Jamie Campbell Bower is apologizing to fans for keeping his “Stranger Things” season 4 character a secret.
*This article contains spoilers for the first three episodes of “Stranger Things” season 4*
The actor tells Entertainment Weekly he went into the audition blind, not knowing anything about the role he was trying out for. He says he was given just two scenes, commonly known as sides, to audition with.
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“I knew nothing. They sent me two sets of sides, originally. One was from ‘Primal Fear’ and the other one was from ‘Hellraiser‘,” he explains. “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.”
One of the dummy scenes he was given ended up being one of episode two’s most-pivotal moments.
“[The scene] was actually what ended up being the Chrissy kill,” he says.
Following his audition, Bower got really into his prep work to take on the prosthetics-heavy role of Vecna.
“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,” he says. “Then I was called into a meeting with Matt and Ross Duffer, and I took a little folder that I had of all these images. I was pretty quiet during the meeting. It was one of those things where it was like, ‘Keep your f***ing mouth closed and everything will be fine.’”
He continues: “After we had a getting-to-know-one-another conversation, I was like, ‘Look, I have this book of what I think this character is. Do you mind if I show you?’ I showed them the book and they were like, ‘Have you read the script? This is literally perfect.'”
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When Bower was originally announced as a new cast member for season 4, Netflix revealed he’d be playing Peter Ballard who was 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?”
Of course, all that proved to be false.
“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,” he says. “I remember seeing it and being like, ‘Okay, guys. Cheers! That’s going to be a tough one if anybody asks me, but I’ll just go with the party line.'”