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Stranger Things' Jamie Campbell Bower On Being Considered To Play Both Harry Potter And Twilight’s Edward

Jamie Campbell Bower as One/Vecna in Stranger Things.
(Image credit: Netflix)

It’s difficult to comprehend that Jamie Campbell Bower, the actor behind the viral villain Vecna from Stranger Things, Season 4, could have played some of the other biggest fictional characters of the last 20 years. Not many projects live on the same level of relevance as Harry Potter and Twilight, but in recent years, the Netflix show has reached a similar threshold. 

Bower was a guest on the Happy, Sad, Confused (opens in new tab) podcast, where he talked about joining the Stranger Things cast for Season 4. He was also asked about other projects he was considered for. The actor, who did eventually end up in the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises, revealed that he had been in consideration for the lead protagonists. 

Regarding Twilight, Bower couldn't audition because of a scheduling conflict. He elaborated saying:

They were really interested in me reading for Edward. They were like ‘the dedication Jamie brings to his roles, we would be interested in seeing him,’ and all of this and all of that. And it just didn’t work out at the time because it was around the same time I think Sweeny was being released that they were interested in seeing me. I think life was just so crazy and hectic it was just one of those things that never came to fruition. Then cut to movie two and they were like ‘Hey, want to come play a bad guy?’

He was not able to audition because the Tim Burton musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was being released. In the film, Bower played Anthony, the sailor who helped Sweeny Todd get to London. Bower then went on to join the Twilight cast toward the end of the film series' run, playing Caius in both installments of  Breaking Dawn. 

Bower’s streak of being considered for the hero, but ending up playing villains, didn’t start with Twilight. It started when he was a kid and Christopher Columbus, the director of the first Harry Potter movie, was looking to cast the title character. As Bower explained:

Babe, I was up for Harry. They came to my school to look for potential Potters or potential cast members and pulled me out of a bunch of people.

Bower ended up playing Young Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and reprised the same role in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. He explained on the podcast that he thinks one of the reasons he didn’t end up making it far in the audition process was because of a joke he told, saying:

I went to go meet Chris Columbus in London for the first Potter and they asked us to prepare a joke. I had just heard this joke about the reason the fairy sits on top of the Christmas tree. It’s a really dirty joke because it’s about a Christmas tree being up someone's bottom. And I told the joke in the audition. There was this air of silence after I said it. I said ‘Well, fucked that up. Time to move on.'

Obviously his chances to be a part of these franchises came along. Then long term, he ended up landing a role that I think has the potential to go down as one of the most iconic villains on modern television. 

Bower has been open about what it was like filming Vecna’s first big kills on Stranger Things and how he prepared to play Vecna before the intense prosthetics got applied. Bower is confirmed to reprise his role as the big bad for Stranger Thing's fifth and final season. While he may not have gotten the chance to be the hero of other big franchises, Bower has for sure made a name for himself as the ultimate villain on Stranger Things. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She spent many years working in local journalism across the country writing about art, news and sports. One of her favorite films is When Harry Met Sally and she walks around constantly quoting Ted Lasso.