Millie Bobby Brown smiling

Whether or not you’ve watched the Netflix show "Stranger Things" (and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?), you’ve probably heard the name Millie Bobby Brown. Brown is the breakout star of the sci-fi show’s ensemble cast of young actors, having portrayed the telekinetic Eleven since its debut in 2016.

Born on February 19, 2004, Brown wasn’t even a teenager when she began filming "Stranger Things," and she has grown up in the public eye, becoming a young woman whose star is still on the rise. Brown has landed other big projects, too, including roles in the films "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and Netflix’s "Enola Holmes."

What is the child star like when the cameras aren’t rolling? She’s surprisingly down-to-earth — but don’t take our word for it. There are a lot of facts about Brown that prove she’s one of the most grounded young stars in Hollywood.

She’s had quite the international upbringing, and it shows in her accent

Millie Bobby Brown smiling

Millie Bobby Brown’s American accent is so spot-on that it’s easy to forget that she’s not actually American. As noted by GQ, the British actress was born in Spain, spent her early years in England, and then moved to the U.S. After her acting career took off, she found herself traveling a lot for work, telling Interview she splits her time between the U.S. and England, saying, "I kind of live everywhere, but my favorite place to live is LA."

All of that moving around has had a big impact on how Brown talks. She switches back and forth between her American accent and her English accent, using her American accent for "Stranger Things" but reverting to her childhood speech for other projects, such as the 2020 Netflix film "Enola Holmes," much to the bafflement of some viewers who aren’t used to Brown’s English accent.

Switching between the two accents isn’t easy. Brown revealed to Miley Cyrus on Cyrus’ Instagram show, "Bright Minded," that she perfected her American accent by watching Cyrus on the Disney Channel show "Hannah Montana" when she was younger, and that she actually had to put in a lot of work to switch back to her mother tongue (via People). "I had to learn how to speak again because I’m so used to speaking in an American accent!" she told Radio Times (via BBC).

She knew she wanted to act from childhood

Millie Bobby Brown speaking

While some child stars are pushed into the industry by stage parents, others go into show business because they can’t see themselves doing anything else. Millie Bobby Brown knew at the age of 8 that she was destined to become an actress, in spite of the fact that she had never taken an acting class. Her supportive parents believed in her dream and even uprooted their lives in England to bring the whole family to America so that the young actress could launch her career.

"It was like a bug," she told Variety of her desire to act. "I know this sounds crazy, but once I find something I want to do, nobody’s stopping me. If I don’t know how to sew, and I really had that passion to sew, that’s it, I’m going to sew. That’s also with acting. So here I am."

She almost quit acting before landing her big break

Millie Bobby Brown posing on the red carpet

Millie Bobby Brown became a household name with "Stranger Things," but she’d been acting for a few years before landing her big break. Her first television credits date back to 2013, when she appeared as Young Alice in two episodes of "Once Upon a Time In Wonderland." Her roles over the next few years consisted largely of guest spots on shows such as "Modern Family" and "Grey’s Anatomy."

Brown kept auditioning in hopes of landing a meatier role, notably going out for a part on "Game of Thrones." She didn’t get the gig, though, which broke her heart. As she said in an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," not getting the role almost led to her quitting acting altogether. She confessed, "that’s kind of when I was like, ‘Oh, this is really difficult.’ I guess I really wanted that role."

Thankfully for her many fans, she decided to give acting a couple more shots, and landed the role of Eleven in "Stranger Things" a few months later.

Her first kiss was on film

Millie Bobby Brown posing with Finn Wolfhard

Growing up on a hit TV show has its ups and downs, and having your first kiss on TV is one of those things that could fall into either category. On the one hand, you don’t have to worry about finding a partner for that special smooch, which removes some pressure. On the other hand, it’s just plain awkward. Millie Bobby Brown’s first kiss was on "Stranger Things" was a bit of both. She told Interview that locking lips with her co-star Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike, was an interesting experience, saying, "At the end of the day, it’s only acting, and it’s something you have to do, and I would do anything for the show. … It was definitely strange. It was, like, my first kiss, so it was kind of weird."

While her first kiss wasn’t romantic, Brown is okay with that. "At the end of the day, it was just work," she told The Jakarta Post. "But there’s another aspect to it. It’s just cool to immortalize your first kiss onscreen, so that I could show it to people."

