Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, USA via Wikimedia Commons/Flickr

When the first season of acclaimed and globally popular television show “Stranger Things” was filmed, Millie Bobby Brown was just 12 years old. Having been sling-shotted into international stardom because of the show’s global success, the young actress who plays “Eleven” has had to endure several years of online commentary regarding her performance and appearance.

There’s no doubt that “Stranger Things” has developed into a global phenomenon. Since it debuted in 2016, the Netflix program is consistently one of the most anticipated debuts of the year. It has inspired a revival of 1980s film aesthetics. Indeed, the film pays homage to the classics of the 1980s, including the works of Stephen Spielberg and Stephen King.

The show has influenced cosplay events and has even been reimagined in a variety of fashion photoshoots. One of the most recent fashion shoots by Harper’s Bazaar, ran a Stranger Things- inspired editorial that featured several young actors from the show (albeit, Brown was noticeably absent). Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler) and Noah Schnapp (Will Byers) were the two actors featured in the editorial.

Having recently turned 16, Brown has publicly spoken about how the negative publicity has affected her life in the spotlight. She voiced her frustration, pain and insecurity that often comes about from inappropriate, inaccurate and highly sexualised comments regarding her appearance. The young actress posted on Instagram to reflect her perspective and the apparent changes that need to be made for younger actors to feel safe and secure.

Since breaking into the mainstream entertainment space, Brown has been a constant source of interest and attention for the paparazzi. Despite being hounded by the press, Brown has promised to continue finding ways to smile every day.

Unfortunately, Millie Bobby Brown hasn’t been the only young actor to be decimated by an unforgiving press. Edward Furlong, the child star of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, fell into a deep depression consisting of alcoholism and domestic violence during the early 2000s. Despite having starred in a variety of hits during the 1990s, his career stalled shortly after and the media hounded him once his personal flaws were on clear display.

Lindsay Lohan is probably the most famous example of a child actor who became a target for the tabloids when her life began to spiral out of control. The hit star of movies like “The Parent Trap” and “Mean Girls”, Lohan was destined for fame and fortune. However, when drugs and addiction hit, the press made sure the world knew about Lohan’s struggles.

One of the saddest stories of a child actor falling out of fame would be Jake Lloyd, who played Anakin Skywalker in “The Phantom Menace”, the first entry in the Star Wars’ prequel trilogy. Jake himself has openly admitted that the role ruined his life, as he became a victim of bullying because of his role in the movie. He suffers from depression and paranoid schizophrenia and, in many respects, unfairly bore the brunt of the first film’s failures. The film was the first entry in the Star Wars saga in over 20 years, so it seems the film was almost destined to disappoint.

We all know him as Kevin McAllister, but Macaulay Culkin was one of Hollywood’s biggest child stars during the late 80s and early 90s. Unfortunately for Culkin, he couldn’t quite translate his child success into more adult roles and subsequently fell into a lot of trouble with the law. Making matters worse, his parents went through a bitter divorce during the mid-1990s and greedily fought over his fortune. His younger brother, Rory Culkin, continues to act and achieved great success in the second season of Fargo.