Millie Bobby Brown talks about some of the downsides to being a child star in a candid new interview with Allure.
The “Stranger Things” favourite, now 18, began auditioning in Hollywood at age eight after moving to Los Angeles with her family.
Her first onscreen role was as young Alice in “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland”, with her going on to nab parts on “NCIS”, “Modern Family”, and “Grey’s Anatomy”, among others.
Brown insisted acting was a way to figure out who she wanted to be, telling the mag: “I enjoyed being different people because I always struggled with self-identity and knowing who I was.
“Even as a young person, I always felt like I didn’t quite belong in every room I was in. I also struggle with loneliness a bit.
“I always felt quite alone in a crowded room, like I was just one of a kind, like nobody ever really understood me. So I liked [playing] characters that people understood [and] people could relate to because I felt like no one could relate to Millie.”
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The publication pointed out that before Brown filmed an audition tape herself for “Stranger Things” creators the Duffer Brothers, she had a disastrous audition.
A casting director told her at the time, when she was just 10 years old, that she wouldn’t make it in the industry because she was “too mature,” leaving her in tears.
“I always knew that I was mature and I couldn’t really help that,” Brown recalled.
“Going back to what I said earlier about being kind of very lonely in who I was and feeling like no one was quite like me in school and no one was as mature as I was, [hearing that] was really hard because I thought [maturity] was a good thing. And then being told that it wasn’t, that I wouldn’t make it in this industry, it was so hurtful.
“I got really down about that. My parents told me, ‘Just do this one last audition on tape and then you can go outside and play with your friends again.’ So I said, ‘Okay, yeah, I should do this one because it looks cool.’”
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Brown, who went to therapy to deal with the online bullying she’s faced, also discussed dealing with trolls and the negative attention that comes with fame.
She doesn’t have social media on her phone anymore; a member of her team handles her Instagram and Facebook pages, which are the only two profiles she has.
Brown shared, “It’s really hard to be hated on when you don’t know who you are yet. So it’s like, ‘What do they hate about me? ’Cause I don’t know who I am.’ It’s almost like, ‘Okay, I’m going to try being this today.’ [And then they say], ‘Oh, no, I hate that.’ ‘Okay. Forget that. I’m going to try being this today.’ ‘Oh, my God! I hate when you do that.’
“Then you just start shutting down because you’re like, ‘Who am I meant to be? Who do they need me to be for them?’ Then I started to grow more, and my family and friends really helped. It helped to be able to understand that I don’t need to be anything they said that I need to be. I just have to develop within myself. That’s what I did,” before adding: “That’s what I’m doing.”
Allure‘s September 2022 issue is available on newsstands nationwide on August 16.