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Jamie Campbell Bower’s Best Performances, Ranked

Jamie Campbell Bower as Henry Creel/Vecna in 'Stranger Things'

When the fourth season of Stranger Things was released, there was one name that immediately stood out to me among this season’s cast: Jamie Campbell Bower. Somewhere out there, I heard the call of the old country (i.e., Tumblr). I was once again brought back to the days of my youth, which consisted of listening to Taylor Swift’s Red album (before the re-release), flower crowns, reading countless books, constantly reblogging GIF sets, and one of the many kings of fandoms of old: Jamie Campbell Bower. If you’re a new fan of his, welcome. You’ve come to the right place. If you’re a veteran like me, welcome home

This list is a quick ranking of some of Bower’s best movies and TV shows, including a few you may not have seen and some you probably have (ahem, Twilight). Anyway, let’s get to it!

7. Stranger Things

In an image from 'Stranger Things' season 4, we see Vecna, an evil humanoid entity with a skull-like face, with cords made of a bio-organic material attached to his body.

When Jamie Campbell Bower first appeared as an orderly in Stranger Things 4, I just knew. I called it right off the bat that he was probably going to be some morally gray person who leans more toward the evil side of his character, and because of that, I’m positive that I should probably renew my Tumblr citizenship. Anyway, as most of us probably know by now, his character wasn’t exactly just an orderly: Henry Creel was revealed to be the strange son of Victor Creel, whom Henry frames for the murder of his mother and sister. Henry eventually becomes Vecna, the final boss of the hit show and a monster whose weakness is other people’s favorite songs.

Bower’s appearance on the show has since spawned thousands of memes and even thirst posts—for him as both Henry and Vecna, mind you—bringing us all into the Jamie Campbell Bower renaissance. 

6. Camelot

If you’ve seen or remember Camelot, you either though Jamie Cambell Bower was cute in The Mortal Instruments and ended up taking an internet deep dive, or, like me, you really just have been around that long. Camelot was a short-lived 2011 TV show that aired on Starz and was meant to give the classic Arthurian legend more “adult” appeal. Think House of the Dragon or maybe even Game of Thrones, but it’s King Arthur and his knights. It’s one of Bower’s few endeavors on TV in which he leads the show, in this case as none other than King Arthur himself. The show actually had a stellar cast, which also included Joseph Fiennes (who played Merlin!), Eva Green, and Tamsin Egerton. 

5. Mick Jagger and Princess Margaret

Now, I wanted to make this one a bonus addition to the list because even I didn’t know of it until very recently, but then I watched it: An episode of Urban Myths focusing on the alleged three-decade friendship between Princess Margaret and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, in which Jamie starred alongside Kelly Macdonald, who played Queen Elizabeth’s late sister. The episode is on YouTube and is only 20 minutes long. I highly recommend it because it’s so hilarious and fun. And now I kind of want to see Bower and Macdonald in a feature-length film about the infamous besties. 

4. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Clary Fray (Lily Collins) and Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower) in 'Mortal Instruments: City of Bones'
(Sony Pictures Releasing)

The Mortal Instruments was one of those book series from the 2010s that essentially had everyone in a chokehold along with Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter (back then, we didn’t know how much of a horrible person JKR actually was). So it didn’t take long for someone to adapt it, and although it absolutely tanked at the box office, the 2013 movie is still held in good esteem by most fans to this day—primarily because of Bower and his chemistry with actress Lily Collins, which led to the two of them dating in real life. In the adaptation, Bower played Jace Wayland, a Shadowhunter who essentially protects the world from evil and is descended from angels. After learning that she, too, is descended from these Shadowhunters, Clary (played by Collins) teams up with Jace to find her missing mother. 

The film was set to be the first in a larger series (like the books), but given its poor performance at the box office, the idea was scrapped. The Mortal Instruments was adapted again in 2016, this time as Shadowhunters, a short-lived TV series with an all-new cast. The series was canceled after three seasons on Freeform.

3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

I’m intentionally separating his appearances in the Twilight movies because, well, he didn’t exactly have much screen time in them. In the Twilight Saga, Bower played Caius, one-third of the vampiric council otherwise known as the all-powerful Volturi. In the final installment of the franchise, the Cullens team up with several other covens to face the Volturi, who intend to have Bella and Edward’s daughter, Renesmee, killed. Unlike other members of the Volturi, Caius doesn’t exactly have any powers, but is confirmed to be the most ruthless among them. He is notably responsible for the extinction of immortal children—perceived as a threat to vampires—during the height of the vampiric wars. The case was different for Renesmee, though, who is spared in the final film—all thanks to a wild vision that caught book fans majorly off guard. 

2. The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The Volturi are first introduced in the Twilight Saga’s second film, New Moon, which is also where Bower makes his first appearance as Caius. In New Moon, Edward mistakenly believes Bella to be dead and travels to Volterra to ask the Volturi to kill him—because, well, he’s a vampire and he can’t exactly die. He explains that the Volturi are essentially the reigning coven of the vampire world, so when they deny Edward’s request to be killed, he attempts to force their hand by trying to expose himself as a vampire in public—by showing everyone his sparkly skin. In the end, he is stopped by Bella and the Volturi must decide what to do with the couple. 

In the film, Caius is of the opinion that Bella knows too much and must die. Ultimately, the Volturi let the Cullens go because Alice shows them a vision which reveals that they’ll eventually turn her into a vampire anyway. Still, Caius is insistent and issues Edward and Bella one final warning before they go: Turn her as soon as possible before they send out a guard.

1. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Bower’s role as Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd tops this list for two reasons: First, it was his breakthrough performance, and second, he got to show off his singing skills in this one, and we have yet to see that again. In both the film and the musical on which it’s based, Anthony is a young sailor who helps Sweeney by allowing him to board the ship he’s on, and together they set sail for London. Once they land, the two part ways and Anthony walks around the city, where he encounters a beautiful woman sitting by her window as he sits on a lonely bench in Hyde Park. Anthony comes to learn that the woman’s name is Johanna and is always kept locked away by the evil Judge Turpin. 

(featured image: Netflix)

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Danielle is a twenty-something writer and postgrad student based in the Philippines. She loves books, movies, her cat, and traveling. In her spare time, she enjoys shooting 35mm film and going to concerts.