Watch the "Stranger Things" Prosthetics Team Execute Vecna's Transformation
"Stranger Things" season four introduces Vecna, a villainous creature who's entirely different than the Demogorgons, Mind Flayer, and other monsters that have terrorized the town of Hawkins. Most noticeably, Vecna takes on a humanoid form and can speak to his victims, but beyond that, he wasn't created using high-tech CGI — he was brought to life with some intense prosthetics.
In the seventh episode of season four, we learn that Vecna was formerly One, aka Henry Creel, portrayed by English actor Jamie Campbell Bower. The "Stranger Things" prosthetics team, led by Barrie Gower, worked tirelessly to transform Bower into the gooey, vine-covered being — a process captured in a fascinating time-lapse video shared on June 15.
In the clip, seen ahead, Bower slowly morphs into Vecna while sitting in his trailer, talking on the phone, and casually sipping a Starbucks drink. First, his hair is slicked back and put into a bald cap, and then the team covers his entire body with various prosthetic sections, applying each with glue. By the end, Bower is truly unrecognizable.
can't talk rn, i'm becoming vecna.
[brought to life by barrie gower] pic.twitter.com/1EYf7wcjIy
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) June 15, 2022
At first, the process took eight and a half hours from start to finish, Gower told Cinema Blend, but his team eventually whittled it down to just over six hours. They began by creating a full-body cast for Bower and then divided it into around 25 different parts, made molds for each, and injected the molds with different materials like silicone and foam latex.
"It was just like big patchwork quilt pieces, which was all pre-artworked in London to the nth degree," Gower said. "We would glue everything together on the actor's skin, and then join all the dots together with airbrushes and inks and make it all seamless. It's a huge undertaking." Each new day of shooting required a new set of prosthetics, so Gower and his team wound up creating around 26 different sets to use while filming season four.
While sharing behind-the-scenes photos of Bower's Vecna transformation, Gower wrote on Instagram, "It was a well orchestrated marathon, which would not have been possible without a stellar team and the upmost patience and unfaltering stamina of Jamie - Huge respect to you sir."
Read ahead to see more on-set photos of Bower mutating into the Upside Down's latest villainous creature, and then catch up on more hair and makeup secrets from "Stranger Things" season four.