Millie Bobby Brown on ‘Enola Holmes’ and Her ‘Stranger Things’ Breakthrough


“I had moved to London because I was like, I’m done with this…. This is horrible, and I’ve never heard the word “no” more in my whole life. Then Stranger Things came along…” – Millie Bobby Brown on Auditioning

Sixteen year-old Millie Bobby Brown became a fan favorite actress on Netflix’s Stranger Things, and her success on the streaming platform has continued with the release of the film Enola Holmes on Netflix this past September. It’s Browns first film in the lead role, and she spoke to Netflix Queue about the challenges of playing Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister — including the film’s costumes — and the joy she found working with Oscar-nominated actress Helena Bonham Carter.

Brown points out that the restrictive women’s fashion of the 19th century made fight scenes challenging. She explains, “I had four layers on every day. I’ve never worked like that. I’m so used to other characters where I’m in very loose-fitting clothes… You can’t really do a good roundhouse kick in those.”

Nonetheless, Brown says that she was determined to challenge herself. She continues, “I went through lots of preparation with my stunt coordinator. I love throwing myself into characters, quite literally. I was very excited to get going. I love difficult stuff. If it was too easy, I’d be like, ‘Let’s make it harder, let’s do something bigger and better.’ That’s the way I envisioned this film: Everything felt exaggerated, dramatic, and cinematic. And that’s kind of the way these fight scenes worked.”

One of the aspects that Brown enjoyed the most about Enola Holmes was working with Helena Bonham Carter, who played her character’s mother. In particular, Brown says that Carter helped her feel more comfortable with performing, saying, “To be honest with you, improv has never been something that I’ve particularly enjoyed, nor am I good at it. Helena made me feel very comfortable. I felt very at ease and felt like I could really open up and explore. That is something else I took away from the film: Now I really like exploring improv.”

Though it appears that Brown has been enjoying a massive wave of success after her breakthrough role on Stranger Things, she remarks that only came after a long period where she wasn’t very successful. She recalls, “When I was eight years old, I went to every audition. I went for every film you could possibly ever imagine. I was about to do a film, and then the other girl would get it. I was about to do this TV show, and the other girl would get it. Pilot season was my favorite season because that meant that I could audition, audition, audition and then get rejected, rejected, rejected. And I had moved to London because I was like, I’m done with this. This is so difficult. This is horrible, and I’ve never heard the word “no” more in my whole life. Then Stranger Things came along, and it obviously changed my life forever, and I’m so grateful.”

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