking around late at night. Isolation on my own was always a good thing."

STRANGER THINGS. Vecna in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. Vecna in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Netflix

He continues, "And then for the fury side of things, it was slightly more physical. Music was a big help for me. I used it to either reignite that or just kind of stay in a zone, and I would sit in sort of pitch black."

RELATED: Everything to Know About Stranger Things Season 4 Villain, Vecna

It also helped that Bower didn't spend much time with his costars until after the season wrapped, despite finding them all to be "beautiful" and "lovely."

"I met Millie [Bobby Brown] and Matthew Modine because we had some work to do together in Vol. 1, but everyone else, I didn't get a chance to properly connect with until really after filming," Bower says. "But it was helpful. I think it was probably more helpful for them because they didn't know what to expect from Vecna and what to expect from me."

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Netflix

He notes that he especially bonded with Brown — whom he affectionately calls "Mills" — since most of his scenes as a friendly orderly were with her.

"Mills and I became very close whilst working together," he says. "And I knew that we would do from the read-through. I was sat behind her... and when I started talking, doing the Henry stuff, she turned around, looked at me in the eyes, and kind of smiled. And it was at that, when you connect with somebody like that, there's this sort of safety that's brought into the space. It was an amazing, instant vibe."

RELATED VIDEO: The Cast of 'Stranger Things' Then and Now: "We've Built a Family at This Point"

As for his physical transformation into Vecna, Bower says the most grueling part of the eight-hour process wasn't simply sitting there while teams of people worked around him.

"There's a point where I do get to lie down, and the hardest part is probably being told that I have to stand back up again," Bower says. "That's always rough. I'm like, 'Oh my God, can I just stay here forever?'"

Season 4 of Stranger Things is now available to stream on Netflix.