CULTURE

Millie Bobby Brown Plans to Conquer Broadway Despite Being Partly Deaf

The 13-year-old actress got candid about her deafness, and her dream Broadway role.


Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

It’s been just more than a year since Millie Bobby Brown, aka Eleven on Stranger Things,, unleashed her real supernatural power on the world: the ability to rap Nicki Minaj’s legendary verse on “Monster” while simultaneously silly stringing her young co-stars and Jimmy Fallon. And it turns out, Brown has bigger musical aspirations, as she revealed in a new interview with Variety. Basically, she wants to be in a musical. Matilda, specifically.

I like her wittiness. She’s funny and also just extremely smart, all at the same time,” Brown said. Apparently, her Stranger Things co-stars Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin, who appeared in Broadway productions Les Misérables and The Lion King, respectively, warned her of the grueling rehearsal schedule; Brown reported she was unfazed, possibly even excited by the prospect. “That’s why I would like to,” she explained. “I think Broadway’s such a tough kind of routine.”

Still, Brown never received any formal voice training, just as she never took formal acting classes (which doesn’t seem to have been an impediment at all). She was also born with partial deafness in one ear, which gradually became complete deafness. When she sings now, she can only hear herself halfway. But she has not let that set her back either: “If I sound bad, I don’t care, because I’m just doing what I love,” she told Variety in a separate story. “You don’t have to be good at singing. You don’t have to be good at dancing or acting. If you like to do it, if you genuinely enjoy doing it, then do it,” she encouraged.

As she said in an interview with W earlier this year, she aspired to be a singer from an early age—since she was three, five years before she even began auditioning for acting roles—and got her start “just humming.” (She didn’t hesitate to admit, “I was really bad.”) Early obsessions with High School Musical, Rihanna, and Amy Winehouse were all pretty formative; more recently, her tastes (especially as far as karaoke jams go) tend towards Bruno Mars. “‘Just the Way You Are’ or ‘Versace on the Floor,’ there’s so many good ones now, and especially with his new album,” she said. (Just search Youtube for Brown singing the Dreamgirls cut “And I Am Telling You” for evidence her Broadway aspirations might not be too far off.)

However, until Stranger Things, Brown didn’t know what a record player was—after all, she was born in 2004. Of course, she revealed this on a recent Good Morning America appearance, for which she wore head-to-toe Gucci in red, white, blue, and black, including a pair of whimsical, nautical-inspired heels that gave the 13-year-old an extra couple of inches and earned her comparisons to a young Judy Garland. So, will it be Matilda, or The Wizard of Oz?

The Stranger Things Cast Celebrated Season 2 with a Spooky Halloween Party

Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin and Noah Schnapp attends the premiere of Stranger Things season two.

Eric Charbonneau

Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink attend the season two premiere of Stranger Things.

Eric Charbonneau

Finn Wolfhard and Joe Keery attends the season two premiere of Stranger Things.

Eric Charbonneau

Dylan Sprouse attends American Eagle Celebrates 40 Years at New AE Studio in NYC.

Sean Zanni

Billie Lourd attends American Eagle Celebrates 40 Years at New AE Studio in NYC.

Sean Zanni

Miles Teller attends The Cinema Society & Avion host a reception for DreamWorks and Universal Pictures’ Thank You for Your Service held at The Landmark at 57 West, NYC.

Jared Siskin

Margaret Qualley, Morgan Saylor, Dianna Agron, Rebecca Dayan attend Miu Miu & The Cinema Society host the after party for Sony Pictures Classics’ “Novitiate” held at The Lambs Club, NYC.

Jared Siskin

Zachary Quinto and Olivia Wilde attend Uniqlo’s Art and Science Lifewear party at Spring Studios in NYC.

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Karolina Kurkova and Archie Drury attend Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation’s Angel Ball 2017 at Cipriani Wall Street on October 23, 2017 in New York City.

Dimitrios Kambouris

Miles McMillan and Zachary Quinto attends the New York Magazine 50th Anniversary Party at Katz’s Delicatessen on October 24, 2017 in New York City.

Ben Gabbe

Julianne Moore attends John Hardy And Vanity Fair Celebrate Legends at Le Coucou on October 24, 2017 in New York City.

Dimitrios Kambouris

Debbie Harry performs onstage as Journal Hotels celebrate Mondrian Park Avenue’s grand opening hosted by The Butter Group with special guest Debbie Harry on October 24, 2017 in New York City.

Dave Kotinsky

Harley Viera Newton attends a pop-up cocktail celebrating the Valentino Resort 2018 collection.

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Andra Day attends the 2017 National Arts Awards by non-profit Americans for the Arts, held at Cipriani 42nd St.

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Mario Sorrenti, Angela Missoni, and Mary Frey attend a cocktail celebrating “Blue, Yellow, Red, Purple,” a project by poet and filmmaker Jonas Mekas.

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