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Millie Bobby Brown explains how health condition made her a better performer

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Kayleigh Dray
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Millie Bobby Brown is just 13 years old, but she’s already one of the most famous actors in the world – and for good reason. 

The talented teen’s outstanding turn as Eleven in Netflix’s Stranger Things has cemented her status as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood, and it takes just one look at the upcoming projects on her IMDB page to see that this isn’t about to change any time soon. Which is pretty impressive, considering that she never trained professionally as an actor, never gone to acting school, and never taken a class. She simply decided, on her eighth birthday, that she wanted to be on screen – and her parents fought to make her dreams come true.

Even more remarkable, though, is the fact that Brown is partially-deaf.

Speaking to Variety, Brown revealed that she was born with partial loss of hearing, and then her hearing faded away completely in one ear after years of tubes. This means that she can’t fully hear herself perform – not that she’s ever allowed that to stop her.

In fact, Brown says that losing her hearing on one side has actually taught her an incredibly important life lesson.

“I just started to sing, and if I sound bad I don’t care, because I’m just doing what I love,” she explains.

“You don’t have to be good at singing. You don’t have to be good at dancing or acting. If you like to do it, if you genuinely enjoy doing it, then do it. No one should stop you.”

Brown adds: “I know this sounds crazy, but once I find something I want to do, nobody’s stopping me. If I don’t know how to sew, and I really had that passion to sew, that’s it, I’m going to sew. That’s also with acting. So here I am…

“Acting is like breathing to me.”

Thankfully, the people at Netflix recognise an extraordinary talent when they see it. It was recently revealed that, despite the fact that the gender pay gap is at 18.1% in the UK alone, Brown makes exactly the same amount as her male co-stars.

That’s right: Brown, Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Noah Schnapp (Will) and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) each pocket $30,000 (approximately £22,800) per episode, which means that they all banked a cheque for around $270,000 (approx. £205,000) this season alone.

That’s a lot more pocket money than we ever made as teens.

Images: Rex Features

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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