Millie Bobby Brown on the surprise success of Enola Holmes: "People like Blake Lively messaged me"

Enola Holmes was a blockbuster breakthrough for Netflix, watched by 76 million homes in its first month of release. The success of the movie, which centers on Sherlock's sister, even surprised star and producer Millie Bobby Brown – a streaming darling thanks to her role in Stranger Things.

"I really didn't think it would be as successful as it was,” she tells Total Film while discussing Enola Holmes 2, which features on the cover of the new issue of Total Film magazine. "Of course, it resonated with me so much – that's why I did it." 

Brown, aged 13, approached author Nancy Springer to secure the rights to the Enola Holmes Mysteries novels for her family's PCMA Productions to develop. She then brought Legendary Entertainment on board, utilizing the contacts she'd forged by starring in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. "I thought, 'There's so much potential here.' But I didn't realise how much potential," she continues. "People like Blake Lively messaged me, saying, 'My daughter wants to be Enola Holmes.' It started to sink in how much it resonated with everyone else."

Enola Holmes deals with themes of class and feminism which are crucial to Brown. "Growing up, I didn't have a British female lead to look up to," she points out. "I watched a lot of Hannah Montana, a lot of Wizards Of Waverly Place, a lot of Phineas And Ferb. I loved those, but I always saw boys leading it, or they were American. I like Harry Potter, but Harry Potter is the lead, not Hermione. And I thought: what kind of character can British female leads look up to? And Enola is one of them.

"This is very much a period movie but you're placing a modern girl in this period of time. She has progressive views. She's a new thinker, smart and bright, which is very much valued in this day and age, but which is terrifying for those in the 1800s."

Enola Holmes 2 streams on Netflix from November 4. For much more on the film, including exclusive interviews with Brown, co-stars Henry Cavill and Susan Wokoma, and director Harry Bradbeer, check out the new issue of Total Film when it hits stands (and digital devices) this Thursday, October 13.

Total Film's Enola Holmes 2 issue

(Image credit: Netflix/Total Film)

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(Image credit: Total Film)
Editor-at-Large, Total Film

Jamie Graham is the Editor-at-Large of Total Film magazine. You'll likely find them around these parts reviewing the biggest films on the planet and speaking to some of the biggest stars in the business – that's just what Jamie does. Jamie has also written for outlets like SFX and the Sunday Times Culture, and appeared on podcasts exploring the wondrous worlds of occult and horror. 

With contributions from