Stranger Things made a subtle but important change to Hopper for season 4

Stranger Things makeup artist discusses creating Vecna

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Stranger Things season four is on Netflix now and the latest season has been branded the darkest and most intense so far. Jim Hopper (played by David Harbour) was reunited with Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) in Russia and they were desperate to get back to their children. The TV show’s make-up artist, Barrie Gower, spoke exclusively to about Hopper’s appearance in season four.

Stranger Things fans were on the edge of their seats as they hoped Hopper and Joyce would escape Russia alive.

The second volume of season four saw the pair put their trust in pilot Yuri (Nikola Djuricko) to get them back to America safely.

As they were hiding from the Russian police and prison guards, Joyce noticed how much Hopper had changed.

She commented on his weight loss and could not help but notice the scars all over his body.

Make-up artist Barrie Gower said working on Hopper’s transformation had not always been part of the plan.

He told “We were brought on for Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) originally but then we were asked to look after the prosthetics for Victor Creel (Robert Englund), where he’s got old scars running through his eyes as if he’s gauged his eyes out.

“We were also asked to make David Harbour’s character Hopper fuller and fatter because David lost a lot of weight for his story arc in season four when he’s in the Russian prison.

“We had flashbacks to the end of season three showing what happened to Hopper and how he appears in Russia, so for us to return to the end of season three we had to go back to the earlier weight of Hopper.

“So we did a full facial appliance which rounded off David’s jaw and just gave him a little bit more weight.”

Actor David lost five stone for the latest season of Stranger Things.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast he said: “It’s not easy, it’s a lot of not eating when you lose that much weight, and being hungry.”

“That’s the secret, if you’re curious about the diet secret, it’s just not eating food,” he joked.

Barrie said Hopper’s facial prosthetic was a “really fun project” to be involved in.

He also described working with Victor Creel actor Robert Englund as being “a childhood dream”.

The make-up artist added: “We had all grown up as huge Freddie Krueger fans so for me to work with Robert was an absolute joy.”

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Victor stars in one of season four’s most memorable scenes which took inspiration from Silence of the Lambs.

Season four was the first season Barrie and his team had worked on for Stranger Things.

Yet they were tasked with creating one of the show’s most dangerous and most iconic villains, Vecna.

Opening up about his first discussions with The Duffer Brothers, Barrie said: “We spoke to them with their concept artist who already had these beautiful blueprints of Vecna.

“The first ideas we had and those original concept pieces are really very close to what you see as a final product in the show.

“All along they wanted an iconic character, it has an awful lot of nods to 80s franchises.

“[The show] has a very Spielbergy feel and they were looking to do something a lot darker in tone, following horror franchises like Nightmare on Elm Street.

“They were after their own iconic villain and did reference Freddie Krueger and our work on the Night King from Game Of Thrones.”

Vecna will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most terrifying antagonists of the series.

Fans are now excited to see how Hopper, Joyce and the other fan-favourites will end Vecna’s reign of terror in season five.

Stranger Things seasons 1-4 are on Netflix now. Season 5 is in the making and will air in 2024.

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