Stranger Things spoilers follow.
Stranger Things star Jamie Campbell Bower has set the record straight on the mysterious character Peter Ballard, admitting that he was part of a “red herring”.
Ahead of the series’ return to Netflix last month, Jamie was credited as the unknown Peter Ballard, “a caring man who works as an orderly at a psychiatric hospital.”
The character description continued: “Tired of the brutality he witnesses day after day, will Peter finally take a stand?”
Now, after the actor’s real identity was finally confirmed as One (later Vecna), Campbell Bower has told Entertainment Weekly that he has “no idea” where Peter Ballard came from.
“I have no idea where the name Peter Ballard came from,” he revealed, before offering an olive branch to confused fans. “I can only apologise to fans of the show for being part of such a massive red herring.”
Jamie added: “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.’
Jamie was credited as Peter Ballard, ‘Friendly Orderly’, and One before finally becoming Vecna, the creepy demo-creature who uses his psychic powers to possess and kill the teenagers of Hawkins.
Opening up about the challenges of taking on the character – who is also, quite frankly, terrifying – Campbell Bower explained that it’s “all” him under the prosthetics.
“Yeah, that’s me doing the voice under the prosthetics. It’s all me. Ninety percent is practical,” he told EW.
“The only thing that is not practical are the vines moving on the neck. The voice was an interesting thing. It took me a minute to get that.”
Offering some insight into how he created Vecna’s voice, Jamie added: “I knew how Vecna felt, but I hadn’t quite got the voice yet.
“I would send Matt and Ross [Duffer] audio recordings of myself with spooky vampire music underneath it as this voice was progressing.”
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Stranger Things season 4 will premiere in two parts, on May 27 and July 1 – streaming on Netflix.