As Eleven in Stranger Things, Millie Bobby Brown became the world’s most famous 12-year-old – she talks instant fame, going by instinct and the importance of vulnerability.
The female staredown is back. Sultry, mesmerising, threatening, inscrutable, hungry: women giving good eye on screen literally inspires how we mirror emotion and communicate, whether through gif or IRL. The ferocious women of Kill Bill taught us that killer looks can prove fatal, Lauren Bacall pioneered the no-nonsense side-eye, and Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander made the chilling stare of a sniper seem chic. These steely-eyed women have a new little sister-in-arms: Eleven, the enigmatic, Eggo-pilfering, telekinetic dynamo from Stranger Things. Portrayed by newcomer Millie Bobby Brown, her stare is genuinely enthralling, paralysing monsters – and boys – in their tracks. She reminds you of Natalie Portman in Leon or V for Vendetta – or a young Winona Ryder, with whom Brown stars in the series. She carries the onscreen gravitas of a future Oscar-winner, and the doe-eyed, gamine appeal of a budding fashion darling. Before we go any further, please note: she is 12 years old.
It’s a muggy day in Brooklyn when I’m confronted by that stare in person. Brown sits as serene as a statue on a stool, having her hair and make-up done. “Hi,” she says, sounding a bit subdued when greeted, and flashes a quick smile. I consider for a second what it’s like being 12 and surrounded constantly by adults, and wonder if she is simply having a shy spell. Sure enough, once set free of the chair, she explodes wide-open with personality; within minutes, we’re discussing how mental it is that she just met Barack Obama.
“Netflix, very clever people, gave Obama the (Stranger Things) tapes, and he watched them on the way to – how do you say it? Is it Air Force One? So, he was watching it and then he came back and watched it with his kids – crazy!”
Encounters like this are all part of the – well, pretty strange! – reality of life post-Stranger Things for the young actor. “They didn’t tell me anything,” says Brown of the role that would dramatically change the trajectory of her teenage years. “They just said, ‘Your name is Eleven – relate yourself to ET. That was it. I got the job the next day.”
And what a job: Eleven is one of the most fascinating female characters ever to hit the small screen, embodying a twist on the coming-of-age stories that inspire Stranger Things. In this universe, the classic boy-gang ends up rallying around a superhuman girl in an ultimate testament to their five-way friendship. After six months of shooting, the show wrapped, and the kids – including Finn Wolfhard, who plays Eleven’s onscreen semi-crush Mike Wheeler – went about their normal lives, unaware that those were the last few normal months of their childhoods. Brown remembers premiere day. “I was actually in a car on my way to San Francisco. I didn’t even watch it when it came out. I just saw my Instagram followers going up every second. I went from 25 to 1·4 million – pretty cool.” For advice on how to handle it all, she might turn to fellow junior prodigy and social-media magnate Maddie Ziegler (of Sia video and Dance Moms fame). “We just had a sleepover,” Brown laughs. “It was funny, because she videotaped me and I was dancing around her room singing ‘The Greatest’ and she was like, ‘Millie, shh – stop it!’ because I tried to dance like her and I’m really not good.”
Brown has always been unusually self- motivated. Home-schooled since she was nine, she’s a vivacious learner with a curiosity about the world. “I’m very outspoken,” she says. “I will ask a silly question, but I really am deadly serious. I’m like, ‘I want to know the answer.’ Ha!”
She sets the scene of her acting origin story with charming modesty. “I was bored one day, so my dad took me to this acting school. I liked it more than having fun – I liked it for an actual job,” she says, citing her British-born family’s stint in Florida. Sixty bucks later, she dragged her dad to meet with an agent.
“The agent was like, ‘You need to go to LA.’ So I said to my dad and my whole family, ‘Can we move to LA?’ They were like, ‘Sure!’” she says, innocently describing what seems like the most ludicrously drama-free cross-continental move in history.
In the ‘small-town, big-trouble’ spirit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Brown encapsulates in Eleven a young girl with an extraordinary ability she never asked for and has yet to fully harness, or contain, who must form alliances to survive. On-screen, El is like a cornered animal, and will cower or kill like one accordingly. She’s been prodded, probed, and asked to vicariously envision horrifying things, in the name of… science? Greed? Does it matter? Brown’s fascinating turn is almost exclusively non-verbal – as Reddit user ValdemarSt notes, she utters a mere 246 words in total – and, as such, El’s personal tics have a complex appeal that is very much in Brown’s hands. “Eleven is going a lot by instinct,” she explains. “The look, obviously; her body language, definitely. You know, the head tilt. We all just collaborated on our ideas and then we made magic.”
