Millie Bobby Brown On Enola Holmes 2 Improv, Being Different Than Eleven, And Giving Enola Agency [Exclusive Interview]

The sequel to "Enola Holmes" comes out on Netflix next week, and it's just as delightful as the first one. "Enola Holmes 2" lets us catch up with the younger sister of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes (Henry Cavill), who is just as brilliant (if not more) than he is. A little older now, Enola ("Stranger Things" actor Millie Bobby Brown who also serves as producer) is opening her own detective agency. Not that anyone is taking her seriously. That is until a young girl comes looking for her missing sister. Enola is on the case again, and the game is afoot. 

This time around, though, it's not just a single missing girl. She's connected to something much bigger, and it has roots in the real-life story of Sarah Chapman and the Matchstick Girls Strike of 1888. It was the first major protest by women, for women, as director Harry Bradbeer said in our recent interview

I got a chance to chat with Brown about the role, working as a producer, her improv scenes, and whether or not she's more like Eleven from "Stranger Things" as the character matures. 

'I am not from a laboratory and I do not have a shaved head'

The director gave you free takes here where you could sort of improv. Were there any instances of improv that made it into the final cut?

Yes, actually. There's a scene in Sherlock's apartment where I say, "Crazy idea. Have you considered a flatmate?" And "crazy idea" was 100 percent improv. But yeah, I definitely implemented some of my improv into it. And sometimes we kept it and sometimes we didn't. But ultimately it was very fun to be able to kind of bounce those ideas off of Harry [Bradbeer, the director] and he was so open and accepting of it.

I know you've said that Enola is much closer to you personally than Eleven from "Stranger Things." As Eleven matures, do you find that you're closer to her now?

No, still no. I am not from a laboratory and I do not have a shaved head. I have a great family [laughs]. I cannot still resonate. I don't think I'll ever resonate with that. I love it, you know, we share a common denominator which is just the fact that we are young women, but there's no — our characters are very, very different. So I would have to say no. I think Enola and I are still very similar.

You've mentioned that being part of the story development is really important to you and I love that you're a producer on this. Do you find that this has affected what we see on the screen?

Well, I mean yes. There were some things obviously that — I mean, I have a say which is different than other projects that I've been a part of. Yeah, I would say so.

'A revolutionary kind of girl empowerment movement'

Assuming you're able to get everybody back together for a third one, which by the way, I really want, what would you like to see in "Enola Holmes 3?"

What would I like to see? Well, I know what is going to happen, so for me, I think I just would like her to go on another case, and we can indulge in another case of hers.

There are a lot of moments in here that give Enola agency in a time and a world where she really wouldn't have had any, like leaning into the kiss, for instance. Were those moments coming from you or the scripts?

I think both. Some from the script, and some were improv, but I think — everyone on that production knows Enola as much as I do, so it is a real collaboration.

Enola is "alone" backward, but this film's message is about being strong but being stronger with other people. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.

Yeah, I mean, I think it's really great. I love the fact that you can pave your own path but also find allies to walk with you. I think it's really nice.

The real story behind this is wonderful, and I'd love to hear your thoughts about Sarah Chapman.

Yeah, the Matchstick Girls strike happened in the late 1800s. It was a revolutionary kind of girl empowerment movement. These women were incredibly brave and courageous to leave their jobs. To be able to tell this story was a dream come true, to just shine a light on female workers and labor industries.

"Enola Holmes 2" begins streaming on Netflix on November 4, 2022.