From her Mad Max inspiration for 'Stranger Things' to youngest UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Millie Bobby Brown has conquered it all
She was barely 12 when she was asked to go bald but she didn't mind because she is all about making an impact
She needs no introduction. An English actress who is right now one of the most popular faces on the internet, Millie Bobby Brown is best known for her character Eleven (or Jane Hopper) in Netflix's sci-fi thriller series, 'Stranger Things'. Coming from Ross and Matt Duffer, Brown's character isn't a conventional mutant but a child who has been mutated in a lab.
As a result, she remains petrified, and overtly cautious of her surroundings, which results in her silent demure. This is a feature Brown has captured best through her skills. Without much dialogue to deliver, she had to express her character mostly through her expressions and body-language. It is Brown's mannerism which truly gave birth to Eleven, or as she is often called, El.
However, this is not Brown's first appearance on screen. The Spain-born actress made her debut as a guest star on ABC's fantasy drama series 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland', a spin-off of 'Once Upon a Time', where she played the role of Young Alice, in 2013.
After a brief role in the BBC America's paranormal-thriller series 'Intruders' as Madison O'Donnell, in 2014, Brown also appeared on another TV show with a strong female lead. She played the inquisitive child, Ruby, on ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy', and from the clip below you can see that Brown - even in the tiniest of roles - was able to deliver a performance of prominence.
However, she became the face of the internet with her breakthrough role on Netflix's 'Stranger Things.' This could have an extremely challenging role for any child that age, but the then 12-year-old Brown brought Eleven to life. It is almost an unbelievable fact that Brown wasn't prepared to play the role, as she had confessed to IndieWire during an interview that it all happened just out of the blue. She said: "It really came out of the blue, to be honest. I was in England, and I didn’t get a lot of auditions there. So, I did the first audition — a very emotional audition — and they said, ‘Come back for a callback.’ And I was like, ‘Okay!'”
Once it was confirmed she would play the role, Brown was also informed that she would have to make a sacrifice. A nightmare to any girl at the age of 12, she was asked to shave off her soft brown curls. However, determined to play the role, Brown went ahead with it anyway with Charlize Theron's role as Imperator Furiosa being her inspiration.
During the interview she said, the Duffer Brothers had asked her to think of Theron from 'Mad Max', and, as we all know, the resemblance turned out to be uncanny. She explained: "We did this sort of split-screen of her and me, and the resemblance was amazing! I thought, ‘Wow, that’s such an amazing way to put it, you know?’ It was the best decision I’ve ever, ever made.”
Her role as Eleven brought her immense appreciation from critics and fans alike, and she received an award for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
She also won the 43rd Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series, following which in 2018 she was once again nominated for an Emmy award. That year, she went from being an actress to a fighter for social-causes when she paid tribute to the Parkland victims at 2018 Kids Choice Awards in an extremely powerful speech.
Dedicating the award to the victims, Brown said in her speech: "I get to be up here, and I’m privileged to have a voice that can be heard, one that I can use to hopefully make a positive difference and help influence change. There’s an amazing support, love and kindness in this room right now, and I want to encourage everyone to embrace it and to pass it on. For the angels among us, your spirit lives on. This is for you."
In fact, she wore an all-denim outfit that was custom made for her by Calvin Klein, on the front of which the words "Never Again" were embroidered in capital letters. The back read "March for Our Lives" on top, and the shirt was imprinted with the list of the 17 victims of the Parkland school shooting.
While she won hearts with her speech and her support at the Kids Choice Awards, Brown might be on her way to making history as she is reportedly set to produce and star in a film franchise based on Nancy Springer's 'Enola Holmes Mysteries' novels.
While picking up her responsibilites both on and off camera, Brown was announced to be UNICEF’s newest and perhaps youngest Goodwill Ambassador. As a part of her many responsibilities, Brown will use her popularity to raise awareness on global platforms about children’s rights and issues affecting youth, such as lack of education, safe places to play and learn, and the impact of violence, bullying and poverty.
During an interview with BBC, she explained she went through a lot of bullying in school and on the internet, which, in a way, drove her to fight for all the young people out there. Check out her interview with BBC below:
These are just some of the many reasons why the actress was named TIME's 100 most influential people in 2018. She is not only appreciated by her fans but also several stars like Aaron Paul, who wrote in TIME, "She may have been 12 in years, but her spirit and mind were timeless. A wise woman was speaking from her cherubic face. It was like speaking to a future mentor with a perspective and groundedness that I could only have dreamed of at that age. Or at any age, if I’m being honest."
However, in spite of all the love, the actress faced her own share of bullying on the internet when in June 2018 she was falsely accused of homophobia. Although she deactivated her Twitter account following the accusation, Brown made a comeback when she posted, "Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out."
it's time to share my story. one day i saw millie bobby brown in the mall and i asked for a selfie and she said "i don't take selfies with fags, homo sex is sin" and broke my iphone X. i couldn't stop crying i'm so ashamed. #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown— bashu - ah! (@HlGHPRlNCESS) November 18, 2017
Fortunately, Brown came back like a real queen and she is set to star as Suzy in the adaptation of the acclaimed YA novel 'The Thing About Jellyfish' by Ali Benjamin, alongside resuming her role as Eleven in 'Stranger Things' Season 3, set to premiere July 4.