‘Stranger Things’ Season 4: Jamie Campbell Bower Knew ‘Nothing’ About His Character: ‘I Did One of Those Detective Mind Map Things’

Jamie Campbell Bowers is one of the newest additions to Stranger Things Season 4 Volume I. For a long time, the actor had to keep quiet about the character or characters he would portray in the series. Bower reveals that before being cast, he knew next to nothing about who he would play in Stranger Things Season 4. He resorted to his own investigation to figure it out.

The actor plays ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4’s biggest and most jaw-dropping villain

The new season of the Netflix series returns to the mystery of the Upside Down. The main characters and fans have speculated about its origin from the start and slowly figured out how it functions. But the question of who rules it and its creatures remained a mystery until the fourth season.

The big reveal came with Bower’s multiple key characters in the last episode of Stranger Things Season 4. The actor first appears as a kind orderly in Eleven’s memories of her time at Hawkin’s lab. The character was originally known as Pater Ballard, but his true identity is revealed in the finale.

Bower plays the role of Henry Creel, who becomes the Upside Down’s heinous villain, Vecna. The fourth season helped put the pieces together of who Henry is, his powers, and how he factors into Eleven’s childhood and the big massacre at the lab. Just as fans put the pieces together, so did Bower when auditioning for his role.

Jamie Campbell Bower was given no details about his character in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 before meeting with Duffer brothers


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bower reveals the process of joining the cast for the new season. The main cast of the series has done a good job keeping key details a secret for every season. But Bower explains, “I knew nothing,” when it came to his role as Henry Creel/Vecna.

“They sent me two sets of sides, originally. One was from Primal Fear and the other one was from Hellraiser. Then for the recall, they sent me some dummy sides from the show, at which point there was a little bit more information about the character, but not loads,” explained Bower.

Bower later learned the dummy side he had read was Stranger Things Season 4’s first Vecna kill, Chrissy Cunningham. Before meeting with the Duffer brothers in person, Bower tried to understand who his characters were. “Then I was in L.A. and I just went mad. I did one of those detective mind map things and put Will Byers in the middle and then all the other characters and what I thought was right, inspiration wise,” said the actor.

Bower showed them his book of ideas and clues during his meet-and-greet with the Duffer brothers. The Duffer brothers were stunned, and Bower explains, “I showed them the book and they were like, ‘Have you read the script? This is literally perfect.’” Bower was spot on when the Duffer brothers later showed him the 3D renders and explained the character.

The actor has no idea where Peter Ballard came from

Before the fourth season premiere, fans were curious about who Peter Ballard was. The character is described as ” a caring man who works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital. Tired of the brutality he witnesses day after day, will Peter finally take a stand?”

Beyond the vague character description, nothing else was known about him. He appears in Eleven’s memories during the season and becomes her confidante. But Bower reveals that he had no idea about the Stranger Things Season 4 character that fans clung to.

“I have no idea where the name Peter Ballard came from. I can only apologize to fans of the show for being part of such a massive red herring,” said Bower. He remembers seeing the character and thought, “Okay, guys. Cheers! That’s going to be a tough one if anybody asks me, but I’ll just go with the party line.”

Bower was likely also in for a shock when he learned the real storyline of the character and how he wreaks havoc on Eleven and the other characters.

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