Millie Bobby Brown on Eleven's Stranger Things 3 power struggle and Hopper's letter
[SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED STRANGER THINGS 3!]
The telekinetic teen fell in and out of love with Mike, found a new best friend with Max (Sadie Sink), suffered a truly wicked monster bite, seemingly lost her adopted father Hopper (David Harbour) and may no longer be superpowered. That’s a lot for one summer.
EW talked to Brown about ST3, the hardest scene she shot and filming that big group goodbye.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You are REALLY put through the wringer this season. Was this your hardest year emotionally and physically?
MILLIE BOBBY BROWN: Oh, 1000 percent. It was definitely the most difficult.
Was there a scene in particular that was most challenging?
Dacre Montgomery, who played Billy, is a method actor, so he really does walk around on set looking evil. And so, I’d say, the end of episode eight was probably one of the most difficult because physically we had to figure out how he’s going to climb on top of me and scream in my face, and how I was going to scream back in his face, and how to cry in those moments, and the specific lines and how to deliver them. It was a personal choice to touch his face at the end.
But I’d say the hardest thing for me to do is when the monster grabs my leg because I was lifted up into the air and I have to scream upside down, which was definitely a first.
You know the scenes where it looks like I’m falling? [When Eleven goes into Billy’s memories] I had to learn how to basically throw myself backwards and forwards for a few hours. And by the end of it, I was gagging because I was so nauseous, but it was the best. I loved it, I loved every second of it. But yes, stunt-wise, it was quite difficult this year.
I know you and Sadie are good friends so that must have been nice to get to play out Max and Eleven’s friendship.
Oh, yeah, Sadie’s a great girl, and it’s really fun to have two young female leads. I think we really worked well together as people and as a friendship, on and off the set, it really worked. So it was really easy.
Eleven has never really had great fashion sense so was that fun to get to give her a makeover?
What are you talking about? No, I mean, I think she’s had great fashion sense. Each season Eleven has had a makeover montage. The first season, it was just Mike putting the makeup on her and the boys putting a wig on her, and then stealing Nancy’s dress. The second was my sister, Kali, dressing me up as a punk. And then the third season is Max letting me be who I want to be. So actually, it was really special this season, and it felt really well deserved for Eleven to choose the person that she wants to be and how she wants to dress. It was definitely well-needed.
For the scene where you read Hopper’s letter, were you reacting to anything? Or was it just you in your head?
They had prerecorded David and they played it out loud. I didn’t’ want to read that speech. I didn’t want to hear about it. I didn’t want to rehearse it. I just immediately wanted to put a camera on me and find the way I react and the way I reacted was pure devastation and sadness, and a distraught child that just lost her father or so she thinks. So it was definitely a raw emotion, especially because David Harbour and I are really close. He is just one of the greatest men. I think something I admire about David is he respects girls and women so much. It felt so … I’m so gutted and I was like, “Oh, my God, this is horrible.” So the emotions were raw in that scene for sure.
What about shooting that final scene where you all say goodbye and Eleven leaves with the Byers?
It was as emotional as it looked. We all said, “Let’s just imagine that this the end of filming forever.” And we all start immediately crying as soon as they said, action. It felt really genuine and it was like saying goodbye to best friends.
Eleven seems to lose her powers at the end of the season. Do you think they’re gone forever?
I think Eleven is powerful with and without powers, so I think that’s always an exciting journey to explore further. But at the end of the day, I have a giant collaboration with the Duffer Brothers, and I definitely have my input, but they are the storytellers and I couldn’t tell you what they’re up to next.
Have they shared anything with you in regards to a potential Stranger Things 4?
The Duffer Brothers are like my older brothers, so I call them all the time, and I definitely try to press them on little clues and hints. I know things here and there, but nothing deep or something I could tell you about. If there was a season four, we would be really excited, but right now, we have to see how season three goes and how the fans react to it.