Brown is nothing if not gracious, crediting the show’s female-positive feel to her other co-stars, too. “Winona is also a heroine in the show – and Natalia (Dyer, who plays Nancy Wheeler). We’re all just in a different age range, but it’s cool to have female heroines.” Ah, yes: Ryder, elusive though she is in person, exerts a huge influence over the programme and its young cast. In fact, it’s her presence that brings the show’s 80s world-building blissfully full- circle – bring up her name, and Brown lights up.
“She’s incredible, ultra-professional and a really good friend,” she says. “I met her in the production office and we were all having lunch and she just came in and was like, ‘I was told that I look like you!’ We’d sneak away to her trailer to eat cheese and crackers and gossip.”
In the show, and in contrast to Millie’s real-life put-togetherness, Eleven’s appearance is hard to forget. No doubt inspiring this year’s most popular Halloween outfit(s), our first glance of her as a superhuman captive in a hospital gown and shaved head soon transitions to suburban beauty norms and poignant attempts at trying to look ‘pretty’, as she whispers. When Mike and the gang try to disguise her as a ‘normal’ girl, they opt for a cast-off powder-pink dress and blonde wig – literally things little boys think little girls wear, and which feel as alien to Eleven as they do to the boys. She looks both too mature for the clothes and overwhelmed by them, but the off-kilter performance of femininity only adds to her bizarre intensity. Brown acknowledges the paradox: “Eleven is strong. She’s very vulnerable, but she can be very, very badass.”
I ask what she’d want to tell Eleven, who has become so synonymous with herself. “Don’t give up, that’s it. She’s always trying to give up, but she can’t. But maybe one day she will! You never know.” She lets the suspense hang in the air.
Unsurprisingly, she cannot comment on Eleven’s fate, or if she’ll return to the show. “I don’t know, I have no clue,” she says in a singsong voice when I ask if she has any travel plans coming up (Editor’s note: since the time of going to print, Brown’s return to the show has happily been confirmed).
What she says for now is that she’s open and excited to try almost anything, including pursuing music when she’s older. She’s already delivered turnt-up televised performances of Nicki Minaj’s “Monster” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”, so the evolution is easy to envision. Without doubt, whatever she explores next, we’ll be watching her, ready for her to surprise us again. But she’s not letting the hype go to her head. “At the end of the day, I just do my job, I love my art. But I genuinely want to change the world. I’m very generous and I really want people to see that I am – that’s really it.”
I’ve added all new HQ replacements and a new addition of Millie’s photo session for Interview magazine. Big thanks to my friend Mouza for these lovely photos.
The Force is strong with this Eleven. Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown discussed her wish-list roles during a recent Rhode Island Comic-Con panel, and she revealed that she would love to play a young Princess Leia in a Star Wars prequel, reports AV Club.
Brown brought up how more Star Wars films are being made and mentioned that she wants a role like Princess Leia. Having starred on multiple paranormal shows — Netflix’s Stranger Things and the BBC’s Intruders — she is interested in pursuing something different.
“I want to do something that’s far from Eleven or Madison,” she said, referring to her best-known characters.
A young Princess Leia seems like an intriguing possibility. After all, Disney is currently working on multiple Star Wars spinoff projects, including a Han Solo-centric prequel starring Alden Ehrenreich. If all goes well, who’s to say that Disney won’t give Leia a prequel of her own?
The film franchise currently offers only pieces of Leia’s backstory. After being born at the end of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, we know that she was adopted by the Queen Breha of Alderaan and Senator Bail Organa. Then there’s a big gap before her story picks up in the original film, Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope. That definitely leaves a lot of interesting years to fill in.
Brown looks enough like Carrie Fisher to pull off being a young Princess Leia, and she has the acting chops, too. She has proven herself in her role as everyone’s favorite Eggos-loving character, and we expect her to continue doing so when Stranger Things returns for its second season. The actress also starred in Intruders and has appeared in episodes of NCIS, Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, and more.
The People’s Choice Awards released their award nominees for 2017 and Millie and Stranger Things were both nominated! They need your help to win! Take a minute and Vote. I believe everyone can vote once DAILY.
FAVORITE TV SHOW
The Big Bang Theory
The Walking Dead
FAVORITE SCI-FI/FANTASY TV ACTRESS
Millie Bobby Brown
To see the full list of categories and nominees click here.
