stranger things still leaning into its scarier elements, but Season 4 pushes the Netflix series firmly into horror. A lot of it has to do with Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower). The series’ newest villain adopts gruesome methods to kill his victims, not to mention his own sinister gaze. Vecna’s appearance is enough to leave fans looking over their shoulders after watching Stranger things 4. And apparently its design was inspired by Game of thrones.
Makeup company BGFX brought Vecna to life in ‘Stranger Things 4’
stranger things 4 the villainous Vecna looks more monster than human, and that’s thanks to the efforts of makeup company BGFX. Led by Barrie Gower, BGFX was brought in to create Season 4’s Big Bad. According to Variety, they based his look on a design by Michael Maher Jr., the lead concept illustrator for Strange things.
Maher’s illustrations depicted a villain reminiscent of Freddy Kruger. Vecna takes the form of a human, but her skin is burned and rotten. To capture this look, a lot of prosthetics were needed. In fact, Gower told Variety that “Vecna is definitely the most extensive prosthetic makeup” BGFX has ever worked on. The team even needed to create a full cast and split it into separate pieces to make the whole thing work.
One of the reasons Vecna’s creation was so much more comprehensive than other projects is that Jamie Campbell Bower needed the flexibility to move around with the prosthetics. Gower told Variety:
“We approached this more like full body prosthetic makeup rather than a guy in a creature costume. Because he was going to interact a lot and get closer to the cast, there would be a lot of movement. It was also a very painful role. Jamie did all of his own stunts, but we wanted the devices to be very form fitting due to the Vecna design, it’s very slim and sleek. And we didn’t want any buckling in the rubber or anything like that. So almost everything is glued to Jamie’s skin with a medical adhesive.
Obviously, the long process of creating Vecna has paid off. The character’s look is seamless – and terrifying – throughout stranger things‘ fourth season. And apparently fans can thank game of thrones for BGFX’s involvement.
How the Night King from ‘Game of Thrones’ Inspired Vecna’s Look
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A lot of effort has gone into creating Vecna for stranger things 4, and there’s a reason the Duffer Brothers chose BGFX for the job. They enjoyed founder Barrie Gower’s work on another popular TV series, which used a similar approach to its villain: Game of thrones.
That’s right, the Night King served as a partial inspiration for Vecna’s creation. After seeing how Gower brought the leader of the Army of the Dead to life, the Duffers believed that BGFX would do Vecna justice. During an interview with CinemaBlend, Gower recalled how his HBO projects landed the job for the company:
“The Duffers had seen our work on game of thrones, and they absolutely loved the Night King. They also loved our work on the HBO show Chernobyl with all the radiation burns, and I think they almost wanted a combination of the two, in a way. Realizing that they needed to design a character – a new villain, a new presence for Stranger Things 4, that would be a pretty iconic villain – being fans of the Night King for game of thrones, I think they were like, ‘Well, why not? Let’s get closer to the guys who made the Night King. “
If you look closely, you can definitely see similarities in the makeup of the two characters. However, Gower told Variety that the process for Vecna was “much bigger” than for the Night King.
And because of the implication of it all, it looks like Jamie Campbell Bower spent a lot of time wearing makeup.
Jamie Campbell Bower spent hours doing makeup for ‘Stranger Things 4’
The makeup team had their hands full with the creation of Vecna in stranger things 4 Flight. 1, but the character’s look also required a commitment from Jamie Campbell Bower.
During the panel for Netflix’s weekly show Geeked, the cast recalled how much time the actor would spend in the makeup chair.
“If it was like a 7 a.m. crew call, he would have to come in at 1 a.m. the day before while they were making him up as Vecna,” Finn Wolfhard recalled. “And he never complained.”
Sadie Sink added that having a villain comprised mostly of practical effects made it easier for the other cast members to work.
“We were really lucky this year because Vecna was pretty much all practical effects,” Sink said, “which kind of made it easier for me, so I’m not like starting with a man in green suit.”
With that in mind, it seems Vecna’s design worked on many levels. Fans can expect to see more of the character when stranger things 4 Flight. 2 is coming.
Waiting, stranger things 4 Flight. 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.
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