New Delhi, Sep 22 (PTI) 'Strangers Things' star Millie Bobby Brown says she had a 'whirlwind of a ride' while balancing the dual responsibilities of being a producer and actor on the set of Netflix period film 'Enola Holmes', which sees her in the central role of a spunky Victorian teenager with a mind of her own.
Brown said being a producer was an 'exciting opportunity', something which she was not ready to pass on.
'I was really excited about producing this film. It's always been a kind of a quiet passion of mine. While filming 'Stranger Things', I was always kind of wanting to be part of the production, storylines and casting, I always found it really interesting,' Brown, 16, told PTI in a Zoom roundtable.
'I'm getting a whirlwind of a ride doing this and balancing the two, of starring in the film and producing it,' she said.
The actor said turning a producer on the film will, hopefully, help other young producers.
'We don't have enough young filmmakers out there. So I was obviously going to take it because it gave me a chance to learn things, to give me this platform to then help other filmmakers out there who want to be a part of more of the production side of the film industry,' she added.
The movie, slated to start streaming from Wednesday, is adapted from the book by Nancy Springer, whose heroine, Enola is the younger and equally talented sister of the iconic fictitious detective Sherlock Holmes.
The teen has received an unusual upbringing from her mother Eudoria (Bonham Carter) following the death of her father while her two elder brothers - Mycroft (Sam Claflin) and Sherlock (Henry Cavill), are away in London.
When Eudoria disappears on Enola's 16th birthday, she must set out to find her mother while fighting her brothers' disapproval. It is a time when the women's suffrage movement is taking shape with a bill coming up in the British Parliament amid the resistance from the established order.
'Fleabag' helmer Harry Bradbeer has directed the film and has brought the element of breaking the fourth wall from the hit dark comedy, fronted by its creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Brown, who speaks with a sparkling intensity that sometimes reminds one of Lucy Maud Montgomery's young protagonist in 'Anne of the Green Gables', said she loved breaking the fourth wall in the movie.
The fact that Bradbeer had already experimented with the technique in 'Fleabag' made things easy, Brown said while admitting that she was initially nervous about speaking to the camera.
'It's something I've never done before. I was very excited to throw myself into breaking the rule. I always loved the idea of taking the camera and having the audience come on this adventure with Enola,' the actor said.
Set in a period when women's suffrage movement is taking shape in England, the feminist gaze of the movie is visible in the way Bradbeer flips the whole damsel-in-distress stereotype on its head with Enola saving Lord Viscount Tewksbury, played by Louis Partridge.
'You always watch films where the men save the woman. And it's the same story over and over again... Here, Enola is saving him. He's in danger. She's physically able to save him. Why not? I think that's what makes her a true superhero.' Asked if there is any advice Enola would give her, Brown said it would be probably to be less emotional.
'I'm more emotional than Enola... Her feelings aren't on the forefront of everything. I'm an actor so that's my job. I'm constantly using my emotions in everyday life. So when I'm laughing, I'm laughing. When I'm crying, I'm devastated, the world is ending. Everything's very dramatic with me. I think she'd say, 'Stop being so dramatic'.' The actor, who is considered one of the best teen actors of her generation with the global popularity of her character Eleven in Netflix series 'Stranger Things' and film roles in 'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' and its upcoming sequel 'Godzilla vs Kong', said she is not an intense method actor but is also someone who is unafraid to innovate.
Brown said she memorises her lines while she is in the makeup trailer and when she is on the sets, she tries out new things.
'That's what I encourage all young actors to do. If you're getting into this industry, don't be afraid to try new things. Sometimes you can be afraid of messing up and looking stupid. But don't be afraid of that.
'I definitely do things more on the spot. Of course, I take my work seriously. But there's a perspective that I kind of go into it thinking, 'let's just do this instinctually and see what happens'.' Brown, who read the source material a few years ago, said she got on board the movie because Enola is the kind of character she missed seeing on the screen in her childhood.
'Growing up, I didn't have a young female British lead to look up to. If I did have an inspiration, it was Hannah Montana. But then again, she was American, and she didn't sound like I did. So it was kind of disappointing. Of course, you have like Hermione Granger from 'Harry Potter' but she wasn't the lead.
'Reading this book, I thought, 'So many young girls are going to love Enola as much as I do'. That's what kind of drew me toward the character because I wanted someone like her while growing up.' Taking about her onscreen romantic equation with now one of her 'closest friends' Partridge, Brown said there was a moment that could have led to a kiss between their characters but they realised it was more powerful to leave it 'unsaid'.
'We really told the conclusion of their relationship, through dialogue, our eyes, and our acting. I don't think you needed to kiss to seal the deal. Hopefully, if Netflix renews us for another sequel, we get to kind of give the audience something like that in the future.' PTI BK RDS RDS