She launched her own beauty brand

Millie Bobby Brown posing at the launch of her beauty brand

Millie Bobby Brown isn’t just a Hollywood name; she’s also built a reputation for herself in the beauty space with her own beauty brand, Florence by Mills, which is named after her great-grandmother, Florence — Mills, of course, is short for Millie. Per the company’s website, the brand "is about defining beauty on our own terms." As Brown told Allure, her great-grandmother "was very, very independent and expressed herself unapologetically," much like Brown herself, so the brand’s name makes sense.

The fact that the brand is cruelty free and also clean is especially important to Brown, who told Elle UK that Florence by Mills only uses ingredients "that actually are meant to go on to your skin and that are grown from the earth." She said that, before starting her own beauty brand, she would often use products with ingredients that didn’t suit her, and that "creating Florence made me learn that huge lesson of actually, these aren’t things meant for my skin and so I’m going to start using things that are."

She became the youngest ever UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

Millie Bobby Brown posing with a UNICEF sign

In 2018, UNICEF named Millie Bobby Brown their youngest Goodwill Ambassador in history. "It’s a dream come true to become a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador," said Brown in a press release from UNICEF. "I am looking forward to meeting as many children and young people as I can, hearing their stories, and speaking out on their behalf."

Brown was just 14 when she was awarded the prestigious position, although she had already been supporting the organization for a couple of years. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Brown’s focus is on youth advocacy.

In an interview with The Jakarta Post, Brown talked about the mixed bag that is being a child star, saying that her position with UNICEF is "one of its good aspects." Brown added that she is excited to "support children’s rights and help young boys and girls fulfill their dreams and get what they deserve" and that she is grateful for the opportunity to use her platform for such an important cause.

She has one major trait in common with her Stranger Things character

Millie Bobby Brown posing

Having played Eleven for most of her adolescent years, it’s a good thing that Millie Bobby Brown doesn’t hate the character. In fact, she and her "Stranger Things" counterpart have a major trait in common, as she revealed to The Jakarta Post. "I can relate to her strength, mostly," she said. "She’s very powerful, but she’s also very vulnerable."

Aside from that, though, Brown and Eleven are pretty different. "She’s the opposite of me!" Brown told Teen Vogue. "I’m crazy and very loud. That’s why I love her so much, because I get to play a different person as soon as they call, ‘Action!’"

Brown is delighted that others see themselves in the character, though, even dressing up as Eleven at Comic-Con and on Halloween. While some might find that kind of attention unsettling — especially at such a young age — Brown told Interview that she finds it "very rewarding" to see people being so inspired by Eleven and "embracing her." She added, "I think it’s nice to see what different people think of her character. I’m cool with people dressing up as Eleven for Halloween. I definitely want to open my door and give them candy."

A lot of her fashion inspo comes from vintage styles

Millie Bobby Brown smiling

She may be young, but Millie Bobby Brown is an old soul — at least when it comes to fashion. She is deeply influenced by vintage styles, telling Elle UK that she turns to the ’80s for beauty cues, saying that the decade is "probably the best period for hair, make-up, fashion and music, I mean, I could go on and on." She added that "specifically for beauty the colours are amazing and so bold and flawless."

Considering that "Stranger Things" is set in that decade, it makes sense that Brown is so enamored with it and its styles. Brown doesn’t limit herself to the ’80s, though. The young star is also inspired by the iconic Audrey Hepburn, whose Hollywood heyday was in the ’50s and ’60s. "Who she was and what she represented is everything I strive to be — I love her make-up, her beauty and her fashion, everything about her," said Brown.

She has a strong bond with her Stranger Things castmates

Millie Bobby Brown posing with the Stranger Things cast

Growing up on a TV show can be quite the bonding experience, and that holds true for Millie Bobby Brown, who has developed a camaraderie with her "Stranger Things" co-stars. "We’re a family," she told Teen Vogue. "We are all growing up together."

The downside, though, was that, at least during the earlier days of the show, there weren’t many female actors on set — as she told Interview, her male co-stars "have their squads" and "talk about girls and video games." She looks at the guys on set as her "big brothers," but she does have an older woman on set to look up to: Winona Ryder. Brown told The Jakarta Post that "the fact that she was also a child actress makes her very relatable to the young members of the cast," as Ryder "went through the same thing, literally."

