Millie Bobby Brown has safely secured her status as a wunderkind, and with season 2 of Stranger Things now streaming on Netflix, people can’t get enough of the 13-year-old who brings Eleven to life. Brown covers the most recent issue of Variety this week, and her interview is chock-full of details we never knew about the star that make her even more impressive. For instance, not only has she never trainer professionally to be an actress, she’s never trained to be a singer, either. Yet she still is apparently amazing at it, despite the fact that she is deaf in one ear.
“I just started to sing, and if I sound bad I don’t care, because I’m just doing what I love,” she told the magazine. Brown was born with a partial loss of hearing and, after years of tubes, the ability eventually just faded away in one ear. She can’t fully hear what she sounds like when she performs, but that doesn’t stop her from trying.
“You don’t have to be good at singing. You don’t have to be good at dancing or acting,” she explained. “If you like to do it, if you genuinely enjoy doing it, then do it. No one should stop you.”
That appears to be her prevailing attitude towards her work, and is why she managed to rocket herself to stardom seemingly overnight.
“It was like a bug,” she said of her desire to act. “I know this sounds crazy, but once I find something I want to do, nobody’s stopping me. If I don’t know how to sew, and I really had that passion to sew, that’s it, I’m going to sew. That’s also with acting. So here I am.”
Watch season 2 of Stranger Things on Netflix now.
Millie is to be featured in the new issue of Variety magazine. I will be adding digital scans soon.
How ‘Stranger Things’ Star Millie Bobby Brown Made Eleven ‘Iconic’ and Catapulted Into Pop Culture
“I’ve never seen that in a child actor.”
It’s almost a mantra for anyone who’s worked with Millie Bobby Brown.
Whether it’s “Stranger Things” executive producer Matt Duffer praising her on-set technical knowledge, co-star David Harbour extolling her emotional intelligence or casting director Sarah Finn explaining why she selected her for the next installment in the “Godzilla” film franchise — even the most seasoned industry pro marvels at the young actor’s preternatural ability.
Brown, now just 13, has never trained professionally as an actor. Never gone to acting school. Never taken a class. She simply decided at age 8 she wanted to be on-screen, and her parents obliged, moving her and her siblings from Bournemouth in England to Orlando, Fla., to allow her to pursue her dream.
“It was like a bug,” she says. “I know this sounds crazy, but once I find something I want to do, nobody’s stopping me. If I don’t know how to sew, and I really had that passion to sew, that’s it, I’m going to sew. That’s also with acting. So here I am.”
Her path to stardom wasn’t immediate: She secured a few guest star spots here and there, in shows like “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland,” “Modern Family” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” She got turned down for “Logan,” which eventually went to Dafne Keen. But it was the role of Eleven in Netflix’s sleeper hit that catapulted her to fame.
“I felt at one point I couldn’t do it [anymore], but then I got this and everything changed,” she says over a mid-afternoon soda break at the London hotel in West Hollywood. Now, “acting is like breathing to me.”
To say the past year of her life has been a roller coaster would imply that there have been dips. In fact, it’s been nothing but a steady climb since the July 2016 bow of “Stranger Things.” Her Instagram followers ballooned from 25 to 4.2 million; the cast won best ensemble at the SAG Awards and best drama at the PGA Awards; and she claimed her own trophy at the MTV Movie & TV Awards for best actor in a TV show, with an emotional acceptance speech that won her even more accolades for its honesty. And with season two of “Stranger Things” now streaming (it debuted Oct. 27), she just wrapped production on the next installment of the “Godzilla” franchise opposite Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Thomas Middleditch. (“You’ll find out in two years,” she jokes about her secret role in the film, which is slated for a 2019 release.)
Then there’s that Emmy nomination for supporting actress in a drama. “It was a true honor and privilege to be representing the young generation,” she says. Although she went home on Emmy night empty-handed, she took things in stride, happy to simply enjoy the evening out with her merry band of co-stars.
“I’m leery of blowing too much smoke up her already well-filled smoke ass,” says Harbour, who plays Chief Hopper on the Netflix hit. “Because I do feel that when I’m in the nursing home, I would like to be able to watch movies with her in her 30s and have her become Meryl Streep. She has the potential for that to happen.”
