'Stranger Things' Star Jamie Campbell Bower Says He's 'Grateful' to Be 7 ½ Years Sober

"12 and a half years ago I was in active addiction" Jamie Campbell Bower wrote on Twitter

Jamie Campbell Bower arrives at the Universal Pictures' "The Black Phone" Los Angeles Premiere
Photo: Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Jamie Campbell Bower is celebrating a milestone.

The 33-year-old British actor, best known for playing the villain Vecna in season 4 of Stranger Things, opened up about his health in a two-part Twitter thread Wednesday, explaining that "12 and a half years ago I was in active addiction."

"Hurting myself and those around me who I loved the most. It got so bad that eventually I ended up in a hospital for mental health," Bower wrote. "I am now 7 1/2 years clean and sober. I have made many mistakes in my life... But each day is a chance to start again. Atone for mistakes and grow."

"For anyone who wakes up thinking 'oh god not again' I promise you there's a way," Bower continued. "I'm so grateful to be where I am, I'm so grateful to be sober. I'm so grateful to be. Remember, we are all works in progress."

Bower's statement about his sobriety appears to be in response to an old post Twitter users unearthed on the platform and deemed insensitive. The actor appears to have since deleted that tweet.

Bower has previously spoken about his sobriety journey on social media. In 2019, he responded to a fan who tweeted about their sobriety, in which he wrote that he had marked four years of sobriety in March of that year.

Jamie Campbell Bower attends the UK Premiere of "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald"
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Earlier this month, the star — who is also known for portraying young Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films and the Volturi leader in The Twilight Sagatold PEOPLE the great — and creepy! — lengths he went to get into character to play Vecna (a.k.a. Henry, a.k.a. One).

"I would take photographs of each victim," he said. "I'd print them off, my next victim, and I would cross their eyes out and put them up on my wall. And I'd stare at them."

Aside from that — and up to eight hours in a makeup chair — getting ready to play such a relentless villain was all about alone time in the dark.

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"Resentment is a massive driving force for Vecna. He already has this belief system that the world is a lie and that it's unjust. And so preparing was about bringing that up and digging that up more, [which meant] a lot of heavy, dark meditation, low-frequency sounds, a lot of saying the same kind of thing over and over again," Bower said of the part. "I would clear my mind and then have these phrases that I would just put in over and over and over again. Walking around late at night. Isolation on my own was always a good thing."

"And then for the fury side of things, it was slightly more physical. Music was a big help for me," he added. "I used it to either reignite that or just kind of stay in a zone, and I would sit in sort of pitch black."

Jamie Campbell Bower as Peter Ballard and Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in STRANGER THINGS
Courtesy of Netflix

Joseph Quinn, another newcomer to Stranger Things' fourth season, told PEOPLE in May about his experience working on-set with Bower, which he called "kind of hilarious."

"It's so funny because he's kind of terrifying on camera and then you see him with these massive fingers and then kind of in between takes, he's got a ciggy in between them," Quinn, 29, said. "It's kind of hilarious, this tiny cigarette and these big fingers. And just kind of watching him have an iced coffee is a pretty surreal sight."

If given the opportunity to swap roles, Quinn says he'd love to give Vecna a try.

"I think it would be pretty fun to have had a stab at Vecna," he says. "That would've been a fun one. Everyone else you can't touch. They're all exactly where they're meant to be."

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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