Ryder was even there to offer support when Brown had to shave her head for the show — something Ryder herself knows a thing or two about. "Winona Ryder cut her hair when she was younger so she always told me there’s going to be a stage where it’s going to have that really weird mid-length, so I definitely got told and that was a thing, by the way," she told the press at the SAG Awards red carpet pre-show in 2020 (via Entertainment Weekly).

Her family keeps her down-to-earth

Millie Bobby Brown posing

Millie Bobby Brown’s family has been incredibly supportive of her career, helping her reach her dreams. They’ve also kept her down-to-earth after achieving fame, as she told Teen Vogue. When she’s at home with them, they live a pretty ordinary life. "We do family things, like watch lots of movies and have family meetings about everything from schedules to getting a new dog," she said.

While many child stars go through a rebellious phase, Brown has remained out of trouble and dedicated to her craft — perhaps, in part, because her family is there to keep her rooted. She said that her mother kept her from dressing too adult for her age, banning crop tops and too much makeup in her early teens. The rest of the family has roles to play, too. "My dad is security, while my siblings take care of my eating, keep me grounded, and make sure I get rest," she said. "We are a team."

Is a music album in Millie Bobby Brown’s future?

Millie Bobby Brown posing

Fans of Millie Bobby Brown’s acting might not know that she also has an impressive set of pipes. She shares her vocal talents with the world on occasion, such as in a video for W Magazine in which she sings her go-to karaoke song, "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars. She’s also shown off her rap skills, notably rapping a recap of Season 1 of "Stranger Things" in an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

Brown told Interview that singing is actually her first love, saying, "I started singing and then I got into acting. Singing is something I love to do. I feel very confident doing it."

So, can we expect her to add "recording artist" to her already impressive resume in the future? She told Interview in 2016 that her dad was encouraging her to wait until she "understand[s] the meaning of music," but four years later she revealed on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" that she was working on some music. "Me and my brother are always in the studio recording stuff and writing stuff," she revealed (via the Daily Mail). Hopefully we get to hear her lovely voice on her debut album someday soon!

She made her directorial debut at 17

Millie Bobby Brown speaking on the red carpet

Millie Bobby Brown is a woman of many talents. Not limiting herself to acting, she tried her hand at producing with 2020’s "Enola Holmes," signing on to produce the sequel as well. She’s also a director, starring and directing in a short filmed by her brother on a Samsung Galaxy S22. Released on YouTube in March 2022, the two-and-a-half-minute film is simply titled "A short film directed by Millie Bobby Brown" and can be found on Samsung’s YouTube page.

Brown revealed to Glamour UK that the film, which she directed at 17, is the first of hopefully many. She is looking forward to directing more in the future, and hopes to help bring down the average age of female directors. "I think we definitely need more young women out there to feel welcome and supported because our age doesn’t actually matter," she said. "Young female directors are as important as older female directors."

Turning 18 was a milestone in more ways than one

Millie Bobby Brown posing on the red carpet

Turning 18 is a big deal for many people who are excited to become legal adults with all the privileges that comes with. Millie Bobby Brown’s coming-of-age was a bit more complicated, though, as she revealed on "The Guilty Feminist" podcast (via People). Brown explained that after she turned 18, people got really bold with the comments they were directing to her, and that she was not comfortable with the sexually-charged language.

"Definitely seeing a difference between the way people act and the way the press and social media have reacted to me coming of age," she said, adding that the whole thing was "gross." Brown added, "I think it’s just a very good representation of what’s going on in the world and how young girls are sexualized."

BuzzFeed News reported that online forums eagerly looked forward to Brown turning 18, and that there were even countdowns to the birthday. Meanwhile, a Reddit forum dedicated "to post[ing] sexual pictures of her the day she turns 18" was taken down by the site.

She has some wise words for her younger self

Millie Bobby Brown looking over her shoulder

She’s still quite young, but Millie Bobby Brown has led quite a busy life and has learned a lot along the way. While she doesn’t seem like the type of person to dwell on mistakes or regrets, she told Glamour UK that she does have some words of wisdom for her younger self. If she could send a message to a young Brown, she’d tell her to "hold on. You are going to go on a crazy ride! Try and remember who you are and not the people around you. People come and go into your life and they can negatively and positively influence it."

Brown added that she’d remind her younger self to stay grounded, and to try to tune out the negative things, saying that while she chose her path and is happy about it, becoming an actress also came with some "stuff that I didn’t ask for," like bullying and body shaming.