Warning: This story contains spoilers from season 4 of Stranger Things.
Ahead of his season 4 debut in May 2022, Bower opened up about not being allowed to discuss his involvement with the show.
“I think I was told about it in January of last year, and I had to keep it under wraps for so long. I’m still to this day humbled and blown away by the fact that I’ve been allowed this opportunity to be in a show that is f–king amazing” he shared during an interview with NME in January 2021.
At the time, the U.K. native explained that he was still adjusting to the exciting news. “I still have those ‘pinch me’ moments. I’ve done some work already, and just being there is a real experience. There’s just something really magical and really special about working on that job,” he teased.
Two months prior, Bower’s casting announcement revealed that he would be playing Peter Ballard. According to the character’s log line, Peter is “a caring man who works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital.” The synopsis also pointed out that his character would get tired of “the brutality he witnesses day after day” before considering taking a stand.
During the first episodes of season 4, however, Bower was introduced as a friendly orderly who worked in Hawkins Laboratory during Eleven’s (Millie Bobby Brown) time there. While going back through her memories, Eleven recalled forming a friendship with the employee, but things took a turn when he was revealed to be test subject 001.
His backstory got even more sinister when Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) pieced together that the orderly was actually an older version of Henry Creel. In part 1 of the season, Henry turned into the villain Vecna when a fight with Eleven in the lab banished him into the Upside Down.
Other members of the Stranger Things cast previously admitted that Vecna’s introduction brought a darker energy to season 4. “I thought they’d have to tone it down,” Joseph Quinn, who plays Eddie Munson, told E! News in May 2022. “I didn’t think they would commit to how gruesome it was on the page. But clearly they don’t care about young kids at all.”
Meanwhile, Maya Hawke pointed out that Vecna’s killing sprees stood out to her the most — but “the bone breaking” wasn’t her favorite part of the season. Her costar Joe Keery added, “Kids will be scared. Kids will have nightmares. If I was a kid and I watching this, it would be disturbing.”
Scroll down for more information about the actor playing Stranger Things‘ new resident villain: