Here’s what it took for “Stranger Things'” Millie Brown to transform into Eleven
We’ve talked a lot about the amazingness that is Stranger Things, the new Netflix series that’s part Goonies, part ET, part general Spielbergian creepiness, all ’80s nostalgia. The story, which finds a young boy whisked away to a mysterious alternate dimension by a genuinely terrifying monster, is great and intriguing, but it’s really the incredible performances that had us binging the first season in less than half a day.
Each of the child actors did an incredible job. One, Millie Bobby Brown, gave a truly standout performance as Eleven, the near-mute little girl with mysterious powers. Millie is an up-and-coming, extremely talented young actress – and, incidentally, an incredibly gifted singer – and she’s clearly willing to go the distance for the sake of her craft.
In the series, Millie’s character Eleven rocks a shaved head look. In real life, Millie *actually* shaved her head to get into character!
That’s right – Eleven’s close-cropped ‘do is no wig. Millie went the distance and actually shaved her long hair off for the role. And now, she’s sharing the video of the whole process with her fans.
Millie initially shared a photo on Instagram, captioned “This is the day I shaved my head for the first time for #strangerthings #firstphoto #alteregojohn,” a week ago. In the pic, she’s giving the camera that now-classic intense Eleven stare – definitely in character!
On Saturday, she teased her fans even more, saying that she had been thinking about sharing the full vid of her head-shaving experience and telling her followers to “watch this space.”
Finally, Millie shared the video of the whole haircutting experience, perfectly set to the tune of Beyonce’s “Pretty Hurts,” via Instagram and Twitter on Sunday morning.
Whoa! Shaving your head from formerly full-length hair is more of a process than I realized. In the video, we can see stylist Sarah Hindsgaul, who is in the styling department for Stranger Things, cutting off individual tiny ponytails all around Millie’s head. Then, once each ponytail is chopped off, the stylist fluffs Millie’s remaining short hair and gets to work buzzing it all off. The end result is fierce and amazing. Millie looks great with a shaved head, as we already knew from watching the series.
While some young girls might be leery about shaving their heads, Millie had an incredible attitude about the whole thing from the start. She’s calm, cool, and collected while watching the head-shaving process in the mirror.
It’s no shock that Millie had a non-reaction to chopping off her formerly long locks. Back on August 15, Aaron Paul (a Stranger Things superfan, just like us) interviewed Millie for ELLE and asked her about her hair.
Apparently, there was no mention of head-shaving until after Millie already got the part. Her mother was not thrilled about it, but Millie was firm. “I was like, ‘Mom. You need to chill out; it’s gonna grow back.’ My mom was against it. And me and my dad were like, ‘Come on. It’s fine!’”
Shaving her head was totally worth it, especially since, as Millie so smartly pointed out, it’s gonna grow back anyway. She’ll go down in history as having played one of the best characters to ~ever~ grace a television screen, channeling other fierce, shaved-head women like Charlize Theron as Mad Max‘s Furiosa and Natalie Portman in V For Vendetta.