Millie Bobby Brown
(Credit: Alamy)

Opinion:

Is Millie Bobby Brown the next big Hollywood icon?

As a young person and as a young girl I was very listened to so I’m very lucky that I get to tell my story of that experience. But listen, I came out of the womb having a voice.”

At 17, Millie Bobby Brown boasts innumerable feathers to her crown. From being an incredibly talented actress with Netflix deals and other film projects in her bag to being a beauty mogul, UNICEF ambassador, fashion icon and the youngest person to be a part of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world, Brown has been a constant source of inspiration to young teens all across the globe. With her bubbly attitude and sassy comebacks, Brown’s mercurial talent allows her to adapt to every role with effortless ease; from being a bald child with telekinetic abilities to being an opinionated and strong-willed sister of a world-famous detective, Brown has been a part of varied projects via which she has been able to showcase her acting talent. 

Born to British parents in Marbella, Spain, on February 19, 2004, Millie was the third born child. Soon after, the family moved to Bournemouth in the UK and subsequently to Florida in the US. Brown was born with partial hearing and, over time, lost all auditory senses in that one year. However, auditory impairment has never deterred her from achieving her dreams. She has been a hard worker, determined to climb to the very top with sheer determination and perseverance. Brown made her acting debut as Alice on ABC’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland at the age of nine and, since then, she had a starring role as Madison O’Donnell in BBC America’s Intruders, besides having numerous guest appearances in CBS and ABC shows and sitcoms. However, it was not until 2016 that Brown got her big break. 

In 2016, a call from the Duffer Brothers, creator of Stranger Things, changed the course of Brown’s career. Brown had sent in her audition tapes and was living in England when Matt and Ross gave her a call, asking for a “callback”. It was a precious moment for Millie for it would not only boost her acting career but also because she was not being able to get hold of good auditions for quite some time due to the lack of it. As a producer named Shawn Levy stated, the creators were bowled over by Brown’s ability to transcend reality and get into the skin of Eleven. Her icy cold stare, as well as fierceness, told them that the role was tailormade for her. Although Kelly, her mother, was opposed to Brown shaving her head, the brave little girl did not want to risk losing the authenticity of the character. 

Brown has received high praise for her wonderful performance, to the point where her on-screen adoptive father, David Harbour, has said that she has the potential to become Meryl Streep — and he is probably right. With consequent SAG and Emmy nominations, Millie has brought home various accolades. She bagged her modelling assignment in Calvin Klein’s campaign before being roped in by other brands and then featuring on GlamourUK’s cover twice. A UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, as well as UEFA’s Together #WePlayStrong campaign, Brown’s debut feature film, was Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Soon enough, her fiery role of Enola in Netflix’s Enola Holmes won over the audience. Brown shall soon be seen on Netflix in a suspense flick The Girls I’ve Been which has been produced by her company. 

“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.”

Brown is not just an actor. She is a producer as well and being very vocal, makes regular contributions to the script. Admittedly, she found it nerve-wracking and extremely overwhelming at first to be on set, but soon enough started adding invaluable inputs. Since then, she has grown a tonne and has always expressed her delight and pleasure at being heard and appreciated. She has always emphasised the importance of raising one’s voice and asking questions. Brown has vehemently voiced how the youngster’s opinions get sidelined by the adults. Thus it is very important for the near future to make ourselves be heard. 

Being a child actor is tremendously taxing, as one has no privacy in their life. Brown, too, has been the victim of uncalled for public attention and paparazzi chase. Despite being a teenager and child actor, her dating life has been under public scrutiny and she has been shamed by innumerable internet trolls for her choice of clothing, hairstyle, looks and whatnot. Her Instagram comments section is indeed heartbreaking; one cannot fathom how grown men and women could hate on a child who is just trying to live her dream. 

Despite being a young teen, Brown has received a lot of hate on social media. From trolling comments for her energetic nature to making video compilations to prove that she is annoying, social media has exposed its toxic self. Brown has opened up about her struggles with anxiety and has often recounted how others’ comments have affected her self-confidence and made her anxious. She has also opened up about getting bullied in school as a result of her fame. Despite the cyberbullying and hostility, Millie has managed to successfully float above it, pursuing her dreams relentlessly, as she only believes in spreading love and positivity and would do anything to rise above hate. 

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.’”

Dauntless in her pursuits and bubbling with life and energy, Brown has proved via her indomitable spirit that age is just a number when it comes to achieving something. She is not only an inspiration for children, but also for adults. Top-notch work ethics, refreshing ideas, brutal honesty and the ability to fit into the skin of any character sets Brown apart from actors and actresses her age. Netflix production Enola Holmes mirrored Brown’s spirited and determined nature. She has opened out about how this character taught her to be the biggest critic of herself to grow better as well as her personal cheerleader to help her get through everyday life. Brown strongly believes that unless one empowers oneself, the world shall always remain a very constricted place. 

Millie Bobby Brown shall start shooting for Stranger Things season four very soon and, while fans are excited to see Eleven bleed through her nose once again while being the absolute badass that she is, one must not forget that beneath the exterior of Eleven’s character resides a lively and vivacious badass Brown who has her eyes set on something bigger and better and is on her way to becoming the next big Hollywood icon. Grounded by her family and grateful for the love and support she has received amidst the swarms of hate comments, Brown has been the epitome of maturity and grace. 

This article was first published on Best of Netflix.

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