Inside the incredible life of Millie Bobby Brown at 18
SHE shot to fame with a shaved head – and now Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown has celebrated her milestone birthday with a striking new look.
Wearing a vintage corset and sporting a long platinum wig, the British star and her boyfriend channeled Barbie and Ken to celebrate her 18th birthday.
She and Jake Bongiovi, the 19-year-old son of rocker Jon Bon Jovi, hit London’s Cirque Le Soir nightclub with around 15 friends, before moving on to the Windmill Club.
Earlier, Millie posted a photo of the pair on Instagram, captioning it, “Hey Ken!” Jake posted the same snap and wrote: “Happy birthday barbie”, followed by “ily” – i love you – and a heart symbol.
It’s been just six years since Millie shot to worldwide fame at just 11, playing the role of telekinetic child Eleven in Netflix’s hit sci-fi drama.
In that short time, she was nominated for two Primetime Emmys, named one of the top 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine, and became the youngest-ever United Nations Goodwill Ambassador.
Oh, and she also has a line of bestselling beauty products.
As she said herself, “Once I find something I want to do, nobody stops me” — a reference to her decision, at age eight, to be an actress. She added: “It was like a bug.”
Millie was born in Spain to English parents Kelly and Robert, with only partial hearing in one ear, which she gradually lost completely.
When she was four, the family moved to Bournemouth, Dorset, then to Florida four years later, where Millie enrolled in drama school.
When a Hollywood agent scouted her, the family moved to Los Angeles so she could pursue her dreams.
But Millie, who has two sisters, Paige and Ava, and a brother, Charlie, said: “It was very hard. There were a lot of tears along the way.”
She was just nine years old when she landed one of her first roles, as Alice in the 2013 TV fantasy drama Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
She then landed roles in US TV series NCIS, Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy, but the big break was still out of reach.
In 2015, nearly broke, the Browns moved back to the UK, where they stayed with an aunt. Millie recalled, “I thought I was done.”
The audition for Stranger Things took place the day a casting agent reduced her to tears by saying she was too mature – which later came in handy when she was asked to cry to try the role of Eleven.
“IT DIDN’T HAPPEN ALL FROM ONE SOUTH”
She said: “I must have cried during the audition. My emotions were so raw, I knocked it out of the park.
Of her ‘overnight’ success, Millie said: ‘It didn’t happen all of a sudden like it might seem.
“The show was truly a stroke of luck, which arrived after two years of hard work – commercials, auditions upon auditions.”
Stranger Things, which also starred Winona Ryder, was a smash hit, racking up an astonishing 8.2 million views in the first fortnight after its 2016 release.
The fourth series will be released in May and the creators have announced that the fifth will be the last.
For Millie, however – who is already said to be worth £7million – the drama appears to be the stepping stone to a stellar career.
She appeared in two Godzilla films, King Of The Monsters and Godzilla vs Kong, as well as the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes in the 2020 film Enola Holmes, in which she is also credited as a producer.
Millie has three more films in the works – Damsel, The Girls I’ve Been and The Thing About Jellyfish – as well as the Holmes sequel, while juggling her cosmetics company, Florence by Mills.
Pop culture expert Nick Ede thinks there’s a lot more to come from the young star.
He said: “She already has 47 million Instagram followers and a very successful beauty line, and I can see her really starting to capitalize on her fame in a way that engages fans and sums up her personality.
“She’s fashion forward and knows her makers and I’m sure she could launch her own collection soon, with endorsement deals and ad campaigns for big brands.
“I can see her success surpassing previous child stars like Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe.”
In an interview with Glamor magazine on her 18th birthday, Millie – whose hair is actually still brunette and currently cut in a “flapper bob” – said her biggest inspiration was her grandmother.
“IT CREATED A LOT OF ANXIETY”
She said: “Something my grandmother preached was that failure is part of the process. It’s something I didn’t really listen to for a long time and then I figured it out after going through my own failures.
“Not so much in my career, but mostly being a girl and understanding that you can’t be good at everything.”
While it might seem from the outside that Millie — fashion icon, Gen Z role model — is good at everything she turns to, growing up in the public eye hasn’t been an easy road.
She once revealed that bullies forced her to change primary schools while living in the UK.
Speaking in 2019, a year after being named a UN Goodwill Ambassador, Millie said: “It created a lot of anxiety and issues that I still face today.
“I’ve faced some soul-crushing and really hurting situations both in real life and online, reading some of the things people have said.”
In 2018, she quit Twitter after trolls photographed her in homophobic memes.
When she turned 16 in 2020, she revealed she had been “sexualized” and “insulted” as a child star.
She said: “There are times when I get frustrated with inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization and unnecessary insults which ultimately lead to pain and insecurity for me.”
And last July, The Sun reported that American TikTok star Hunter Ecimovic claimed during an Instagram Live that he “groomed” the actress when he was 20 and she had no only 16 years old and had lived in his house for eight months.
Millie responded by calling his remarks “offensive and hateful” and said she was taking action against him.
Before coupling with Jake, Millie dated American YouTube star and musician Jacob Sartorius for seven months in 2018.
When they split in July, she posted on Instagram, “The decision with Jacob and I was completely mutual. We are both happy and remain friends.
In January 2019 it was rumored they were back together, but a few months later The Sun revealed she was dating Romeo Beckham – and Posh was thrilled.
A source told us at the time: “It’s the beginning but they are a very nice couple. Posh gave her the stamp of approval as she is a big fan of Millie.
However, last summer Millie was spotted in New York holding hands with Jake – who is the spitting image of her singer father – as he carried his dog Winnie in a tote bag.
They went Instagram official in November, with a sweet snap of them cuddling up to the London Eye, while she was in the capital filming Enola Holmes 2. It was ‘liked’ by 6.6 million of people, including Friends star Jennifer Aniston.
On Christmas Day, Millie posted a sweet photo of the couple in front of a decorated tree.
Jake grew up in New Jersey and is believed to be studying at Syracuse University in New York.
Every day, Millie — who counts Arianna Grande and Harry Styles among her famous friends — recites the mantra, “I love you. I am sorry. Thank you,” which she says helps her get rid of the “negative blockage in your aura.”
But if it makes it sound like she’s completely Americanized,
Millie insists she is still proud of her English traits, such as her sense of humor and ‘brutal honesty’.
She said, “I never lost my banter, which most of my friends here and in America enjoyed.”