MILLIE BOBBY BROWN AT THE HUDSON HOTEL'S LIBRARY BAR IN NEW YORK CITY, SEPTEMBER 2016. PHOTOS: DAVID NEEDLEMAN/JONES MANAGEMENT. STYLING: SAVANNAH WHITE. HAIR: CHARLIE TAYLOR/TRACEY MATTINGLY USING HAIRSTORY. MAKEUP: SUZY GERSTEIN/HONEY ARTISTS USING BEAUTY BLENDER AND CHANEL BEAUTÉ. RETOUCHING: FEATHER CREATIVE.
Millie Bobby Brown was the first subject we cast for our "Faces of 2017" portfolio. When we photographed her on the first day of September at the Hudson Hotel in New York, we only had an inkling of the star she would become. Stranger Things had just debuted on Netflix, with little press done beforehand, and Eleven-fever had yet to hit full force. It was before the image of Brown-as-Eleven, shaven headed and wearing a frilly pink dress, proliferated on coffee shop signs; before the Halloween costumes; before we decided to make her our November cover star.
We were supposed to shoot Brown in London, where she is based when not working, but it moved to New York when she was booked on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with her young Stranger Things co-stars Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Finn Wolfhard (the latter of which plays Eleven's love-interest and BFF, Mike Wheeler, and was her first kiss onscreen). Together, they played a game of "Stranger Strings." It was already beginning.
The reason we've kept Brown in this portfolio, and chosen to conclude with her, is because we believe in her staying power. She is having a moment, yes, but it is just the beginning of many moments. Though still only 12 (she becomes a teenager next month), she has been acting professionally for over three years, with a notable role in Intruders (2014). She's also a talented singer (though her dad won't let her release any music just yet), who tells us that she wishes she had written "Imagine" by John Lennon. Last month, Brown was nominated for a SAG Award for her performance as Eleven.
In the months between the first season of Stranger Things airing and returning to production for the show's second season, the Marbella, Spain-born Brown has been incredibly busy: sitting front row at fashion shows, starring in music videos, attending UNICEF's 70th anniversary event. Her idea of happiness, she says, is "that all children in the world are happy, safe, fed, and educated." Like most young women, she admires Audrey Hepburn, though primarily "for her amazing work as a humanitarian."
For more from our "Faces of 2017" portfolio, click here.