Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown is happy to be able to use her English accent in upcoming Netflix period adventure, Enola Holmes, less so that she has to perform Martial arts fights in full Victorian costume.
Brown plays the title role in Enola Holmes, the story of the younger sister of Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and Mycroft (Sam Claflin), a feature-length thriller based on Nancy Springer’s Young Adult novels, which tells the tale of Enola’s attempt to find her mother (Helena Bonham Carter) who has suddenly vanished.
Brown, 16, trained for two months, in and out of her Victorian costume, to make the fight scenes authentic, she explained to EW.
“I [had to] prepare my body to breathe and to move in the corset,” she said. “It’s hard navigating the choreography that you’ve learnt so well in your trainers and your leggings and then switching up and putting an underskirt on, a skirt over that, a corset, then you have your petticoat, then you have your long socks, then you have your heels…”
Brown was committed to doing her own stunts, to reflect the unorthodox upbringing her free-thinking mother had given her. “I 100 percent wanted to do all my stunts,” she said. “I don’t want to make anything easy for myself!”
The trailer is afoot! Enola Holmes arrives 23 September pic.twitter.com/hmgB7RHiU6
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) August 25, 2020
The story revolves around Enola’s mother suddenly disappearing. When Mycroft resolves to send her to a boarding school, she escapes and goes on a mission to London to find her.
“That’s when we really begin the coming-of-age story,” said Brown. “Who is she, who is Enola Holmes, what does she stand for, what does she believe in? She was so confident, and yet can be so innocent and really not knowing of her future, which is like every teenager at this time in their life.”
While we’re talking confidence, Enola Holmes marks the Stranger Things star’s first lead role, which must have been a stretch at age 16. Not that you would know it.
“On Stranger Things, with like 20 to 30 cast members, everyone gets their limelight,” she said. “So walking onto the set and feeling genuinely empowered and feeling like I’d been given this platform was such an amazing opportunity, especially as a young girl.”
This relates directly to the extreme levels of inequality that women faced in Victorian times and which confront Enola when she leaves the safety of home for the scary, murderous London of the 19th Century.
“We bring a certain sense of positivity and humor to it, but at the end of the day, [the film] is centered around equality,” said Brown. “What they call [Enola] in the film is a ‘wild child’, but really, she’s just fighting for her rights.
“The film is based upon these pretty traditional men — and these wild women.”
Brown gets a producer credit on Enola Holmes, a mark of the inspiration she derived from the novels.
“I knew I wanted to do this. I knew I wanted to creatively take part,” she said. “I feel like this is my baby.”
Enola Holmes debuts on Netflix on Wednesday, 23rd September.