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DREW BARRYMORE: Millie! Where are you right now?

MILLIE BOBBY BROWN: I’m in Atlanta, sitting in a chair, putting in hair extensions for my new movie, [the next installment of] Godzilla.
DB: Dude, I feel you! I’ve been in so many chairs with so many extensions on so many movie sets. When going from short hair to long hair, my whole attitude changes.
MBB: It’s crazy! But I do feel more confident when I have short hair. After shaving it off for Stranger Things, I just embraced it as much as possible. It was so freeing.
DB: I love Stranger Things. It’s full circle for me because it harks back to me playing Gertie in E.T. Both are about the sense of family, humanity, and suburbia. And both are so grounded in relatability. And you talk about space and aliens and the improbable and the impossible.
MBB: Yeah! E.T. was a huge reference point for the show. They wanted me to feel like an alien but also have genuine relationships, like the one with Mike.
DB: The auditioning process is so raw and vulnerable. What was your audition like for Stranger Things?
MBB: It was slow at first. Then it went super fast. I had four audition tapes with all different scenes. It was a good three weeks before I Skyped with the series’ creators, the Duffer Brothers.
DB: Oh, wow. Then what happened?
MBB: We talked about ’80s movies. And I didn’t know anything about Eleven at that point, and they were referencing E.T. And I was like, “Wait, what? I’m an alien now?” I was so confused on what the story was about. A week later, I flew to L.A. for the job. I screen-tested with Finn Wolfhard, who plays Mike, and met the creators. I immediately fell in love with the project. I needed to play Eleven. And I connected with Finn. Later, the Duffer Brothers called and asked if I could be their Eleven. I was like, “Oh, yes! Yes, I can!”
DB: Eleven doesn’t talk much. How are you two alike?
MBB: She’s the opposite of me! 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!”
DB: You mentioned the chemistry you had with Finn. What about the other guys? What’s the dynamic on set?
MBB: We’re a family. We are all growing up together. We constantly have laughing fits on set, which gets me in trouble. But it’s not me; it’s the boys! They’re hilarious.
DB: That’s what chemistry and growing up together is like! Speaking of family, what’s your family life like?
MBB: It’s really fun. I have a 19-year-old brother [Charley]; he’s my best friend. A five-year-old sister, Ava, who brings out the child in me. And then my older sister, Paige—she’s 23 and takes me everywhere. We do family things, like watch lots of movies and have family meetings about everything from schedules to getting a new dog.
DB: I grew up in a single-parent home where no one told me what was right or wrong. There was no parental gure. Do your parents talk to you about boundaries?

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