Millie Bobby Brown is a step ahead as producer and star of Enola Holmes.
In the rollicking Enola Holmes, Millie Bobby Brown stars as an intrepid 19th-century heroine — Sherlock Holmes’s younger sister — who flips the script on gender roles and embarks on an adventure all her own. The actress herself forged a new path on the project, playing an integral role in bringing this spirited adaptation of Nancy Springer’s best-selling novels to the screen. Enola Holmes is Brown’s first endeavor as a producer, and she collaborated with Hollywood veteran Mary Parent, who previously worked with the Stranger Things lead on Godzilla: King of the Monsters.In a preface to Queue’s conversation with Brown, the Oscar-nominated Parent reflects on her remarkable experience producing Enola Holmes alongside the young star.
She’s such a strong female character, but at the same time, throughout the course of the film she stops to take care of a vulnerable boy. It’s such a role reversal from what we’re used to seeing in cinema.
MBB: It is a role reversal that’s needed. I love that. I love seeing the more feminine side of a young teenage boy and definitely more of a masculine side to Enola. She wants to be this strong person, and she doesn’t want to label anything. She’s very carefree about everything.
I mean, the costumes tell their own story. You’re doing incredibly complex fight scenes in a corset. Some of the greatest action is when you are most constricted.
MBB: I had four layers on every day. I’ve never worked like that. I’m so used to other characters where I’m in very loose-fitting clothes. This was very restricted, like the society back then. Naturally, it’s always a little more difficult just because you’re so used to wearing your gym clothes and now you’re wearing a corset and a petticoat and heels. You can’t really do a good roundhouse kick in those.
There are very strong female producers associated with this film. What did you absorb from watching them on set?
MBB: Every single project, I take away something very, very different. On this set, I took away that just because I’m a young girl doesn’t mean that I can’t be listened to. I felt so important and appreciated on Enola. Not that I haven’t on any other set — but this, because it’s so women-empowered, I was really inspired.
What is your favorite part of the day when you’re going to set for a project, whether it’s Stranger Things or a big feature film like this?
MBB: I love it when I am validated. I love it when the director says, “That was the one. Good job, that was it.” I also like it when he says, “Hey, that was really not good, try again.” I enjoy those moments. And like any person that works, I enjoy leaving and going home and sleeping sometimes.
It feels like you were shot out of a cannon in the summer of 2016, when Stranger Things landed. Overnight, it was such a sensation and people were obsessed with your character, Eleven. It’s wild to think that was only four years ago.
MBB: When I was eight years old, I went to every audition. I went for every film you could possibly ever imagine. I was about to do a film, and then the other girl would get it. I was about to do this TV show, and the other girl would get it. Pilot season was my favorite season because that meant that I could audition, audition, audition and then get rejected, rejected, rejected. And I had moved to London because I was like, I’m done with this. This is so difficult. This is horrible, and I’ve never heard the word “no” more in my whole life. Then Stranger Things came along, and it obviously changed my life forever, and I’m so grateful.
Watch Enola Holmes
on Netflix now.
Listen to Millie Bobby Brown
on Present Company now.