Millie Bobby Brown is the ultimate teen game-changer: bold, outspoken, and defying gender beauty norms. Ignore her at your peril!
In many ways, Millie Bobby Brown is like every other 15-year-old. Her phone is a constant attachment (it was tucked under her legs during our interview), onesies are her favourite clothing, and she spends free time chilling with her sister, Ava, aged seven, watching Disney’s The Lion King and Matilda. But Millie has quite a few qualities that set her apart from the majority of teens, too. Most strikingly, of course, she’s a Hollywood megastar. Netflix smash Stranger Things made her a household name when she was just 11, and in the next year she’ll star in Godzilla vs. Kong and take the title role in Enola Holmes, playing Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister. She has more than 28 million followers on Instagram… did we mention that she’s only 15?!
And it’s not just on the big screen that she’s making waves. Millie – or Mills, as she’s called by friends and family – wants to use her platform to do good, joining the ranks of teenage activists and disrupters who’ve become a force for positive change in recent years (the mass school walkouts over climate change being a case in point). Having recently been appointed UNICEF’s youngest-ever Goodwill Ambassador, she plans to use her voice to raise awareness of issues that affect young people: lack of education, safe places to play and learn and the impact of violence, bullying and poverty.
So it comes as no surprise that she has a strong work ethic: ‘One job isn’t enough for me. I’m a prime multi-tasker. I’m also proactive. As soon as I have an idea, I’ve got to try and fulfil it as soon as possible,’ she says. Her latest venture? Launching her own skincare and beauty range, florence by mills, exclusively in Boots. Naturally, for this Gen-Z crusader, it’s cruelty-free, inclusive, and gives back. We sat down with Millie in her family home to talk about the range, gender-neutral beauty and the rise of the teenage game-changer.
Millie on… entrepreneurship
‘I came up with the idea for my beauty range when my dad and I were on a plane from Atlanta to Argentina. I was practising applying make-up – I’m a bit of a fanatic – and while I looked great, I didn’t feel great. I told my dad I felt there was a gap in the market for skincare and make-up aimed solely at young people. I knew I could create something that sat in the middle and “spoke” to people like me and my friends. Something that’s healthy and good for your skin, but also fun and still represents youth. As soon as we landed, I phoned everyone and said I had to do something of my own.’ Fast-forward two years and Millie has created a range of 15 products, including skincare and cosmetics. It has chic, matte purple packaging – her favourite colour – and a fragrance that’s a mix of lavender, rose and cucumber, her favourite scents. ‘As a young person and entrepreneur, I wanted to be taken seriously. And it’s been hard, these past six years, working non-stop to prove to myself and to society that young people deserve a seat at the table.’ The range is named after her great-grandmother, who passed away before Millie was born, ‘I’m like her. She was loud, opinionated and didn’t stop talking. She loved people and she loved the world. And that’s me.’
Millie on… ethical beauty
Making sure florence by mills was vegan and cruelty-free was essential to Millie’s vision. ‘I love animals: I have two tortoises, three dogs and a cat. My favourite animal is the orca whale, and my little sister and I are always in the garden saving insects. I knew the brand had to be cruelty-free. It was a no-brainer.’ The brand also gives back through their support of the Olivia Hope Foundation*, a US charity to fund childhood cancer research, in memory of her friend Olivia, who died from a rare and aggressive form of the disease.
Millie on… gender stereotypes
When it came to shaving her head for her role as Eleven in Stranger Things, Millie didn’t give it a second thought. ‘I wanted to work and had no problem with getting rid of my hair, which was long at the time. I told my mum, “It’s just hair; it doesn’t define me as a girl.” She said, “You’ll be bullied and called names.” And that’s what happened. I was called names in the street. But instead of bringing me down, it gave me the light I needed to be humble and to understand that not everyone’s life is easy. As a society, we’re conditioned to see girls with long hair and boys with short hair, but I’ve always wanted to go against that. In this respect, I’m not very good at following the rules. It was a liberating experience, and I’d do it again.’
Millie on… online bullying
Using her fame to speak out about and tackle issues that are close to her, starting with cyber-bullying, is important to Millie. ‘I get bullied online a lot by older people. It can be hurtful. I’m lucky that I’m the type of person who can brush it off. I’ll often respond to a comment with something like: “I’m so sorry you live a life that’s filled with so much hate, because I live my life with so much love.” My parents have taught me to love and not to dislike and hate people.’
