The momentum doesn’t stop for Millie Bobby Brown. Around this time last year, I sat down with the Emmy-nominated actress and producer ahead of her 18th birthday in support of her clean beauty brand, Florence by Mills. Like any Gen Z-er with TikTok and an internet connection, she raved about her love for Taylor Swift and shared rare snippets of her relationship — but she also discussed her wildly successful Enola Holmes sequel, which spent four weeks in Netflix’s Top 10 with over 144.2 million hours watched.
Nearly a year to the day, we reunited to chat about her latest endeavors, including a college education at Purdue University, what she’s up to after the fifth and final season of Stranger Things, and her latest partnership with Essentia Water for the brand’s Stop for Nothing campaign. Yet, there was one constant between both conversations, and it’s that Millie Bobby Brown is a tremendous force.
The multihyphenate just rang in her 19th birthday in the midst of starring in and producing upcoming films, on top of earning her degree in human services at Purdue. While she’s aware of the privilege that comes with the opportunity to expand her studies, Millie tells Seventeen that college life is “going great” and that she’s enjoying the process of learning about things she finds passion in.
“With my job being so emotional, it’s really nice to just be able to detach from that and learn about something that’s really interesting for me,” Millie says. “I’m really aware of how privileged I am to have that access to education and to learn more about the things that I want to learn about, and then help others in retrieving that education in communities and areas that young people aren’t able to access curriculums. It’s just a circle that keeps giving.”
Since she landed her breakout role as telepathic teen Eleven on Stranger Things, Millie has taken her passions beyond acting. The philanthropist became one of UNICEF’s goodwill ambassadors in 2018 and founded Florence by Mills in 2019. She also inked a major deal with Netflix to star in and produce multiple movies, like the Russo Brothers-led action flick The Electric State and fantasy film, Damsel. When it comes to switching gears as an actor versus a producer, Millie claims that it’s all about strategy, “forward-thinking,” and communicating with her cast and crew on each project.
The Gen Z powerhouse reveals that after all the work she does on a daily basis, she winds down with her animals and loved ones. “I think animal healing is something that I’ve always found a lot of interest in. Winding down really consists of just taking my makeup off, taking care of my skin, and hanging out with my animals, watching movies with the people that I love,” Millie explains. “I think it’s so hard — for me, specifically — to sit down and be still for a minute. So, it’s nice that in those moments of stillness, you have people around you, dogs, humans, whatever that may be.”
As for what she’s recently watched during her down time, she’s a fan of HBO’s The White Lotus. “I watched season two and I absolutely loved it. It was amazing and just such a great show. It’s really nice to be able to love a show like that and it deliver on every episode,” she gushes. With fans’ dream casts for the show floating around on social media, I can’t help but ask if she’d be down to star in a future season. “I mean, I would never say no to that. I’ve done my fair share of shows, I’m ready,” she adds.
Part of these shows is Netflix’s beloved sci-fi series, Stranger Things, which she’s starred in since she was 12 years old. Now 19, Millie muses that she’s been grateful to work on the fan-favorite project and ready to move on from the series after its fifth and final season.
“I’m definitely ready to wrap up. I feel like there’s a lot of the story that’s been told now, and we know of it, it’s been in our lives for a very long time. But I’m very ready to say goodbye to this chapter of my life and open new ones up,” Millie tells Seventeen. “I’m able to create stories myself that are important to me and focus on the bigger picture. But I’m really grateful [for the show].”
As she gears up for the last moments of the show, which is reportedly slated to begin filming in June 2023, Millie has started a new partnership with Essentia Water to encourage young people to take charge of their lives and prioritize their well-being. “This is just something that speaks to me, and I was really excited to be able to join and collaborate with Essentia on how to promote wellness, and for me personally, to show a younger audience how important taking care of yourself is and being true to who you are is,” Millie says of the partnership.
She’ll be featured in Essentia’s Stop for Nothing series, which will offer fans a sneak peek at Millie’s first day on set with Essentia, including exclusive tips about her skincare routine, how she stays focused on what’s important, and more. Since it was launched in 2022, Stop for Nothing has helped promote a sense of renewal to keep your mind and body focused on achieving your goals.
And, speaking of achieving tenacious goals, the powerhouse credits the support system that she’s built over the years for encouraging her to keep going. “Familiar faces are something that I don’t take for granted at all. I like to be able to be around people that make me smile and that make me feel like myself. It’s really easy to be associated with people that are very excited about who you are,” she says. “At the end of the day, it’s people that you had way before [fame, or the bigger moments] that are grateful for you. To anyone who is trying to focus on achieving their dreams, just never forget about the people that pushed you and motivated you toward those dreams.”
Parts of this interview have been edited and condensed for clarity.