It’s one of Hollywood’s favorite mythical creatures: the professionally lost and personally disoriented teenager, incapable of understanding that their childhood stardom has faded with their changing voice. If they’re lucky, the zeros in their bank account will provide a safety net after the inevitable reality check. They may bet on the complete evaporation of their public image in order to preserve their remaining mental health, or they may sign autographs by the dozen at gatherings of nostalgic fans. Who knows? Maybe in 20 years they’ll get an offer for a remake. They include Macaulay Culkin, Haley Joel Osment, Ralph Macchio and Mara Wilson, recent examples of a phenomenon that could receive a new member. But no one in the film world has moved more quickly than Millie Bobby Brown, who at 19 has been working as an actress for a decade. As she prepares to say goodbye to the character that made her a global icon, Eleven from Stranger Things, the British actress is doing everything possible to make sure she lives on after the Netflix series. And she is succeeding.
Only Margot Robbie, starring in the most-seen movie in the world — Barbie — surpasses Brown on the list of best-paid women in Hollywood this year. Netflix paid the young woman $10 million to repeat her role as the detective’s apprentice in the sequel of Enola Holmes, signing one of the largest checks ever for an 18-year-old actress. The platform reached an agreement with the Marbella-born actress that Business Insider called “ridiculously lucrative.” She has become the best-paid member of the cast of Stranger Things, and her next two films as an actress will also premiere on Netflix. Damsel, a fantasy action tale with princess and dragons, and The Electric State, directed by the duo behind The Avengers, are the young woman’s attempts to make audiences forget Eleven once and for all. She says she is more than ready to do so. “It’s been such a huge factor in part of my life, but it’s like graduating high school, it’s like senior year. You’re ready to go and blossom and flourish, and you’re grateful for the time you’ve had, but it’s time to create your own message and live your own life,” she said on a podcast.
But if acting doesn’t end up working out for her, Brown has shown herself to be a daughter of the times, cultivating multidisciplinary endeavors that keep her current without the need to star in blockbusters. These days, for example, she is touring London, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta to present her first book as a writer, Nineteen Steps. The novel, based on the experiences of her own family, narrates the story of a young English woman who falls in love with an American pilot during World War II. The actress has expressed excitement about her debut as an author to her 63 million Instagram followers, but the book’s release has revived the controversy about ghostwriters in the United Kingdom. Though only the actress’s name appears on the cover, the novel was written by Kathleen McGurl after having a few meetings with Brown and receiving ideas from her via WhatsApp. In the midst of the controversy, the young woman posted a photo of McGurl on Instagram, thanking her for her work.
But if anything has brought the actress joy outside her work on set, it’s her cosmetics and beauty brand, Florence by Mills. Launched in 2019, the company looks to satisfy Generation Z’s needs with vegan products that are not tested on animals. Its accessible prices have managed to make inroads in the sector, and Brown now follows in the steps of other entrepreneurs like Kylie Jenner, Rihanna, Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian. The brand’s most recent release is its first perfume, Wildly Me, a fragrance that, according to the star, is inspired by “always being faithful to yourself and remembering to embrace your wild side.” Beyond her own projects, Louis Vuitton announced Millie Bobby Brown as a brand ambassador last year. The young woman’s personal fortune is valued at €14 million ($14.8 million).
The actress has exciting news in her personal life, too: she is currently preparing for her wedding. After two years with Jake Bongiovi, the son of singer Jon Bon Jovi who she met via Instagram, the young woman announced her engagement last spring showing off a diamond ring with an estimated value of $150,000. Since they made their debut as a couple on the red carpet of the Bafta awards in 2022, they have been inseparable. In a recent television appearance, Brown said that the planning of the ceremony has been “very exciting.”
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