Millie on… teenage game-changers
‘The phrase “children should be seen and not heard”: that’s never been who I am. My parents have never said that; they’ve always encouraged and motivated me to speak up and to never stop.’ And now, as a UNICEF ambassador, she has an official capacity to do just that. ‘To have the title is such an honour. It’s an exciting time to be young, because now my voice is being heard and I can try to spark a voice in other young people. It’s amazing to be part of an organisation that gives a voice to every child.’
And she knows she has an army of teens on her side. ‘It’s not just me out there. Malala Yousafzai is one of the most inspirational young women I know. She stands up for something I feel passionate about: that every young person deserves an education. In different cultures and places, young girls don’t get the education they deserve, and I think it’s one of my biggest challenges and missions. Look at Greta Thunberg. I watched her speech to the EU, and it had me smiling all day. We’ve come a long way, but still there are those who believe young people aren’t as important. However, we’re slowly forming a generation that will be heard.’
Millie on… being a role model
Take a quick scroll through Millie’s Instagram feed and you find posts that are funny, silly and full of joy. ‘My social media represents positivity. You go there to laugh and see a real human being. I don’t like posting things that don’t feel like me.’ I ask if her mum checks what she’s putting up. ‘She trusts me. She’s not on Instagram, but she’ll take a photo of me and say, “This is who you are – put that up.” She helps me stay true to who I am.’ Her parting advice to fellow teens? ‘It doesn’t matter how young you are, you still have your own voice and your opinion. And you can stand up for yourself.’ If only there were more adults who thought like Millie Bobby Brown.
Category: Photo Sessions
Millie has been out today and last week promoting the Pandora x Millie collection. You can see photos in the gallery.
What do you think of the collection? What’s your favorite piece?
Millie will be featured in the new issue of Vanity Fair (Italia). Check out the cover and the photo session in our gallery. She looks lovely! Enjoy the pretties.
Honest Beauty. Goop Beauty. Kylie Skin. Kora Organics. It seems like the list of celebrity-founded beauty brands grows longer and longer each week, and Millie Bobby Brown is joining the squad with her own Gen Z-focused beauty brand Florence by Mills.
The name comes from Brown’s great-grandmother. The actress says she “felt like a brand about individuality and bravery and being truthful should be named after somebody who was all of those things.” After sitting in makeup chairs for years, the Stranger Things star’s face began to react to some of the products used, so she spent the past two years developing the “clean” skincare line that treats young skin with products such as the Zero Chill Face Mist, Swimming Under the Eye Gel Pads—her favorite product—and Like a Light Skin Tint.
“I wanted to come into the space because there was a gap in the market for young people,” Brown said. “I guess I could never find anything that I liked to put on my face and it felt good. I’d take off my makeup and boom, another pimple would appear,” Brown told WWD. “There are multiple different products I’ve put on that weren’t good for me. Some of those were anti-aging, and I was 10 years old.”
The teen queen made sure to consider Gen Z allowances when coming up with price points for Florence by Mills, which is priced from $10 to $34 and will be sold in online as well as in Ulta and Boots. On top of that, proceeds from sales will be donated to the Olivia Hope Foundation honoring Brown’s late friend Olivia Hope LoRusso, who passed away in 2017.
Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown is Launching Her Own Converse Sneaker Collection and It’s SO Eleven
You literally can’t get through a single scene of Stranger Things without a shot of a Converse sneaker. The entire party basically lives in the classic shoe, because they provide the unyielding comfort required to take on the Mind Flayer.
Millie Bobby Brown has joined forces with Converse to become the brand’s youngest product collaborator. Today, Converse announces its new, unisex, customizable collection with Brown, called Millie By You.
The breakout Stranger Things star brings her passion for self-expression and aquatic life to the canvas of Converse’s iconic Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers. Brown worked alongside the brand’s design team to develop a palette of 10 one-of-a-kind colorways for shoes that can be customized down to every detail, including the foxing, pinstripe, laces, eyelets, and logo placement.
Millie By You is will be available and ready to build on Converse.com and Converse.eu beginning July 11. Shop Converse.
I’ve added a bunch of magazine scans and photo sessions of Millie from this year that are either recent or missing from the gallery. Check them out! There are so many lovely shots. I will need to work on a new design with these when I have more time. Enjoy.