It was all about the Look.
Fans of “Stranger Things” know it well: when Eleven lowers her chin and glares defiantly at whoever — or whatever — is in her path.
It was in her audition for the role that she came up with that intense laser-beam stare — and nailed the part. She was 11 at the time.
“I’ve never forgotten it, because it was so intuitive,” recalls executive producer Shawn Levy. “That this little person had such fierce power — that’s what took me aback. That same day the Duffers [brothers Matt and Ross, who created the show] and I knew she was the one.”
In the “Stranger Things” universe, Eleven — so-called because of the tattoo she wears — is a product of psychological experiments by Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine) that infused her with telekinetic abilities, among other supernatural powers. Because of her years of isolation under Brenner’s watch, her vocabulary is rather limited. (One fan counted: Her dialogue amounts to just under 250 words in the whole first season.)
Brown wasn’t intimidated by the role of Eleven being mostly nonverbal. “You can talk with your face,” she says matter-of-factly. “It’s very easy for someone to say, ‘I’m mad. I’m sad. I’m angry.’ I have to just do it with my face.”
Nor did she mind shaving her head. Brown’s parents were more against it than she was, but it helped that “Mad Max: Fury Road” was out at the time. Matt Duffer recalls persuading her with the argument “Doesn’t Charlize look badass? You’re going to look badass too.”
What did cause a bit of on-set drama was The Kiss — the moment when Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven smooch in the season-one finale. For all of her remarkable self-possession, the little girl that’s still in Brown reveals itself when she recounts the moment — her first kiss ever. “It was a strange experience. Having 250 people looking at you kissing someone is like, ‘Whoa!’” she says.
Further complicating matters, it seems there’s some debate over whether it was Wolfhard’s first smooch as well. “He says I wasn’t, but I definitely think I was,” she says. “I think he was just trying to be cool.”
As for how those awkward teenage moments play out in the second season, “No comment,” say the Duffer Brothers.
“My character’s just so, so perfect for me,” says Millie Bobby Brown. “I definitely think that we relate to each other a lot.”
Netflix announced Thursday a Stranger Things aftershow titled Beyond Stranger Things that will launch alongside the upcoming second season of the supernatural series.
The show, hosted by writer, producer, actor and super fan Jam Rash, will analyze Season 2 episodes and feature stars from the series who will share behind-the-scene stories, noted The Hollywood Reporter.
Beyond Stranger Things will last for seven episodes with Netflix advising fans not to watch it until they finish Season 2 as key moments from the new season will be discussed. The aftershow will begin on Oct. 27—the same day Stranger Things Season 2 premieres.
A trailer for Beyond Stranger Things features Rash sharing a roundtable with stars Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, director Shawn Levy and creators Ross and Matt Duffer.
“Beyond Stranger Things tackles inspiration for the series, behind-the-scenes stories, and analyzes every aspect of the second season – answering all the burning questions,” reads the synopsis.
Other Stranger Things stars that are set to appear on the aftershow include Sean Astin, Linnea Berthelsen, Natalia Dyer, Brett Gelman, David Harbour, Randy Havens, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Dacre Montgomery, Paul Reiser, Noah Schnapp and Sadie Sink.
Stranger Things Season 2 premieres Friday on Netflix.
I have added a bunch of new and old magazine scans and photo sessions. I think these additions round up these sections in our gallery nicely. Big thanks to my friends Alikat and Claudia for some of these.
Netflix’s Stranger Things Serves Up Thrills and Chills in Season Two
Identical twin brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, the creators of the smash Netflix sci-fi horror series Stranger Things, grew up in North Carolina on a steady diet of pop culture—especially the stuff that was supposed to be off-limits.
Like scary movies.
“My babysitter in preschool told me the story of Freddy Krueger,” says Matt. “I was 4 years old! From then on, I just knew I had to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street. When we were young, we knew we weren’t supposed to be watching horror movies. That made the appeal of them so strong.
“It’s like forbidden fruit. You just want to taste it. I remember wandering into the horror section of the video store and just staring at the covers of these movies, feeling desperate to know what it was.”
