March 31, 2017


Future Women's History Month: Millie Bobby Brown's 'Stranger Things' Superstardom

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Fuse has spent all of March celebrating Women's History Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future Women's History before our eyes. For our 2017 finale, we pay tribute to 13-year-old Millie Bobby Brown.

Born in Spain, Brown moved to her parents' native England at a young age, then on to Orlando, Fla. and L.A. Before breaking out in July 2016 with Stranger Things, she took parts on shows like Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Grey's Anatomy and Modern Family.

As Eleven on Netflix '80s horror series, Brown is a superpowered government guinea pig who barely speaks. When she quickly started surprising us with her huge, playful personality on The Tonight Show, the Emmys and the Golden Globes, we all became true die-hard fans:

“I’m not a girly girl," she told British Vogue in one of the many high-profile interviews that came in Stranger Things' wake. "I love wearing [fashionable] stuff, but if it was my choice I’d come in in my tracksuit." Of the buzzcut she got to play the role, she told W magazine:

“I wasn’t worried about my hair at all. I don’t care what I look like; it’s how people think of me. And I do care how people think of me. I want people to say, ‘Oh, she’s nice,’ rather than, ‘Oh, she’s so pretty.’ Yes, it’s hard for anybody to go through something like that, but it’s harder for someone to go through a disease like alopecia or cancer, losing their hair without any choice.”

Millie Bobby Brown has wasted zero time using her clout to make important statements and promote good causes. On Twitter, where she has 516,000 followers (having joined just a month before Things), her pinned tweet highlights a campaign to raise $100,000 for a 4-year-old girl fighting a life-threatening midbrain glioma. It's also her profile's bio link.

“At the end of the day, I just do my job, I love my art. But I genuinely want to change the world," she told Dazed. "I’m very generous and I really want people to see that I am—that’s really it.” Brown also participated in the Malala Fund's #YesAllGirls's initiative, which works toward "a world where every girl can complete 12 years of safe, quality education," with a focus on refugees.

Brown is keen on showing the world her journey into the world of fame. She told interviewers her onscreen Stranger Things kiss was her first ever, and that she didn't know what a record player was until seeing one on set. (She soon got one for Christmas. "I was absolutely ecstatic. It was better than any makeup or anything. It was great.")

And she often fans out just like many of us would:

Her mum and dad are an everyday presence in her journey. “It’s really fun to have them along on the journey to experience things with me—I wouldn’t be here today without their support,” she told British Vogue. “My parents are so amazing and they’ve travelled around the world with me. A lot of Eleven’s body language is from them—they’ve helped me a bunch.”

Brown was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild's Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series award; she didn't win that one, but with her co-stars she was victorious in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series category. She was up for English publication NME's 2017 Hero of the Year against the titans David BowieAdeleLiam Gallagher and Beyoncé, who won.

Next up is Stranger Things Season 2, due this Halloween. The Duffer Brothers have teased four or five seasons and a desire to give us a "Harry Potter situation" where we get to watch all our new faves grow up year by year. Providing the ultra-powerful Eleven sticks around, we'll be hanging with Millie Bobby Brown and her young buddies for a while.

Look back on Fuse's full month of Future Women's History coverage here.