I’ve updated the gallery with a bunch of new additions of Millie from Godzilla, Spheres, and a Calvin Klein photo session. Sorry for the lack of updates. I am in the middle of planning a big move so updates will be a bit scarce for the time being. Enjoy!
Nearly two years ago, at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts tea in Los Angeles, Millie Bobby Brown, who was then only 12, was the sensation of the party. Stranger Things, a clever, supernatural homage to 1980s pop culture, had just become a hit, and her character, Eleven, an otherworldly, possibly alien, androgynous girl with telekinetic abilities and a diabolical stare, was the breakout star of the show. Unlike the misfit Eleven, Brown, who was born in Marbella, Spain, and grew up in Dorset, England, is bubbly, charming, and has a gift for socializing. On the day of the BAFTA event (and at most other ceremonies during the hectic awards season), she was leading her teenage male costars in a kind of nonstop Millie Bobby Brown parade. The four boys, who were dressed in formal clothing that they constantly seemed to be squirming out of, were content to joke among themselves or hover around the buffet, but Brown had other plans. Again and again, suddenly and swiftly, she would round them up and march her posse over to, say, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, or Justin Timberlake. Cheerfully, forcefully, Brown, who was wearing an age-appropriate party dress and strappy sandals, would extend her hand and say, “Hi! I’m Millie Bobby Brown. So glad to meet you!”
She was on a quest to meet her biggest crush, Leonardo DiCaprio, but he wasn’t there that day. Luckily, nearly every celebrity she did meet was a huge fan of Stranger Things and, especially, Eleven. But even if they had no idea who she was, Brown was unfazed: The future was, simply, hers for the taking.
According to her father, Robert Brown, Millie, who is the second youngest of four children (three girls and one boy), popped out of the womb in a confident state. “She’s always been a personality,” he told me during the shoot for this story. Brown, who is now 14, started auditioning for commercials, movies, and musicals like Matilda and Annie when she was 8. Her first job was a commercial for Publix, the supermarket chain. In the audition, she had to hold up some cupcakes and say, “Mom, can I have these?” Afterward, the casting director remarked to her father, “Your daughter is something quite unique.”
“When I got that first job, I knew right away that I was born to do this,” Brown recalled. She is now taller than when Stranger Things debuted, but she still looks the same: curious, hyper-alert, and appealingly wide-eyed. She was wearing fitted jeans and a pink sweater, but was barefoot. “Where are my sneakers?” she asked no one in particular. The entire Brown family has left England and resettled in Atlanta, where Stranger Things is filmed. Brown had just started shooting the third season, after Netflix signed her to a deal for a reported $3 million.
Like every teenager, Brown is umbilically linked to her phone. She has almost 17 million Instagram followers, who closely monitor her every post. When she met Drake in Australia last November, where both of them were on tour (she was promoting the series; he was performing), the musician draped an arm around her shoulder for a picture that went viral. “He invited me to his concert,” Brown explained matter-of-factly. “And now we talk all the time. I ask his advice.” Perhaps he has advised her to use her celebrity to draw attention to certain issues. When she won favorite TV actress at the Kids’ Choice Awards in March, Brown wore a denim shirt with the names of the victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting embroidered on the back. “I take my responsibilities seriously,” Brown told me. “I recognize that I have a voice, and I want to use it wisely.”
In 2015, when she auditioned for Stranger Things, Brown had no idea that it would become her launching pad. “I didn’t know anything about it,” she explained. “Every part of the show was top secret. I Skyped with the directors [brothers Matt and Ross Duffer], and we spoke about ’80s movies—E.T., Stand by Me, and Poltergeist. I flew to L.A. for a screen test, and the next day I got the job! I was 11. We did the show, and I went back home to England. I thought, Okay, it’s a little show. What’s next? And then we came to America for the premiere. Three days later, my whole life changed. People went crazy! My followers went up to 1 million in one day. Magazines wanted me. One of my goals was to be on the cover of W, and you see? Dreams do come true.”
After the first season of Stranger Things, Brown signed a contract with Calvin Klein and was nominated for an Emmy and a SAG award, while the show won a nod for a Golden Globe. (Last week she was nominated for a second Emmy.) Time magazine chose her for its Time 100, making her the youngest recipient to garner that honor. “I don’t think I’ve changed,” she said. “I’m not thinking, Oh, I know everything now. I still get nervous. I still get anxious.” That response surprised me: Brown has always seemed so confident. Was this sudden self-doubt part of becoming a teenager? “Maybe,” she allowed. “But I still love parties! Although, even back then at the BAFTA tea, when I met Justin Timberlake, I swear I could have fainted.” She smiled. “Ask me some questions,” she said, deftly changing the subject.