“We fell in love,” says Ross.
The Duffers, now 33, have funneled much of their adolescent fascination with horror into their hit TV series. The spooky Stranger Things—which is less A Nightmare on Elm Street and more It—will stream all nine episodes of its second season on Netflix beginning October 27. (You can catch up on season one anytime on Netflix.) The first season was set in 1983—a year before the Duffers were born—and centered around a group of kids, the search for their vanished friend and the appearance of a psychokinetic girl. There was a monster, interdimensional paranormal forces and twisted laboratory experiments.
Part of the fun of the first season was meeting the young cast. Noah Schnapp, 13, plays Will Byers, whose disappearance spurred his friends Mike (Finn Wolfhard, 14), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin, 16) and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo, 15) into action. They aligned with a mysterious girl named Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown, 13) and confronted an alternative dimension, a dark, cold, forbidding place called the “Upside Down.”
Winona Ryder (Will’s mom), Matthew Modine (a research scientist) and David Harbour (their small town’s chief of police) received raves for their performances as the adults alongside the young actors. The entire cast won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards.
In season two, the ensemble is joined by Paul Reiser and Sean Astin. Sadie Sink, 15 (who played Annie on Broadway and appeared as one of the siblings in the movie The Glass Castle), will come aboard as Max, a tomboy, and Dacre Montgomery, 22 (from the movie Power Rangers), will portray her older stepbrother.
Shades of Spielberg
Sharp-eyed fans have enjoyed finding nods in the show to many of the Duffers’ movie idols and influences—Steven Spielberg’s E.T. and Stephen King’s It, bits of DNA from The Goonies and Stand by Me, even shades of Ridley Scott’s Alien. The tone of the show, often pitch-black but laced with wicked humor, echoes director Wes Craven’s Scream, while the retro look of the show (and the music) recalls John Carpenter’s Halloween or The Thing.
“We had this idea of a kid getting pulled into a different dimension,” Matt says.
“There were a lot of real-life experiments going on at the tail-end of the ’70s and early ’80s. We thought if we set the show in that era, it would allow us to pay homage to those movies.”
Stranger Things is also a throwback to movies like Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Joe Dante’s Gremlins, which were something of a rite of passage for braver kids—never going too far over the edge, but still offering plenty of thrills and chills.
“That’s what we really wanted,” says Ross. “Some of our most memorable experiences were those films. Those movies really affected us as kids, and not in a bad way. We really loved how dark they would get.”
And the Duffers—like many folks—have always loved to be scared.
“Fear is one of the strongest emotions,” says Matt. “It’s an incredible adrenaline rush.” Movies and TV shows, he says, are especially safe ways to experience fright without any serious consequences. “Part of your brain knows, ‘This is completely fine and safe.’ But when you’re in it, you get lost in it, completely immersed in it.”
The show’s young cast members agree—sort of.
“People love the thrill of something dangerous if they know they’re safe,” says Schnapp.
McLaughlin disagrees, at least about movies. “I don’t watch scary movies,” he says. “I don’t like putting that in my head.”
“I love The Conjuring,” says Matarazzo. “I love Insidious. Those movies don’t scare me, though. What scares me are movies like Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List, where the human mind takes over in its most evil form and causes tragedy that could happen any day.”
“I think it’s all about the moment you get scared,” says Sink. “Then you laugh about it. It’s fun!”
Why do we laugh after we get scared, anyway?
“It’s a release of tension,” says Ross. “It’s a realization that you got terrified of make-believe; your brain is trying to tell you that. I think it’s a defense mechanism, a mask: You make fun of the thing that scared you. It’s a shield.”
The fact that the show’s young cast are the central players in the thick of all sorts of horrific goings-on is somewhat unique. The Duffers make sure the kid actors are treated as professionals even during the darker, creepier and scarier elements of the episodes they’re shooting, and they’re determined to make the kids authentic on the screen. “When I was little and watching movies like The Goonies and Stand by Me, I felt like I was watching myself on the screen. It never felt like adults writing kids; it felt like kids writing kids,” Ross says.“That’s our goal. We want it to feel like a bunch of 12-year-olds sat down at the keyboard, and we just organized it.”
