Actors are wont to put on their headphones and listen to music while getting into and out of character for their roles. In the case of Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the villain Vecna in Stranger Things Season 4, his music of choice happened to include a track seeing renewed popularity because of the show: “Running Up That Hill.”
However, it wasn’t Kate Bush’s original version of the song (which is surging on the Billboard charts even as we write). Instead, Bower revealed on the Kyle Meredith With… podcast that it was Placebo’s 2006 cover of “Running Up That Hill” that helped him shed Vecna’s skin.
“When I was prepping for Vecna, to get into Vecna, I would use a lot of bands like Sun 0))), Carpathian Forest, Darkthrone, Mayhem,” the actor said. “A lot of black metal kind of stuff that I just really latched onto and thought, ‘Wow, this is great.’ There’s also something about the sensitivity in the way black metal is made and their belief system which I really fucking vibe with.”
“That was Vecna getting into Vecna. Escaping Vecna… I’m a huge fan of Placebo. I love Placebo. And obviously Placebo covered Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” sometime in, I dunno, I guess it must have been the late ’90s, early 2000s. And so I would go with that. Why not stick to the theme that’s already in the show? But the song is so beautiful, we love Kate Bush, we stan Kate Bush… Or if I’m being really naughty, if someone wanted me to be naughty, and they asked, ‘What would you pick?’, I would say, ‘I dunno, fucking Miley Cyrus’ ‘Party in the USA” or something bollocks like that.”
Using metal to get into the twisted and evil Vecna makes sense, but using “Running Up That Hill” to get out is pretty meta, as those who have watched Stranger Things Season 4 realize. (No spoilers here!)
Take a listen to Bower on Kyle Meredith With… below to hear what else he has to say about finding Vecna’s voice, in addition to his discussion about his new solo music based around Dante’s Inferno.
Meanwhile, find out what Kate Bush herself has been up to lately by reading our recap of the icon’s recent career moves.