Millie Bobby Brown: True Heroine
The female staredown is back. Sultry, mesmerising, threatening, inscrutable, hungry: women giving good eye on screen literally inspires how we mirror emotion and communicate, whether through gif or IRL. The ferocious women of Kill Bill taught us that killer looks can prove fatal, Lauren Bacall pioneered the no-nonsense side-eye, and Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander made the chilling stare of a sniper seem chic. These steely-eyed women have a new little sister-in-arms: Eleven, the enigmatic, Eggo-pilfering, telekinetic dynamo from Stranger Things. Portrayed by newcomer Millie Bobby Brown, her stare is genuinely enthralling, paralysing monsters – and boys – in their tracks. She reminds you of Natalie Portman in Leon or V for Vendetta – or a young Winona Ryder, with whom Brown stars in the series. She carries the onscreen gravitas of a future Oscar-winner, and the doe-eyed, gamine appeal of a budding fashion darling. Before we go any further, please note: she is 12 years old.
It’s a muggy day in Brooklyn when I’m confronted by that stare in person. Brown sits as serene as a statue on a stool, having her hair and make-up done. “Hi,” she says, sounding a bit subdued when greeted, and flashes a quick smile. I consider for a second what it’s like being 12 and surrounded constantly by adults, and wonder if she is simply having a shy spell. Sure enough, once set free of the chair, she explodes wide-open with personality; within minutes, we’re discussing how mental it is that she just met Barack Obama.
“Netflix, very clever people, gave Obama the (Stranger Things) tapes, and he watched them on the way to – how do you say it? Is it Air Force One? So, he was watching it and then he came back and watched it with his kids – crazy!”