The ’90s Thriller Jamie Campbell Bower Referenced When Playing Vecna In Stranger Things

“Primal Fear” is a perfect as an acting reference here. In that film, Richard Gere plays a lawyer defending a scared 19-year-old kid named Aaron (Edward Norton) who murdered an archbishop after years of sexual abuse. Aaron presents himself as sweet and quiet, and he seems like a frightened rabbit after what he’s been through. Later though, the lawyer discovers an angry and aggressive personality inside of Aaron, called Roy, and assumes he has dissociative identity disorder. Later, he finds out that it was all a lie, and that Roy was the real personality. Aaron was a cover, created to throw everyone off the scent.

Bower’s orderly at the hospital where Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and the other kids are kept, run by Dr. Brenner, seems kind and gentle like Aaron in “Primal Fear.” He spends his time quietly helping Eleven deal with her bullies. He encourages her, speaking softly and sweetly to her, trying to win her over. He even tries to help her escape, revealing that he is 001 to her 011. He says he wants to go with her, but she has to take the chip out of him that’s keeping him imprisoned. She obliges, and then it’s revealed that he’s had ulterior motives. He’s pure evil. 

We learn that 001 is the grown up version of Henry Creel, a child who tortured animals, had psychic powers, and murdered his whole family. When Eleven tries to stop him, he kills the other kids and almost kills her. She fights back and turns the tables, burning him with her powers, and opening a crack in the world, pushing him through. One could say that she created Vecna, but truly, he’s been inside of Creel the entire time, waiting patiently for his moment to strike. 

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