In the real world, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters star Millie Bobby Brown is known for her fashion, her rapping, and her ability to drop Stranger Things spoilers that aren’t really Stranger Things spoilers. On screen, however, she’s constantly facing down terrifying monsters, from the Demogorgon to the Demodogs to the three-headed hydra in Godzilla. Brown has forged a career on bravery in the face of sure-fire destruction, and according to the actress herself, that’s somewhat deliberate.
Of course, landing genre role after genre role comes with its own pitfalls — namely very involved fans, especially when it comes to Stranger Things. But Brown says she and her fans are figuring out a balance that makes sense. And that’s good because her role in Godzilla places her firmly in another fandom — and one that’s existed since 1954.
Her character Madison is the daughter of two scientists and separated parents (Vera Farmiga & Kyle Chandler) with different ideas about how to handle the monsters inhabiting Earth. Farmiga’s Emma wants to release the monsters, Chandler’s Mark wants to eradicate them, and Madison (like the rest of us) is pretty sure there’s a middle ground somewhere in there. Unlike her iconic character, Stranger Things ‘ Eleven, Brown’s new character is a bit less conspicuous, instead exacting her plan by sneaking around and finding the most effective path — one of least resistance, rather than the most explosive one. While the world of CGI creatures is par for the course for Brown, that slight shift in character was enticing to the actress.
R29: We love a big monster fight, but I would love to know what you liked about the role when you first got started with Godzilla.
Millie Bobby Brown: "I liked [Molly’s] strength and her small ego. I think that was really special, something different that I never really had experienced in a character before. I loved her respect for animals."
You have a lot of experience working against CGI, does the process ever get not weird?
"It’s never been weird for me, I don’t think. CGI is one of our greatest accomplishments of today’s society and technology. It creates suspenseful, intense, and mystical world that people think looks so real but never will be. It’s kind of this comforting feeling, but it also terrifying. That’s why I get so drawn to it, I think."
I feel like you have to have a special ability to imagine things to be able to act when there’s actually nothing there.
"Everybody has an imagination. I can’t take that away from anyone, but I think when you’re doing something like this, I never imagined that Godzilla would be over there, just like that. I imagined a lizard, like I don’t know why. But now seeing it, I’m like, ‘Whoa, that’s so much cooler than I imagined.’ What I imagined and what actually happened were two different things."
This must have been such an epic production, is there a part of it that will stick with you after all this?
"I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but there was this one day I had to do an emotional scene and I felt like I really wanted to get it right. And, and the camera just stayed on me, stayed on me, stayed me until I cried and cried and cried. And then I was crying by the end. We got it, but I was really like particular about like how I wanted it to be played."
You seem to be drawn to these genre projects, like Godzilla & Stranger Things. Was this something you always wanted to do?
"I like the mystical element, the ‘Whoa,’ the unreal world that feels so real. I think it seems like it would be more fun to do things like that anyway. But I guess I’ve never experienced anything else. I don’t know anything else. So, maybe the other things that are even more fun."
It’s weird ’cause nobody understands [celebrity] except if you’ve been through it, and I try to inform fans that I’m a person and I’m going through something extremely overwhelming sometimes.
Well, to that point, are there, are there others genres that you haven’t been offered that you want to try?
"Yeah, I haven’t been part of a romance. I obviously have a romantic interest in Stranger Things, but not like an actual romantic movie. I haven’t ever done a comedy. [I want to try] things like that."
What romantic movies or comedies make you want to try those genres?
"One I watched the other day, which I just loved, is Love And Other Drugs. Such a good movie. Anne Hathaway is great, and so is Jake [Gyllenhaal]."
Would you ever entertain the idea of something like a musical?
"Absolutely. I haven’t touched that either, but I’d love to. I love singing, so that would be my ultimate pride and joy."
So something that comes along with the sci-fi world that you’re in are a lot of Comic-Cons and fan conventions. Do you look forward to going to Comic-Con for your projects?
"Comic-Con is an incredibly safe environment to meet the people that support you. Why wouldn’t you? I always want to meet my fans. As long as we’re in a safe environment and I feel comfortable, then I always want to do that."
There’s a lot of conversation now around how to be appropriate as a fan, and in a lot of ways your Stranger Things co-stars started that conversation. How do you think it has affected the way people interact with you? Are people listening when you are asking for those boundaries?
"Boundaries and privacy are one of the things that I think is very important, but fans should understand that if [actors] are out at dinner and they feel they want to spend time with their family. Most of my fans have been wonderfully understanding, so it would be very easy for me to tell a fan, ‘Hey, can you give me two seconds to finish my meal and I’ll be right over.’ There’s the odd person that will say things, but not everyone is going to like the person you are. My co-stars have experienced that a lot. I’ve been ever so lucky to go through it sometimes, but most of all I accept the fact that maybe [fans] just didn’t understand correctly. It’s weird because nobody understands [celebrity] except if you’ve been through it. I try to inform fans that I’m a person and I’m going through something extremely overwhelming sometimes. I’m a very anxious person, I will never hide that from people, but I think as long as you inform them and start making them understand, then they’ll be fine."
Yeah, people are people.
"Yeah, exactly. People are people. We’re all the same thing."
So you probably get a lot of questions about one particular character in your life. What else are you hoping to talk about, when everyone’s so focused on Eleven?
"I feel like people are so focused on that character, but I carry a lot of impact on people. I could never actually pinpoint one thing, there’s so much going on in my life right now. Sometimes people ask different questions and I’m like, oh, I haven’t heard that before! I guess there’s so much [attention] because people are so focused on that one character. But you know, people get really focused on Madison now and I’m getting less questions about Eleven. They come and go in phases."
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Source: Refinery29 – Kelsea Stahler