Lynn Hirschberg: Who is your girl crush?
Millie Bobby Brown: Paris Jackson. She’s got great style. She’s like a sister to me. And she plays the piano!
Hirschberg: What was the first album you bought with your own money?
Brown: Amy Winehouse. I was 6. I knew every single word to “Valerie.” My dad wouldn’t let me hear “Rehab”! There were definitely rules. Amy Winehouse was my go-to, but back then I sang “We Found Love,” by Rihanna, in the mornings. It got me going when I had to go to school.
Hirschberg: What’s your favorite Halloween costume?
Brown: I’ve never been very good at Halloween. I play characters all the time, so what’s the point of dressing up as another character? The last couple of Halloweens, I saw a lot of people dressed as Eleven. Sometimes it’s comforting. But it’s also very interesting to see a 40-year-old man wearing the look of my 12-year-old character.
Hirschberg: As a child, what was your favorite toy?
Brown: A microphone that had High School Musical on it. I could sing with Zac Efron! I watched High School Musical every single day. When I met Zac Efron, I could barely speak.
Hirschberg: What is the first e-mail you remember sending?
Brown: I always wanted to be on Ellen, and that was the first e-mail I sent: to Ellen DeGeneres. I explained my life story and how I needed to be on her show. I never got a response. Five years later, I was on Ellen! She found that e-mail and showed it to the audience. Very embarrassing. I had made lots of grammatical mistakes.
Hirschberg: In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, your first film, which will be out next spring, you play a girl named Madison. Was it hard to act opposite a monster that wasn’t there?
Brown: Godzilla was a tennis ball! I was always looking up. My neck hurt a lot, and I had to get dry needling. They stuck a really big, but thin, needle in my neck. Your muscle then spasms, and, eventually, you’re fine. After the dry needling, I had a great rapport with the tennis ball.
Hirschberg: Now that you live here, what do you like best about America?
Brown: I love red Jolly Rancher candy. Cherry. They’re very sour. I’m not allowed to eat them anymore, because they color my tongue. Eleven is odd enough without having a red tongue.
As she stuck out her tongue to show its clean non-redness, Brown had to stop talking: It was time for hair and makeup. Without knowing her affinity for Amy Winehouse, the stylist decided that Brown’s hair should be teased into a version of the messy, high bouffant that was the singer’s trademark. Brown was thrilled. Her father, who was sitting nearby with her older brother watching Liverpool, their soccer club, defeat Roma, was smiling at his daughter’s reflection in the mirror. “You know,” he said, “Millie is all confidence and swagger in the world, but at night, at home, she can turn into a little, shy girl. It’s a side of her that only her family sees.”
As the makeup artist added a cat-eye tilt to her round eyes, Brown stared at the transformation in the mirror. I asked her if she ever felt like a typical restless teenager—did she ever want to go crazy, be rebellious, run away? “I can be rebellious,” Brown replied, carefully choosing her words. “But not so much. I’ve never been grounded by my parents. I’m a very good girl.” She paused. “But I do believe in making noise, in being loud.”
To play Eleven, Brown had to cut off her long hair and shave her head, which is something that would be traumatic for any 11-year-old. Her baldness instantly set her apart from, well, everybody. “The shaved head was a big deal,” Brown admitted. “On the one hand, it was cool. When you’re bald, rain feels like a head massage. I’d walk in the rain, and people would look at me like I was crazy. I’d be smiling—so, so happy to have the water hit my naked head. But on the other hand, people stared at me, wondering whether I was sick. Some would even laugh at me, without knowing whether I was or wasn’t sick. It was hurtful, but their attitude taught me something about compassion. In the end, being bald was the best thing I ever did—being different changed my life. I wanted to embrace my baldness and, hopefully, inspire people. And, now, that’s become my message to the world.”
Hopefully we get a photo session soon.
I’ve added a handful of new photos Millie for Moncler to the gallery. Enjoy!
I’ve added a bunch of missing photos of Millie from her Calvin Klein campaign, Stranger Things behind the scenes, and missing 2018 magazine scans. Enjoy!