Stranger Things Star Reflects On Filming Vecna's First Big Kills Before The Confrontation With Eleven

Spoilers ahead for the full Season 4 of Stranger Things on Netflix.

The fourth season of Stranger Things has officially been available to Netflix subscribers for more than a week now, but there’s still plenty to talk about as the wait begins for Season 5. The heroes didn’t definitively defeat the villain in the finale this time around, and Vecna struck some major blows before the final credits rolled. Jamie Campbell Bower made his debut as Vecna in a full suit of prosthetics, but also played Henry/One via flashback. Speaking with CinemaBlend after the finale released, the actor reflected on the order of filming, including the Chrissy and Fred kills before the massacre at Hawkins Lab. 

Jamie Campbell Bower’s casting was announced before the premiere, but fans who went in expecting him to play hospital worker Peter were in for some very big surprises when the show revealed that not only was the man in Eleven’s flashbacks actually One, but also Henry and the future Vecna. When I noted to the actor that he went from being credited as “Friendly Orderly” in early Season 4 to Vecna, he weighed in on whether or not he was able to film in sequence for Season 4: 

Upon reflection, we filmed predominantly in sequence. I started actually filming Vecna first, so we did film relatively in sequence in terms of the story. So I had the Chrissy and Fred kills first of all, and then went back and sort of did most of the scenes with Eleven as Henry in one go, or not in one go, but you know, chronologically, and then went back into Vecna. There were only a couple of occasions where I would have been playing Henry one day in one mode, and then had to jump immediately into Vecna the following day. Those were always interesting moments because they required for me a different preparation. But predominantly in order.

Television shows are rarely able to film in order, so a full season “predominantly” shooting his character in order is a major accomplishment for Stranger Things, and it sounds like one that Jamie Campbell Bower appreciated in his preparation to play Vecna. 

After all, even though Henry/One’s first confrontation with Eleven at Hawkins Lab took place chronologically years before Season 4 took place, those flashbacks came in the middle of the season. He played Vecna before and after playing Henry; considering his comments about how he prepared to play Vecna with and without the prosthetics, it sounds like filming largely in sequence was a perk for Bower.  

And it wasn’t the standard for the entire filming process of Season 4. Ahead of the season premiere, Joseph Quinn (who played Eddie) noted that the cast “would have days where we were filming scenes from Episode 1 and Episode 9 in one day.” Joe Keery (whose Steve fortunately survived) added that the cast shot previous seasons in blocks of episodes rather than the whole season spread out, and that he didn’t think he “even saw David Harbour” with all the distance between plots in Season 4. 

Quinn and Keery’s characters were part of the same plot based in Hawkins, so their experiences were very different from Jamie Campbell Bower’s when it comes to the order of filming. In fact, Joseph Quinn revealed that filming Eddie’s death scene was “weird” for him and Gaten Matarazzo because it was shot in two parts on different days. Eddie’s death presumably means that Quinn won’t be back in Season 5, but Bower’s Vecna was very much still alive despite the second confrontation with Eleven that happened in the finale. 

Unfortunately, we’re in for a bit of a wait before getting answers to some of the big questions leftover from Season 4. There is no indication of when the show will return for Season 4, and fans can just hope that the hiatus isn’t nearly as long as the one after Season 3. For now, you can check out all four seasons of Stranger Things streaming on Netflix, and take a look at the quick things we know so far about Season 5

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).