Stranger Things 4 has ascended to the top of the list of TV shows with the scariest TV villains, in my opinion. Vecna, a horrifying human-like, walking fleshy-skeleton man with vines crawling all over his body, no nose, and a Freddy Krueger-like claw for a left hand, follows in the footsteps of the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer. While it’s easy to think Vecna is entirely CGI, it’s recently been revealed that the villain is “90% ” practical and makeup effects.
Yes, that is the actor hiding beneath all of Vecna’s scary, crawling vines. And, yes, he did spend hours in the makeup chair to bring the persona to life in a realistic way.
It took over seven hours to physically turn Jamie into Vecna
Jamie Campbell Bower, the actor who plays Vecna/Peter Ballard/001, has revealed the arduous process he went through to change into the villain each day he arrived on set in an interview with Variety.
It turns out that all of Vecna’s vines are genuine vines that were put on Jamie’s body each time he played the role. Only the movements within them were added in post-production.
Jamie explained that he would start most of his filming days at 3 a.m. to allow for the application of the prosthetics. Each day, the team spent about seven and a half hours completing the Vecna change. He’d film for 10 to 12 hours before wrapping up and spending an hour deleting everything.
Jamie revealed in another interview that he was also the one who did Vecna’s voice.
Barrie Gower Did The FX Prosthesis For Night King, Was Enlisted By The Duffers To Bring Vecna To Life As Well
And you’d be correct if you thought Vecna looked a little like the Night King from Game of Thrones. Barrie Gower, the man behind the effects for Game of Thrones’ horrific Night King, was enlisted by the Duffers to bring Vecna to life as well.
“There was this kind of a drumroll like ‘Vecna is coming to set,” the Duffer brothers explained to The Wrap about the impact Jamie clad in full Vecna costume had on set and in scenes with the actors.
It paid off, according to Ross Duffer, since Vecna’s presence elevated the rest of the cast’s performances: “Instead of acting across a tennis ball, or last year it was a beach ball on a stick, to have an actual actor two feet in front of you performing makes a huge difference.”