The show is unusual in that the young cast is on set almost all of the time, Matt says. “We spend a lot of time with these kids. If I’m around them for 20 minutes, I forget I’m 33,” he says. “I think they think we’re kids too, which is great. Sometimes you have to remind them that it’s a serious job we’re doing, but for the most part I treat them like everybody else. I think reconnecting me to what it was like to be that age has done nothing but improve the show.”
This new season, promises Brown, will be “exceptional.”
Will Byers, who was trapped in the Upside Down through most of the first season, will take center stage. “We’re really excited for people to see what this kid [Schnapp] can do. He blew us away the way Millie [Eleven] did in season one,” says Ross.
And season two will get darker. “We want to push that line, and for these kids to feel like they’re really in danger,” Ross says. “We wanted to treat this like a movie sequel, and up the ante in the way that our favorite movie sequels did so well.”
“Last year, we were more like normal kids. But now that these things have happened, we’re a little different,” Wolfhard, who also starred in the recent remake of It, hints. “We’re always sort of on edge.”
And so are we—counting the days until Stranger Things can scare us all over again.
Millie is on the new cover of Luomo Vogue magazine. Check out scans and photo session images from her spread. She looks lovely!
It’s early September and the British actor Millie Bobbie Brown is back in NYC, sat front row at Raf Simons’ sophomore outing for 205W39NYC, his new appellation for Calvin Klein’s runway collection. Hair gelled back in a white silk shift, she’s the spitting image of any Hollywood ingénue, a darling of the fashion scene and a refreshing presence on the red carpet (and silver screen, too). So, what’s the catch? Oh wait, she’s thirteen. Speaking to L’Uomo Vogue just hours before, Brown proffered a keen intellect and inquisitive mind – labeled Generation Z due to the inescapable fact that she was born in 2004.
Her rapid career trajectory saw her shoot to fame in the Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things, a sci-fi drama set in Middle America in which she played the character Eleven – a young girl who escapes from a secret lab facility and develops psychokinetic powers. She’s just wrapped the second season, out October 27th . «We were asked to watch The Goonies, and Stand By Me, and E.T.!» she says, of her preparation for the show, a trip back in time to the analog days of the 1980’s – something she’s never experienced first-hand. «The Duffer brothers lived in Indiana, and they taught us a lot about what the 80’s was about. For me it didn’t feel alien, it felt believable – just very different to my life now. I just couldn’t imagine not having wi-fi! That said, there are a lot of relationships and the sort of day-to-day stuff in the show that we can all relate to: being the odd one out, bullying at school – and the directors really incorporated their own experiences which is what made it so authentic.
Born in Spain to British parents, Brown is home-schooled via internet. «I don’t miss having twenty class mates as friends», she muses, «I prefer to have five best friends who I can turn to at any moment, and bet my life on. Instead I’ve been able to travel with my job. I’ve been everywhere! NYC feels like my second home now, after LA. I’m off to Mexico, Spain, Australia, and Bali – all this year!». At time of printing, Brown has wrapped filming on her first feature film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, slated for a 2019 release. «It has just been so amazing – one of the hardest and most challenging experiences but I have had so much fun with the cast. It’s been such an honor. Especially Vera Farmiga, it’s just incredible to think I can watch so many films and think – oh, there’s my “mother” again! Kyle Chandler is an amazing actor and a great person to work with too, I mean, I think I’ve seen every single episode of Friday Night Lights! O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Charles Dance too – in my book, they are all A-class actors that are awesome to work with, great people, and look amazing on screen».
As for her future, it seems a permanent move towards feature films will be a natural step for Brown, with Godzilla just the tip of the iceberg, with other film genres keenly in her sights. «I love watching comedy and it really interests me to explore it. I also love musicals and singing. Some people are very specific about the characters that they want to play, but I’m at a point in my career where if I like something, then I’m just going to do it».
Millie will be in the new issue of Instyle magazine that hits newstands later this week. Check out photos from the spread as well as a behind the scenes video.
I will add scans as soon as I can. I’ve added scans to the gallery thanks to my friend Mary.
