Millie Bobby Brown has been starring in Netflix’s Stranger Things for almost a full decade now, and in the most recent season, the actress got to return to her younger self via various flashbacks that showed off more of Eleven’s childhood.
Speaking to Variety, Brown talked about the “very unique” experience of getting to explore the younger version of her character, and noted that she had to really dive into what was happening for her to make sense of it.
“That process was very unique for me,” Brown said. “I had to really sit down with the Duffer Brothers and Shawn Levy to understand what specifically was happening, who was playing what and how that was going to work out. Once we talked through it, it only made sense to have me play my younger self, and every time she sees her reflection, or recalls a memory, it’s her [actual] younger self. We got this incredible small child to play me, Martie Blair.”
When it came to helping out the actress who would stand-in for her, it was all about making sure that Blair had someone help her understand Eleven, which is something Brown didn’t have when the character was created.
“It was really important for me to help her through that because I didn’t really have anyone helping me through who Eleven was going to be,” Brown said. “I would come to set before my scenes and direct her through everything. I would hide behind the wall and scream with her when she got anxious about screaming to do my powers. I would help her with some of her facial twitches and things like that — very specific things that no one probably would even tell, but me watching the show, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t help her through it.”
Brown went on to explain the process they used to recreate the scenes. A machine called the Lola machine was used, and the process included having Brown replicate every single scene that Martie Blair had done so they could use her face for the scenes. When she saw the final version, she was shocked to see just how good it was, and how great her double’s performance was.
“I mean, it always shocks me what we can do in our show,” said Brown. “I was so pleased with the outcome. And, you know, Martie’s performance was amazing. They just had to add my face to it. That mixture of all of us working, collaborating together — it was so weird, so different.”