Sadie Sink and Director Shawn Levy Break Down Vecna’s Mind Lair on Stranger Things

If you thought watching Max get trapped in Vecna's Mind Lair on Stranger Things was scary, wait 'til you see what it was like to film! Watch Sadie Sink and director Shawn Levy break it down.

By Daniel Trainor Jun 29, 2022 1:22 AMTags
Watch: Stranger Things Season 4: The Creation of Vecna

The process of creating Vecna's Mind Lair on Stranger Things was just as harrowing as watching the final product. 

Shawn Levy, who directed the episode featuring the monstrous dimension, and Sadie Sink, whose character Max is trapped in the lair, described the intense filming experience in a new behind-the-scenes feature.

"We always try to combine real art department constructed environments with these digital elements," explained Levy, who has been with the show since season one. "The more you can practically build, the more you're helping your actor do their job," he said, "but you're also helping the audience with an on-ramp to believability."

Sadie marveled at the craftsmanship on display, saying, "The set was pretty impressive. It was like a full-on platform that was built on a sound stage." However, she revealed, "The sky, that was all just like a blue screen."

That's where Sadie's acting came into play! No wonder co-star Winona Ryder said she's "going to be like Meryl Streep."

Stranger Things Behind the Scenes: Prosthetics

Sadie admitted that not everything on set was quite as scary as it appeared on-screen—except for one major exception.

"Chrissy's [Grace Van Dien] dead body didn't look as good as it looks in the finished product," she said, "but Vecna looks just as scary in real life as he does in the show."

Wait, you're telling us there's a real-life Vecna walking around?!

"This was the first scene that I ever had with Jamie [Campbell Bower, who plays Vecna] and my first time ever seeing him in his full prosthetic suit and everything," Sadie said. "It's terrifying. You'll be setting up for a different shot or something and then he's in the corner like growling."

Absolute nightmare fuel.

When it came time for Max to get captured by Vecna's vines, it become a multi-man effort.

"We had Sadie running towards us and then falling into a stunt pad," Shawn explained. "We had about three guys on the end of a rope while we dragged the stunt Max in her belly and up against the pillar."

The combination of visual effects, real-life contraptions and a growling Jamie Campbell Bower made for one heck of a filming experience. As Sadie said, "It's definitely scary. It feels like the stakes are really high. It was not the easiest set to film on. But I mean, it looks amazing."

And isn't that the most important part?

The final two episodes of Stranger Things' fourth season drop July 1 on Netflix.


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