Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things season 4. For most of the newest season of Stranger Things season 4, Jamie Campbell Bower is just an orderly in Dr. Brennar's facility—a weird, haunting guy in a weird, haunting lab. That is, until the ending of Stranger Things season 4 volume 1, where it's revealed in a jaw-dropping twist that the orderly is Henry Creel, also known as 001, also known as Vecna. Finally, we know how the first gate opened in Hawkins: in a stand-off with Henry/001 in the facility, after he's tricked Eleven into giving him his power back, El throws Henry/001 against a wall with such enormous psychic force, he's tossed into the Upside Down, where he burns and suffers until ultimately declaring his vengeance.
You probably thought Campbell Bower looked familiar—after all, he's been in some of the biggest franchises in recent history. Here's what to know about the British actor.
He starred in 'Twilight' and 'Harry Potter' films.
The 33-year-old actor grew up in London with parents who were in the music industry. He got his start in theater, as a member of the U.K.'s National Youth Music Theatre and National Youth Theatre. He then acted as a model, before landing his big role in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Bower is the person to call when you need to cast a villain in an iconic pop culture franchise. Before Stranger Things, he played Young Gellert Grindelwald in the seventh Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, and in the second spinoff film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. He also starred in several Twilight films as Volturi member Caius.
Besides these villain roles, the Brit also played Jace in the film adaptation Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. On the TV side, he portrayed King Arthur in the 2011 series Camelot, and Christopher Marlowe in the 2017 series Will.
He's also an accomplished musician.
Bower's been a musician just as long as he's been acting. He's played in bands throughout his life, most recently as the lead vocalist and guitarist of London punk band Counterfeit from 2015 to 2020. Bower now performs as a solo singer-songwriter under the name Jamie Bower.
It sounds like Eddie Munson would be a big fan of Bower's music, as he described his sound to NME (opens in new tab) as "exploring the darker side of life."
"I like macabre stuff," he told the outlet. "I like the idea of mortality. I like the idea of worlds beyond worlds. I really enjoy pushing the limits of the human experience and seeing how far I can go and seeing what else is out there. It’s a tough place for people to get into when you’re like, 'Listen, I want to make music that feels like I’m in Hell, how do you guys feel about that?'"
Bower also told the outlet that he'd love to do a soundtrack, so someone let the Duffer Brothers know. (He's also selling merch if you can't get your hands on a Vecna shirt).
His next film tells the story of the first televised exorcism.
After playing a man who "haunted" his family in Stranger Things, Bower will be on the other end of the haunted house story in his upcoming film. He'll star alongside The Boys' Erin Moriarty in True Haunting, per Deadline (opens in new tab). Based on true events, the movie will follow Ed and Marsha Becker, a couple who purchase their first home and find it's haunted by the family who lived and died there before. They seek out the first-ever televised exorcism, but the ceremony just makes things worse.
He and his girlfriend have been dating for over a year.
Per Page Six (opens in new tab), Bower has been in a relationship with talent manager Jess Moloney since early 2021. The actor has also previously dated Harry Potter star Bonnie Wright and his Mortal Instruments co-star Lily Collins.
He also acted in the Vecna prosthetics.
In addition to playing the kind orderly a.k.a. Number One a.k.a. Henry Creel in the scenes with Eleven, Bower also voiced Vecna and wore the full suit of prosthetics for his scenes, which took over seven hours to apply. He told Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab) that the Vecna costume was "90 percent practical. The only thing that is not practical are the vines moving on the neck." He also shared some gnarly pics of the makeup process and final product on his Instagram.
He made a mind-map to figure out who his character was.
Bower was kept in intense secrecy about his role during his audition, receiving scenes from Primal Fear and Hellraiser during the first round, and then "dummy sides" to show him a bit more of the character. After that, the actor told Variety (opens in new tab) that he turned full theorizer to figure out just what role he was auditioning for.
"I went crazy for, like, two days," he told the outlet. "In my apartment, I put a picture of Will Byers in the middle, and then all the other characters around it, and then sort of made this Claire Danes-esque from 'Homeland' mind-map of who I thought this person was. I stepped back from it after two days, and was like, that feels kind of good."
Bower then had a meeting with the Duffer Brothers, where he presented some pics from his research. "So I presented this thing to them, and then we flipped through it. They looked up at me after going through it, and they went, 'Have you been given the scripts?'" he told Variety.
"They were like, 'This is literally perfect. Everything that you’ve gotten here is perfect. Your references are perfect. The inspiration is perfect. Do you mind if we show you some more visual references that we have and what we’re thinking, and tell you a little bit more about the character?’ I think by that point, they knew I wasn’t completely insane."
In a post-Volume 2 interview with The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), Bower added that he had also guessed that Vecna was behind the Mind Flayer and the Upside Down monsters all along.
"I told you about the mood board, and how I would have had Will Byers in the middle. But what I didn’t tell you was that literally, right next to him, I had the Mind Flayer. And that just happened purely by accident. I guess whatever Matt and Ross [Duffer] were putting out into the universe, I was taking in," he said.
He's staying mum on whether Vecna's in season 5.
The Stranger Things cast and crew have apparently instituted a spoiler-lockdown policy for all post-season interviews. Bower has given no hint of whether Vecna will return in season 5, but he did tell The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) that he thinks the Hawkins gang still has a chance.
"There’s always an opportunity for the good guys to win," he told the outlet. "I think in this case, they’d have to be way smarter than they have been thus far, because Henry is not one to forget and not one to let things slide."
Quinci LeGardye is a Contributing Culture Editor who covers TV, movies, Korean entertainment, books, and pop culture. When she isn’t writing or checking Twitter, she’s probably watching the latest K-drama or giving a concert performance in her car.
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