“Stranger Things” actor Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the show’s villain Vecna, appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Tuesday to discuss prosthetics and his acting process. But everyone got a special treat when he was handed a modified microphone to read aloud Lizzo’s lyrics to “About Damn Time” with Vecna’s terrifying voice.
“In a minute I’ma need a sentimental man or woman to pump me up,” read Bower. “Feeling fussy, walkin’ in my Balenci-ussy’s, tryna bring out the fabulous.”
Before the unexpected pop culture mashup, Bower revealed it took quite a while before he found the voice of Vecna. As a powerful superhuman and the dark lord of the show’s alternate Upside Down universe, nailing the voice was essential — but far from easy.
“It took a few months to get it right,” Bower told host Jimmy Fallon.
“I was there at the table read with everyone, I sat behind Millie [Bobby Brown], and I was doing the voice. It started in this very nasally area, kind of more like Freddie Krueger, and it just wasn’t landing,” he said.
“So I went home and worked on it, did a bunch of reference work on like, ‘Hellraiser’ and Doug Bradley particularly,” added Bower. “And it said that you know, this deep, booming voice kind of comes out of the darkness.”
Vecna caused such a problem for the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, at the tail end of the latest “Stranger Things” season that Bower’s co-star Joseph Quinn was interrogated by airport staff demanding to know if his character of Eddie Munson will return for the show’s final season.
While the vengeful villain initially resembled a mere mortal, Vecna eventually transformed into a powerful demon. The show is laden with visual effects to portray the Upside Down and its monstrous inhabitants, but Bower said Vecna’s look was largely achieved with prosthetics.
“It’s about 90 percent real,” he said. “It takes about eight hours to put the whole thing on.
Bower made sure to credit makeup artists Duncan Jarman, Mike Mekash and Eric Garcia. He also praised the show’s “amazing” special makeup effects department head Barrie Gower, who worked on “Game of Thrones” and “The Witcher.”
Bower went on to share how strange things have been since he was cast in the popular show.
“I never even imagined I’d be on a show like this, let alone playing this thing,” Bower said. “It’s amazing, it was just such a blessing. The whole thing feels like such a whirlwind since I got it, it’s bizarre.”
CORRECTION: A prior version of this story located the fictional town of Hawkins in the incorrect state.