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Stranger Things is full of scary monsters. But the actor who plays the biggest villain did something just as creepy to get in character. Jamie Campbell Bower revealed his process to play Vecna.

Vecna targeted Hawkins in ‘Stranger Things’

Henry covered in blood speaking to a scared Eleven in Hawkins Lab in 'Stranger Things' Season 4 Volume 1
Jamie Campbell Bower as Henry and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven | Netflix

Season 4 of Stranger Things revealed the source of Hawkins’ problems since season 1. Number One was a child under Papa’s care like Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) many years ago. He later worked in the lab.

He tricked Eleven into freeing him, and he killed all of the other kids in the lab. Eleven fought him after this and unknowingly sent him to the Upside Down. Number One turned into Vecna. Gates to the Upside Down have been opened ever since accidentally.  The monsters coming through the gates are part of the hive mind connected to Vecna.

Season 4 ended with Eleven once again beating Vecna. But it’s clear he’s just wounded and still in Hawkins, according to Will Byers (Noah Schnapp).

Jamie Campbell Bower kept photos of Vecna’s victims and stared at them

Actors sometimes do things when they’re not filming to stay in touch with their characters. Bower revealed to People that he messed with photos of people from the show to play the villain.

“I would take photographs of each victim,” he said. “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.”

He also explained which emotion fuels his powerful character. “Resentment is a massive driving force for Vecna,” Bower said. “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.”

The other ways he prepared were isolating, walking around at night, and listening to music. The list of Vecna’s victims is quite long if we take it back to season 1. But in season 4, that includes Chrissy Cunningham (Grace Van Dien), Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), Fred Benson (Logan Riley Bruner), and Patrick McKinney (Myles Truitt).

Vecna will return in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 5


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Volume II ended with everyone returning to Hawkins. Eleven’s battle with Vecna resulted in Hawkins tearing apart in the ground, making it more likely for more monsters to come from the Upside Down.

Will returned and felt Vecna’s presence. He told the others that he was very much alive but hurt. So Vecna will return in season 5 for another battle with Eleven. However, it’s still a mystery as to what will kill him. Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) shot him multiple times. Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) and Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke) also lit him on fire with Molotov cocktails. So it’ll take a lot more than that to kill him.