Have you ever watched Stranger Things and thought, “I’d really like to hear Vecna recite lines from my favorite songs and movies?” If so, you’re in luck.
Jamie Campbell Bower, who stars as the horrific creature in the hit sci-fi show’s fourth season, appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night to discuss his shocking transformation into the role.
The actor detailed his eight-hour prosthetic makeup routine and how he perfected the character’s unmistakable voice. “It took a few months to get [the voice] right,” Bower said, noting that he was cast in the role two months before the first table read with his costars in March 2020.
Bower eventually drew inspiration from some of the most iconic villains in cinematic history, like Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street and Pinhead in Hellraiser.
“I was there at the table read with everyone, I sat behind Millie [Bobbie Brown], and I was doing the voice. It started in this very nasally area, kind of more like Freddie Krueger, and it just wasn’t landing,” he explained to the late-night host. “So I went home and worked on it, did a bunch of reference work on, like, Hellraiser and Doug Bradley particularly. And it said that, you know, this deep, booming voice kind of comes out of the darkness.”
Bower discussing the sinister beings on which Bower modeled his performance gave Fallon an idea — to have the London native take beloved pieces of pop culture and give them an Upside Down makeover.
Todd Owyoung/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Jamie Campbell Bower
“Fans of Stranger Things have called Vecna the scariest character they’ve ever seen,” Fallon said. “He’s pretty terrifying. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind doing the Vecna voice for us right now?”
Fallon then directed him to cue cards featuring “lines Veca would never say.”
First up was Vecna reenacting Julia Roberts’ swoon-worthy declaration to Hugh Grant in the romantic comedy Notting Hill: “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.” Then came Kate Winslet’s iconic request in Titanic in which her character Rose asks Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack to “draw me like one of your French girls.” The grim tint on these passionate onscreen moments is hilariously bizarre.
Finally, Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” gave the monster the affirmation of self-love he so deeply needs, with Bower really leaning into the empowerment anthem. “In a minute I’ma need a sentimental man or woman to pump me up,” Bower as Vecna uttered. “Feeling fussy, walkin’ in my Balenci-ussy’s, tryna bring out the fabulous.”
Following the season 4 premiere of Stranger Things, Bower spoke to EW about how Vecna’s voice was entirely his creation.
“I knew how Vecna felt, but I hadn’t quite got the voice yet,” he said. “I would send Matt and Ross [Duffer] audio recordings of myself with spooky vampire music underneath it as this voice was progressing. I’ve got countless videos on my computer of me doing it… well, doing it badly, walking around pretty much naked. It was funny.”
Watch Bower channel Vecna on The Tonight Show above.
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