Everything that Millie Bobby Brown has said about growing up in the public eye, post-'Stranger Things' fame

left: millie bobby brown, age 12, at the stranger things season one premier in 2016. she's wearing a white dress with gold detailing, her hair cropped short. she's smiling with one hand on her hip; right: millie bobby brown at age 18 at the stranger things season 4 premiere. she's wearing a white dress with a black fabric sleeve over one sholder, and her hair is worn long and blonde
Millie Bobby Brown's breakout role was on "Stranger Things" in 2016.Jason LaVeris/GettyImages; Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images
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Brown said that she almost didn't audition for "Stranger Things" because she was told she was "too mature" to be a child actor.

Millie Bobby Brown at the "Stranger Things" premiere in California on July 11, 2016.
Millie Bobby Brown at the "Stranger Things" premiere in California on July 11, 2016.Jason LaVeris/GettyImages

Brown told Allure in a September 2022 cover story that a "powerful casting director" nearly dissuaded her from pursuing acting any further. 

"I always knew that I was mature and I couldn't really help that," Brown said.

"It was so hurtful," she continued. "I got really down about that. My parents told me, 'Just do this one last audition on tape and then you can go outside and play with your friends again.'"

Brown, of course, was eventually cast as Eleven in "Stranger Things," which was her breakout role.

Brown said that she's had to deal with tabloids who "twist" the things that she says.

Millie Bobby Brown at the "Stranger Things" season three premiere on June 28, 2019.
Millie Bobby Brown at the "Stranger Things" season three premiere on June 28, 2019.Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Stringer/Getty Images

Brown told Harper's Bazaar UK in 2019 that she had to mitigate tabloids who "take things that you've said and twist it into an entirely different form" on a "daily" basis.

"But at the end of the day, I say if I'm doing my best, it's all I can give you, and if you can't take it then that's your problem," she told the publication.

At age 16, Brown spoke out about being sexualized in the media.

Millie Bobby Brown at the SAG Awards on January 19, 2020.
Millie Bobby Brown at the SAG Awards on January 19, 2020.Jon Kopaloff/Stringer/Getty Images

In an Instagram post on her 16th birthday, Brown spoke about her experience being sexualized as a child in the spotlight.

"The last few years haven't been easy, I'll admit that. There are moments I get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults that ultimately have resulted in pain and insecurity for me," the actor wrote on Instagram in 2020.

"I feel like change needs to happen for not only this generation but the next," she wrote. "Our world needs kindness and support in order for us children to grown and succeed."

Brown said that while she was "confident" as a child, her anxiety increased during her teenage years.

Millie Bobby Brown in a brown jacket and grey pants during a late-night interview with Jimmy Fallon
Millie Bobby Brown during an interview on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on October 27, 2022.Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

Brown told Miley Cyrus on her Instagram talk show "Bright Minded" in March 2020 that her anxiety had increased as she grew older.

"When I was like 10 and I was in the industry, I was very like, very confident and like, really didn't care about anything and what people would say about me. And then recently, maybe since I turned 15, about two years ago, I just started having really bad panic attacks, like really bad anxiety, and I just struggled with it really bad."

Brown said that as she grew older, people had "a lot more to say" about her, both good and bad.

Brown said she had grown "thicker skin" when it came to bullying over the years.

Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown said that people who cyberbully might be "going through something."Raymond Hall/Getty Images

Brown told Glamour UK that she had dealt with cyberbullying over the course of her life, but had become less sensitive to it.

"I can deal with it. I think maybe I've grown thicker skin and I just realised it's OK, they might be going through something, they might be really upset or hurting," she said.

Brown said that she keeps "most things private" in her life after growing up in the public eye, and that public criticism affects her anxiety.

Brown said that working on "Enola Holmes" helped her to prioritize herself.

millie bobby brown as enola holmes, standing in front of a map with post-it notes and strings connecting them, illuminating the picture with a candelabra
Millie Bobby Brown as Enola Holmes in "Enola Holmes 2."Alex Bailey/Netflix

Brown told Vogue UK that growing up in the public eye had been a challenge — but working on "Enola Holmes," which she starred in and also produced, helped change her view.

"As I'm working and doing what I love, I'm still finding myself, so having lots of people watch and criticize that can be overwhelming," Brown said. "But this experience changed my perspective. It helped me to not be afraid. This film gave me the strength to say: 'I'm putting myself first in every situation.'"

Brown spoke about people watching her "grow up" in the public eye in 2021.

Millie Bobby Brown at the "Enola Holmes 2" premiere on October 27, 2022.
Millie Bobby Brown at the "Enola Holmes 2" premiere on October 27, 2022.Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

Brown told MTV News that when she first became famous, she was more "carefree" when it came to her budding fame. As she grew older, she "struggled more with the fame aspect" and anxiety.

"I am a young girl and you know, I'm only 17, but at the end of the day I'm learning to be a woman. I'm learning to be a young woman," Brown said. "Being a young girl, people watch you grow up right? And they almost become invested in your growth, and your journey. But they aren't ready to accept the fact that you're growing up, right?"

Brown said that some of her style choices, like crop tops or heels, would prompt outsized reactions from people saying that she's acting older than her age.

"I have 50 million people like my parents and they're like, 'No,'" Brown said. "And my parents are like, 'Yay! Thank god you're 17.'"

Brown said in 2022 that it was "overwhelming" navigating typical concerns for an 18-year-old while in the "public eye."

Millie Bobby Brown in a purple outfit with feathers during a late-night interview
Millie Bobby Brown during an interview on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on May 13, 2022.Todd Owyoung/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The actor appeared on "The Guilty Feminist" podcast in April 2022, several months after her 18th birthday.

"I deal with the same things any 18-year-old is dealing with, navigating being an adult and having relationships and friendships, and it's all of those things," she said on the podcast.

"Being liked and trying to fit in, it's all a lot, and you're trying to [know] yourself while doing that. The only difference is obviously I'm doing that in the public eye," she continued.

"It can be really overwhelming," she said. "I have definitely been dealing with that more in the last couple weeks of turning 18."

Brown said on the podcast that she believed her Hollywood experience was "a good representation of what's going on in the world and how young girls are sexualized."

Brown said that she was "publicly humiliated" by a situation involving a TikToker in 2021.

Millie Bobby Brown in a white dress with black details at the "Stranger Things" premiere
Millie Bobby Brown at the "Stranger Things" season 4 premiere on May 14, 2022, in New York City.Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

In July 2021, TikToker Hunter Ecimovic said that he "groomed" Brown, alluding to rumors that the two had been in a relationship, Insider previously reported. A year later, Brown told Allure that she had been in an "unhealthy situation" with Ecimovic in 2020, until she walked away in January 2021.

"It was a year of healing," Brown told Allure. "When you get publicly humiliated this way, I felt so out of control and powerless. Walking away and knowing that I'm worth everything and this person didn't take anything from me, it felt very empowering."

Brown joked that it gave her "anxiety" to think about being nominated for an Emmy in her early teens.

Millie Bobby Brown March 2022
Millie Bobby Brown poses in the winners room during the EE British Academy Film Awards 2022 at Royal Albert Hall on March 13, 2022 in London, England.Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images

In November 2022, Brown participated in Wired's signature autocomplete interview segment. During the video, she responded to the search suggestion "millie bobby brown emmy."

"Ooh, well, this is… I don't really know much about what this really means, but I definitely was nominated twice, at the ripe age of 12 and 14, I think?" Brown said. She was 13 years old when first nominated for an Emmy for her performance in "Stranger Things."

"Alrighty. That gives me anxiety," she said.

Read the original article on Insider