Stranger Things Newbie Jamie Campbell Bower Explains Character's Origins

Following his debut in Stranger Things season four, Jamie Campbell Bower detailed how he prepared to play the multifaceted character.

By Cydney Contreras May 31, 2022 6:11 PMTags

Warning: Spoilers ahead! 

Jamie Campbell Bower is giving very "politician"-like answers after his debut in Stranger Things season four.

The actor made his first appearance in Volume I, in which he plays an orderly who befriends Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) while she's in the Hawkins Laboratory. But in episode seven, it's revealed that he's actually Henry Creel, a.k.a. the mysterious One, whose powers inspired Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) to launch the program that created Eleven. 

What's more, Creel became the terrifying monster Vecna when Eleven banished him. Since their fateful encounter, he's been killing Hawkins' teens and gaining strength in the Upside Down.

So yeah, the pressure was on as soon as Bower auditioned for the role.

He told Entertainment Weekly that he was so keen on getting the character down, he ended up creating a book about Henry's origin story, which he later showed to creators Matt and Ross Duffer during the audition. "They were like, 'Have you read the script? This is literally perfect,'" he remembered. "So they scuttled off into the backroom of the house that they write in and came back with all these amazing 3D renders and telling me more about the story of Vecna and of Henry and of One."

Stranger Things Kids Through the Years

This dedication to the character landed him the role, after which the Duffers shared more about his mysterious origins. As Bower told EW, "I needed to know all of that in order to be able to track the story."

And when it came time to start filming, he drew on films like Hellraiser and Primal Fear for inspiration. "That's the great thing about working with Matt and Ross," he said. "Their references are so beautiful and so brilliant and are the things that I love."


As for the differences among his character's the three personalities, Bower said Henry starts off misunderstood: "It was all about him being the outsider and the recluse and not being accepted and seeing the lies that his parents told, and the world is a lie."

But once he's taken to the lab, he's more cunning and manipulative. He befriends Eleven and makes her think he's the only person who can help her gain freedom. But when she asks him to join her in her escape, he ends up killing all the other kids in the lab.

When Eleven discovers his betrayal, she turns against him and banishes him to the Upside Down, where he becomes Vecna. "You know when you get so angry, you start shaking you're trying to hold it together?" Bower said of his transition into the monster. "That's what I took."

Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Vecna's anger will likely overflow in Volume II, with Bower saying of the final two episodes, "If you thought that it was as big as it could get, it's not. It goes further, visually, story-wise, and emotionally for all the characters. It really is quite an explosive climax, let's say."

He stopped short of sharing key details, adding that he feels like a "politician" with his neutral responses. "I couldn't possibly give any spoilers or tell you anything at all."

Stranger Things: Volume II premieres July 1 on Netflix. 

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