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Entertainment

Fame hasn’t changed Millie Bobby Brown

Shirley Matias Pizarro - The Philippine Star
Fame hasnât changed Millie Bobby Brown
Millie with co-stars (from left) Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink, Finn Wolfhard and Noah Schnapp during the Stranger Things Season 3 premiere in California

The Stranger Things actress who started as a child prodigy revealed that her excitement stems from and is fuelled only by the overwhelming passion she has for her job.

TOKYO — British actress Millie Bobby Brown, star of the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, is truly going places. 

Her ticket to global recognition was Eleven, the character she plays in the sci-fi series, a young girl gifted with psychokinetic abilities and limited vocabulary. Millie’s performance in this show has, indeed, paved the way for more opportunities to come to her. 

Her Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series was well-deserved, to say the least. She had been named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for the youth, and had recently clinched lead roles in the epic franchise film Godzilla. The loads of attention she has gotten lately are proof that indeed, this young girl is a cut above the rest.

Millie shared, “It is so overwhelming to be in a film of such legacy. Godzilla is literally one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. So many movies were made about him. I think over 50. To be part of such a legacy was so attractive to me. If Stranger Things is going to be such an iconic show in the same breath as Godzilla, it’s always going to be remembered. So, I like to be part of things that are going to be remembered. It’s amazing.”

Not to be misconstrued, the actress who started as a child prodigy revealed that her excitement stems from and is fuelled only by the overwhelming passion she has for her job. She elucidated that instant fame was not something she had in mind when she entered the business. 

She said, “The word fame is not really something I live by, you know. I have one job, like you guys have a job. Your job as journalists is to write. And my job is to act. My job isn’t to be famous. Acting is my favorite thing on earth. But fortunately and unfortunately, fame comes with acting. Fame comes with a lot of negative and positive aspects. And one of the positive aspects of fame was me becoming a UNICEF ambassador, a goodwill ambassador.”

According to Millie, this is a platform she can use to spread amazing messages to influence people. She explained, “For me, my message is children’s rights. Making sure that children are fulfilling their dreams and deserving education, clean water, vaccines, home, a family and love, a safe place to be. Luckily, UNICEF had given me that platform. They are very passionate about youth empowerment and that’s something I’m really passionate about too. So, it is a match, it was immediately a match.”

Stranger Things enters its third season and Millie is now 15. The real and reel persona bloom side by side, and we can safely say, with equal intensity. 

During the promotional junket of Stranger Things Season 3 held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in this city recently, Millie was quirky, funny and engaging. She managed to endear herself to the journalists present that afternoon quite naturally. 

There was never a dull moment in the room for half an hour while the interview was taking place and it was because Millie made it light and interesting. She greeted everyone with a vibrant hello and then, as an afterthought, asked with a bit of apprehension, “Do you all understand me?” in reference to the fact that she might need an interpreter in this interview. When the journalists from the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, India and Singapore gave her a resounding “Yes!”, Millie shrieked in delight, putting everyone at ease and setting the mood for an enjoyable interview. 

The young actress had quick repartee, funny one-liners and very animated responses even for silly questions like “What role did you audition for in Game of Thrones and how did you feel that you didn’t get it?” Millie would later gamely confirm that it was Lady Lyanna Mormont’s role she auditioned for and quipped playfully (after knowing that Lyanna died a hero’s death at the second episode of Game of Throne’s final season), “It’s okay because I got Eleven and it is much better! And Eleven is alive!” 

She loves how her overall experience in the show has made her strike meaningful relationships with her co-actors. 

It is common knowledge how Millie and the rest of the young cast members of the show — Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield — have bonded together in friendship in the last two seasons. Millie said that nothing has changed when they filmed for Season 3. If anything, she said, they only have gotten closer. 

Of all the “adult” cast members of Stranger Things — which includes Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Jim Hopper, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler, Matthew Modine as Martin Brenner, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Dacre Montgomery as Billy Hargrove, Paul Reiser as Sam Owens, and Maya Hawke as Robin — Millie has handpicked David Harbour to be on top of the heap. David plays the role of Sheriff Jim Hopper and who became Eleven’s adoptive father in Season 2. 

She said of him, “David is one of my favorite people. He’s just incredibly talented. And I learn something new from him everyday. And he deserves every award on this planet. What he does on the screen is magical. I look up to him. He is truly an inspiration as an actor. He does so many different things to prepare for his scenes as Hopper. And I am constantly in awe of what he accomplishes on screen. You know, Hopper and Eleven in this season really resemble what me and my dad are, you know, just a real father-daughter relationship. Something that is extremely raw and emotional and normal. Hopper adopted Eleven last season and so her name is now Jane Hopper which is the cutest.”

Stranger Things Season 3 premieres tomorrow, July 4 on Netflix. It is an American sci-fi horror TV series set in a fictional town called Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s. Season 1 was all about the town’s upheaval after the disappearance of a young boy (Will Byers) amid the supernatural events occurring around town and the appearance of a girl with psychokinetic abilities (Eleven). Season 2 is set one year after showing the town struggling for normalcy after the events of the past year. Season 3 is set in summer and “the crew is in the cusp of adulthood.” This time, the danger that the town faces as it gets threatened by old and new enemies reminds Eleven and her friends the need to band together to survive. 

MILLIE BOBBY BROWN

NETFLIX

STRANGER THINGS

UNICEF GOODWILL AMBASSADOR

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