Millie Bobby Brown Talks Fame, Fashion, and “The Upside Down”
The most telling moment in Millie Bobby Brown’s InStyle fashion shoot comes while she’s standing atop a ladder in a pink cascading Valentino couture gown assuming a series of model-like poses as the camera clicks away. She’s been working
it for a half hour or so, when the far-off look on her face disappears and her self-proclaimed inability to sit still takes over.
“I think we’ve got it,” she announces, hopping off her perch and heading to wardrobe, the scent of teen spirit wafting in her wake as everyone starts moving on to the next frame.
Not many 13-year-olds get away with literally calling the shots in a room full of New York City fashion creatives, but confidence is not something the fledgling star lacks.
Brown grew up as the third of four children in the southern English coastal town of Bournemouth, where her parents realized early on that she was a natural-born performer. While her siblings favored cartoons, Brown opted for musicals and watched America’s Next Top Model on repeat. She started auditioning for commercials at age 8 and eventually landed bit roles on shows like Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy.
Her big break came last year when she bounded onto the scene in Netflix’s ’80s-inspired sci-fi hit, Stranger Things, in which she holds her own against Matthew Modine and Winona Ryder as Eleven, a wunderkind with psychokinetic abilities who can throw grown men into walls with her distinctive steely stare. She’s already nabbed a SAG Award for her role as part of the ensemble cast, and the series received 18 Emmy nominations for its first run, including outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for Brown.
Given that Season 1 ended with her character presumably trapped in the underworld called the Upside Down, questions have persisted about her return. Fear not: Brown confirms over a plate of French fries that she will be back and is more excited than ever, in part because she has more than the 40 or so lines she had last year. “It’s a lot darker and more emotional and emotionally challenging for me, 10 times more than the first season,” she says. “Everything is explained.”
Brown also just wrapped her first feature film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in which she plays the lead opposite Vera Farmiga and Kyle Chandler. She loved the experience, but not so much the big-screen pacing. “I had the time of my life, but it’s very different,” she says. “The other day we did 75 takes for one scene, and for Stranger Things we sometimes do it all in one take, so it’s very interesting.”
Along with her experience, her social circle is also broadening. She’s done solo TV appearances on Ellen and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, had powwows with the likes of Meryl Streep and Barack Obama (both of whom she calls “very sweet”), and even gone from fangirl to friend of Miley Cyrus. “We text and FaceTime often,” says Brown. “She’s fabulous.”
Now Brown is getting used to having her own admirers. “I can’t walk down a street or outside this hotel without somebody asking for a picture,” she says. “But there’s also the fact that I kind of asked for it, you know? I can’t blame it on my fans. I will never say no unless I’m in an airport and need to catch a flight or I’m at dinner with my family, because that’s just quality time. But other than that, no, I’m fine with the fame. I accept it. All I want to do is model, act, and sing, so if fame comes with that, then so be it.”
A triple threat if there ever was one, she says she’s not quite ready for Broadway but enjoys honing those ANTM skills. “Modeling is very close to my heart,” she says. “I feel like just taking pictures is amazing. You’ll feel if you did a good job in that shoot—or if you feel like you haven’t, then you haven’t. But some pictures turn out to be iconic, and it means so much.”
Not surprisingly, the fashion world loves her right back. (A young, bubbly pixie on the rise who can wear clothes well? What’s not to love?) She has been courted by brands such as Coach and Louis Vuitton and is currently the face of Converse. This past January she appeared in the first campaign for Calvin Klein’s couture line, By Appointment, under the watchful eye of new chief creative officer Raf Simons, one of the industry’s most revered designers. She was playing Monopoly with her family in a cabin in the woods when her agent called to tell her she got the gig. When asked if she knew of Simons’s work beforehand, Brown’s reply is the verbal equivalent of an eye roll: “Of course. I mean, come on.”
Off duty, she favors pieces from Topshop and her Converse kicks, but for any professional appearances the selection process isn’t as casual. She works with a stylist to find “age-appropriate” looks that are then run by an extensive list of guardians. “Everything I wear has to go through every person on my team,” she says. “It has to go through my mum first. If she approves, it’ll go to my agents, and then, obviously, the last stop is my dad—and if he doesn’t like it, then I’m not wearing it. It’s as simple as that.”
