Young British actress Millie Bobby Brown is now a household name (1) with a bulging (2) bank balance, but it wasn't always like that. She was only 18 when she got her big break as Eleven in the hit Netflix show Stranger Things, but she had already spent years building a career. And it wasn't easy.
Even as a child Millie was determined to break into the entertainment industry, so much so that her parents sold everything to move from London and start a life in Hollywood.
They were barely making ends meet (3) and had to borrow money to continue pursuing Millie's ambition. The star says: "It was very hard. There were lots of tears along the way."
So much so that her sibling couldn't take the pressure and returned to the UK. "My older sister left. She didn't want to do it [America] any more," Millie admits. "It was tears, tears, tears. We went through tough times."
Unable to break into showbusiness, the youngster eventually also moved back to England. "I was devastated," she confessed. "I wasn’t getting work. I thought I was done."
Then, back home, a day that started out badly ended in triumph. At an audition, a casting agent was so mean (4) to Millie that she made her cry. A few hours later, she went for the part in Stranger Things, and her earlier experience worked in her favour.
"I had to cry in the audition," Millie explains. "My emotions were so raw, I hit it out of the park."
Soon after that, she was on her way back to the States to shoot the science fiction project in Atlanta. It went on to become a huge success and made Millie one of the biggest stars of her generation.
Her parents, who did so much to support her, stay out of the limelight (5). But naturally, they are still her most devoted fans of all.
1. Household name = A person whose name everyone recognises
2. Bulging = Swelling, protruding
3. Making ends meet = Surviving financially
4. Mean = Unkind (US English); Unwilling to give or share (UK English)
5. Limelight = Public attention or interest