“I love her style because she is not afraid to wear clothes that some kids would be afraid to wear,” says the 14-year-old actor, dancer and designer.
In further news celebrating strong, smart and successful women, 14-year-old Maddie Ziegler just added “fashion designer” to her multi-hyphenate title of dancer, actor, model and all-around Cool Teen™.
After winding down from touring with Sia, the former “Dance Moms” star launched an eponymous clothing line, Maddie, in October. She decided to start the brand, in partnership with Kahn Lucas, after finding that most clothes on the market were “too childish or too grownup” for her age group. (But then why dress for your age, anyway?)
The Maddie debut fall collection features 30 pieces — currently sized for tweens and juniors — with an accessible price point that ranges from $15 to $89. A casual, self-described “tom-girl,” Ziegler is offering clothes that she would wear, though some items will likely appeal to adult shoppers, too. Think casual denim and slouchy joggers in soft, stretchy material; sweatshirts and button-downs with fun, dance-inspired back details; and cozy-cool layering pieces, including a rose-gold sleeve and pin-adorned bomber that’s right in line with fall’s runway trends. Maddie is currently sold direct-to-consumer through MaddieStyle.com and six select Nordstrom locations, but if Ziegler’s prolific career is any indication, her list of retailers will expand impressively.
The busy teen took a moment out of school, practice and running the world to chat with us about expanding Maddie offerings into adult sizes, taking style inspiration from BFF and recent Interview cover star Millie Bobby Brown of “Stranger Things” (!!!) and staying strong and true to yourself — encouragement we all need right now, regardless of our age.
Where did you look for inspiration for your debut collection?
I actually just pulled inspiration from my own personal style. I wanted to share what I wear on an everyday basis with kids my age — or kids older or younger than me. We did some surveys and I came to realize that there are a lot of people who wore the same things I liked [or had] the same interests that I did. I’m definitely a little more tomboyish now, I like to keep it comfy and casual.
If you could pick a muse for this collection, who would that person be?
I would say my friend Millie [Bobby Brown], who’s on “Stranger Things.” She can rock any style. She is not afraid to wear clothes that some kids would be afraid to wear and she also has kind of the same style as me — kind of tomboyish. She loves jeans and t-shirts like I do, so I would say that she is a good representation of what I would be inspired by. I think girls shouldn’t be afraid to wear what they want to wear, even if they think they’re going to be judged.
What pieces from your fall collection would you like to see Millie wear and how would she style them?
Well, Millie actually got a bunch of my clothes. I sent them to her. She posted a Boomerang on her Instagram wearing a really, really, really cute flannel that I have. You can dress up a flannel, but Millie went more of a casual route. She’s just hanging out or she’s going to set or something. She wore boyfriend jeans with it and I also have boyfriend jeans in my line, so it was perfect.
[My line is] very versatile, you could go either way with it. You could go more Millie — how she wore it — with casual jeans and sneakers. Or you could dress it up and wear cute ripped jeans and put little booties on. It’s really up to you.
What was the most exciting part of the design process?
My favorite part of designing this was knowing that I’d have to be fully involved in it. I got to pick the fabrics and say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to certain things, which was really cool. I like to have my opinion, 100 percent, the whole time. It was really fun and the process was knowing: ‘Wow, it’s so cool that a bunch of girls are going to be wearing my clothes.’ Not just girls my age, but ones who are older and younger than me, which is awesome. Like my cousin, who is 26, loves my line and wears it all the time.
What was the most challenging and surprising part of starting your own clothing line?
I think the most challenging thing was probably knowing that when it’s put out in public, people will judge you — you want to make sure that a bunch of kids are relating to my new line. Also, making sure the fabrics were right and everything. But I think the most exciting thing was … when it came out on that day, everyone was like: ‘Oh my god, I love your line!’ I had kids ordering it online, and [people] were posting about it and supporting me. All of my friends and it was just … it was really awesome.
How would you like to see your line grow?
Coming up in the spring/summer line — and the lines that will come after that, and after that, and after that — we’re going to make sizes for people who are 15 to 23 years old. Right now, there’s a bunch of kids wearing it, but it’s going to be cool to see adults wear it. I made this line, not just for kids, but also for teens and young adults who really, really just want to wear and feel comfortable in it.
Any chance of Millie x Maddie collaboration in the future?
I’m not sure. That would be pretty cool though! That’s a good idea. I think it’s great to do collaborations with friends — just seeing them wear your clothes is really awesome. It makes you feel really good about yourself, knowing your friends support you and just want to be a part of it. So maybe in the future, that would be cool.
You’re very inspiring, especially for the younger generation of women out there. Any words of advice for us?
Don’t be afraid to have other people judge what you wear or how you act. It’s all about just feeling comfortable in your own skin. In this line, there are some items that have a twist on [them]. It’s not just a normal sweatshirt; there’s a cool fabric in the back. And some girls are afraid to try new things.
So I think it’s really important to just express who you are and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t, because it’s more important than letting people judge you. I think you should be yourself and don’t let anybody get to you. There has been a lot of hate going around for a long time now, on social media and in person; I think it’s important to know who you are and always stay inspired by friends and people that keep you grounded and really support you through everything.
Congratulations are in order to the cast, writers, and crew of Stranger Things as the series is nominated for a Critics Choice Award. We hope Millie will be in attendance at the event so we can see some great photos of her!
We have added 42 high quality stills of Millie from the first season of Stranger Things. You can see them by clicking the thumbnails below which will redirect you to our gallery.
Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street > 01×02: Stills
Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly > 01×03: Stills
Chapter Four: The Body > 01×04: Stills
Chapter Five: The Flea and the Acrobat > 01×05: Stills
Chapter Six: The Monster > 01×06: Stills
Chapter Seven: The Bathtub > 01×07: Stills
Chapter Eight: The Upside Down > 01×08: Stills
Today a music video by Sigma ft. Birdy called “Find Me” was released starring Millie. You can view the video below and screencaps in the gallery.
In the second season of Netflix’s highly anticipated science fiction horror TV show “Stranger Things,” viewers will finally see justice for Barb Holland (Shannon Purser). The show’s creators previously revealed that they will address the issue in the upcoming season. The first trailer for season 2 confirmed the statements, showing how the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, is responding to the teen’s disappearance.
Netflix unveiled the first trailer for “Stranger Things” on Halloween, titled “Minute by Minute with Brenda Wood.” The clip teased a news report from Hawkins, informing viewers that the teen who was previously thought to have run away was actually missing. The news anchor Brenda Wood informed viewers about the missing person and where she was last seen.
Wood also told the audience that they tried to get a statement from Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) but was unable to contact Barb’s best friend. On the other hand, the anchor was able to get descriptions from Barb’s other friends, who weren’t mentioned in the news segment.
“[She’s] the kind of girl who notices if you’re wearing a new bra and can really rock a pair of mom jeans. Or as we call them now, jeans,” Wood read the descriptions given by Barb’s friends.
Furthermore, the “Minute by Minute with Brenda Wood” news segment also dedicated a few minutes to discuss a situation which happened in the previous season – Eleven (Millie Brown) stealing Eggos. The anchor revealed that a little girl from West Hawkins raided Bradley’s Big Buy store and stole all the Eggos she could carry.
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Wood also announced that eye witnesses stepped forward claiming that shopping carts were flying across the aisles and the electronic doors were malfunctioning. The anchor advised viewers to report to the chief of police, Jim Hopper (David Harbour), if the young girl was spotted in town.
Fans can expect the main cast of “Stranger Things” — Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, Cara Buono, Charlie Heaton, and Matthew Modine — to reprise their roles for the second season.
According to the Independent, “Stranger Things” season 2 will start production this month. The forthcoming season is expected return on Netflix in 2017.
Fear not, Stranger Things is hanging onto its lucky number.
Although a Netflix rep declined to comment, sources confirm to TVLine that the series’ breakout star, Millie Bobby Brown, will indeed be back as Eleven in Season 2.
Brown’s involvement beyond the show’s phenomenally successful first season was called into question over the summer when exec producers Matt and Ross Duffer said Eleven’s return remained “up in the air.” Shortly thereafter, eyebrows were raised when American Odyssey‘s Sadie Sink was cast in the role of “Max,” a “tough and confident” young female whose “appearance, behavior and pursuits seem more typical of boys than of girls in this era.”
It’s not clear how many of Season 2’s nine episodes Brown will appear in, but all signs point to her once again being a series regular.
Arriving sometime in 2017, Season 2 picks up about a year later, in the fall of 1984, and will delve into “bigger mythology” behind young Will Byers’ disappearance, Matt Duffer previously teased. Meanwhile, as previously reported, Joe Keery (Steve) and Noah Schnapp (Will) have been promoted to to series regulars.