Stranger Thing’s Millie Bobby Brown emulates Rachel from Friends. Photograph by her brother, Charlie Brown, for W magazine’s 2020 TV Portfolio. Millie wears Giu Giu shirt, stylist’s own skirt, and LaBucq shoes.
For W’s 2020 TV Portfolio, we asked 21 of the most sought-after names in television to embody their favorite characters from their favorite shows of the past few months—and to explain why we should all be (re-)watching The Sopranos, Ozark, Schitt’s Creek, and, yes, Floor Is Lava. To see all the images and discover their picks, click here.
Ever since Millie Bobby Brown’s breakout performance as Eleven in Stranger Things, the actress has become something of a television icon. It is fitting, then, that she paid homage to another certified television icon from a series that just happened to air its last episode the very year Brown was born: Rachel from Friends. Here, the actress talks about putting on old episodes of the classic sitcom for comfort during a time of uncertainty, hitting teen milestones in lockdown, and keeping her fingers crossed that her character from her upcoming film Enola Holmes can inspire as many people to copy her hairstyle as Jennifer Aniston’s character from Friends did.
Right before the quarantine began, you turned 16. Do you feel different?
Well, I got my driver’s license in quarantine. It was very strange taking a socially distanced driving test. And I do think that being 16 might mean a different fashion moment for me: more adult, perhaps more sophisticated. But other than that, 16 does not feel different.
Have you embraced any new hobbies during lockdown?
Lots and lots of arts and crafts. My little sister and I painted, did lots of tie-dying, and I think I bejeweled everything in the house. We also watched Friends. Every night we would watch the news, which was really scary. Of course, that’s the reality of what’s going on, but my little sister, who is 8, would get overwhelmed with fear, so every night I would turn on Friends. And I would get so happy. I love everything about that show.
You chose to portray Rachel, Jennifer Aniston’s character, for this portfolio.
An icon! Rachel is my favorite. After all, she has a hairstyle named after her. I dream of people saying, “I want the Eleven! Or the Enola!” I want my own hairstyle.
The Enola would be a Victorian hairstyle—you play Enola Holmes, the spirited teenage sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, in a Netflix film. You get to speak in your own English accent, solve crimes, and wear a corset.
Yes, and that was the first corset I ever had to wear. I had a 20-inch waist in the corset. I thought, Wow! This is a fashion moment! But then I had to wear it while doing stunts, and I’d ask my costar Helena Bonham Carter, who has worn many corsets, “Why can’t I breathe?” I hope corsets never come back in style, but after wearing one for four months, I had an hourglass figure. Afterwards, I went to the beach, and for a solid month or two, I was curvy. Then quarantine happened and my hourglass died off. Very sad.
Did you enjoy not working during quarantine?
No. Not working freaks me out. At first I slept in, ate whenever and whatever. I got my dog, Winnie the Pooh, in March, and we would cuddle. But by month three I was dying to dress up like a character and go play someone else. I even missed the corset!
Related: Millie Bobby Brown Is Launching a Vegan Beauty Line for “Sophisticated Teenagers”
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