Her steady references to her family are a charming reminder that she’s still a kid, albeit one with an outsize future. “You know, I’m just a 13-year-old like any other 13-year-old, so I just plan on living my life and take it step-by-step. Hopefully, in five years’ time I will be in college. No, let’s say eight years … unless I get a really good movie. Then it’s, ‘See ya, college!’ ”
I’ve added new scans of Millie from the Stranger Things spread in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. Big thanks to my friend Claudia for these. I’ve also added a bunch of missing scans (full spreads) as well as replaced smaller scans with larger ones to the gallery including: Interview, Variety, and Teen Vogue.
A new video was released from the cover shoot. You can check it out below and screencaps in the gallery. Enjoy.
Stranger Things’ telekinetic teen Eleven (breakout star Millie Bobby Brown) may be able to lift government kidnapper vans but series creators Ross and Matt Duffer can rattle off the biggest movies of the summer of 1984 without blinking. Their passion for pop culture fueled the creation of Netflix’s Things, a tribute to the movies they loved as kids in North Carolina (think E.T., The Goonies, Stand by Me). “Obviously they’re nerdy, but that’s what makes them so cool,” says Brown. “It makes [Stranger Things] so authentic because it comes from their hearts.” The Duffers’ canny but old-fashioned combination of emotion and thrills drove the series — about four small-town Indiana friends who find themselves dealing with a portal to a different dimension — to monster-level success after its 2016 premiere. “I don’t think Netflix thought it was going to be as huge as it became, but neither did we,” admits Matt.
On Oct. 27, fans will finally get to see Things’ bigger, badder second installment (To celebrate the return, EW has three different covers featuring the cast). “It’s Stranger Things but just sorta hopped up a little,” says Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler. “It’s almost like season 1 was drinking a Coke and season 2 they drank a Red Bull.” The Duffers have envisioned the return as not so much a second season but a movie sequel. To that end, when the show comes back it will have the cinematic moniker Stranger Things 2. “When we started describing it as a sequel, Netflix was like, ‘Don’t do that, because sequels are known to be bad,’ ” says Matt. “I was like, ‘Yes, but what about T2 and Aliens and Toy Story 2 and Godfather II?’ ” Before the official greenlight came for Things 2, the Duffers had been quietly plotting the next round of interdimensional adventure. Says Matt, “The good news is that a lot of what we wanted to see or what we responded to, that seems to be what the audience responded to. Like we fell in love with Gaten, and there were aspects, like Barb, we were already planning to deal with. It felt like there was a nice alignment between what we wanted to see and what other people wanted to see.”
While season one was focused mainly on finding Will (Noah Schnapp) and defeating the demogorgon, Things 2 features several disparate stories that intertwine but all roads eventually lead to the “shadow monster,” a nickname given to a giant creature Will first meets in PTSD-like visions of the Upside Down. “It’s all connected to this singular threat, which is tied into this shape that Will sees in the sky,” says Ross. By the end of the nine-hour season, fans can also expect new characters, like Bob (Sean Astin), a love interest for Joyce (Winona Ryder), and some pretty wow-worthy action sequences. Says Matt, “Each episode is building on the last one. It gets much crazier than it ever got in season 1.”
Netflix is preparing to relaunch the series with a full-throttle blitz worthy of a James Cameron extravaganza. “Everything the way Netflix is approaching the marketing, the publicity, the licensing, the merchandising, those are all closer to a feature film tentpole franchise model than a second season of a television series,” says Levy, who directed the huge Night at the Museum trilogy. Now the Things team just needs to live up to those giant expectations. “It’s definitely daunting,” says Levy. “The love for this show is so rabid.” But the Duffers are confident that viewers will be more than satisfied with their return to the Upside Down. Says Matt, “We want people to argue about what season is better. I want the debate. I want the Toy Story debate!”
I’ve added a bunch of scans of Millie from recent magazine publications. Thanks to my friend Angie for some of these. Enjoy!