One of the many new faces added to Season 4 of Netflix’s Global Juggernaut. very strange things is child star Marty Blair, a pint-sized wonder whose effortless transformation into a young Eleven earned rave reviews in the show’s ever-growing fandom.
Acting as a vital cog in bringing Eleven’s memories to life in Hawkins Lab, Marty acted as a 9-year-old version of Eleven and had her face digitally replaced with that of Millie Bobby Brown during post-production.
Final result? A seamless, rejuvenating on-screen version of a young Eleven that has left the show’s large army of fans in absolute awe.
Stepping into the role of a beloved character like Eleven is certainly no small feat and can be quite nerve-wracking, especially for such a young man.
Luckily for Marty, Brown’s able guidance every step of the way ensured that the budding star, who had been a fan of the actress for years before playing her, held up admirably.
Moreover, in recent interviewMarty’s older colleague not only called the diminutive star an “incredible little kid” but also raved about her “amazing performance,” further testament to the healthy bond that developed between the two on set.
In a candid and exclusive interview with Saahil Agnelo Perival of SkPop, Marty recently opened up about her indelible very strange things experience, bonding with Eleven, working alongside experienced co-stars, and more.
very strange things star Marty Blair on working with Millie Bobby Brown, Jamie Campbell Bower and more
c) Hello, Marty! What was the whole experience of working on the set of your favorite Netflix series, very strange thingsas?
Marty: very strange things not only popular all over the world, but was my favorite show even before listening.
So getting this part was literally a dream come true. The funny thing is, my brother had a magic eight and I remember asking him one day if I would ever get to audition for my favorite show and he said, “The signs point to yes!” When I saw that same response on the actual show… that I was on… very strange, but then again, I think stranger things happened.
Being on set was great, especially since I got to meet and even work with the actors I love. The whole team was very nice and hospitable. You can imagine I was a little nervous but everyone made me feel so comfortable.
It was so crazy to see this creepy room in a weird lab with blood and stuff all over the place. But then again, this is my favorite show, so I just tried to convey that scary feeling in my performance as best as I could.
I think at some point I was really breathing heavily. Oh, and working with the Duffer Brothers was a fun and exciting experience that I think really made me a better actor. They’re so cute. I hope to see them again.
Q) Could you tell us about how you got started in acting and how you got into the world of cinema and acting?
Marty: One day my older brother and sister went to a summer acting camp in North Hollywood. They wanted to go to the LA Zoo camp, but our dad didn’t sign them up in time. So our mom found this acting camp not far from our house. They eventually liked it and signed up with agents and a manager.
They began auditioning and appearing in commercials, shows and films. So, when I got a little older, my parents asked their manager if she would like to meet me. I didn’t want to go because I was nervous that I couldn’t do it. But I went and started auditioning. I saw my brother and sister do it, but I didn’t realize it until I got a role in Young and restless.
It was my first experience on set and I really got into acting and it was very interesting to do some more auditions.
Q) What was it like playing the role of young Eleven?
What does this mean for you and did you have to prepare in any special way for the role, given how popular her character is?
Marty: I had been a fan of Eleven for several years before I got to play her, so I was very familiar and pretended to be the character many times for my imagination at home.
It was a dream come true to play this character, sometimes I still can’t believe I got to play this role, I’m really proud to be part of season 4.
Q) What was it like meeting Millie Bobby Brown on set and getting the chance to take on the role of her iconic character?
MartyA: It was all amazing. I really didn’t have a bad experience. But the love and attention shown to me by Millie, I will never forget. We were supposed to have lunch together, and on my last day on set, I spent some time alone talking to her. I think she will be a great director!!
Her directions were very clear and maybe because she is an actress or because she helped create this character or something, but she was really able to emotionally explain the direction to me in terms of 11.
Does it make sense? Like, her direction was more like she was describing a memory she actually had.
It helped me feel what she wanted. So I didn’t have to think much about it. I could just immerse myself in the image and feel what she described.
I just hope I did justice to the character and Millie and I hope I made her proud.
Q) In addition to Millie, you also had the opportunity to work alongside stars such as Matthew Modine and Jamie Campbell Bower.
Tell us more about this experience?
Marty: Matthew was as sweet as one would expect. He was the perfect person to work with a young actor like me. Super cool, it was fun and easy, but at the same time very professional.
He made himself available for advice and ideas. He really shows what a professional in his field, working with children, should be like.
Jamie and I hung out a lot on set. We worked a lot on the same days. Also, it was the first time we were both there, so we kind of shared it.
He is amazing and I wish him all the best. Would love to work with him again someday, or even just hang out with him again. Actually, I’d like to go shopping with him.
He is well versed in fashion. We talked about it a little. He really liked one of my sweaters and commented on my style.
Q) How do you combine acting and studies?
Marty: It really wasn’t a problem. All the teachers I have worked with have been wonderful. All auditions are being taped and we’re sending them out now after COVID so we’re doing them at night.
Q) What hobbies do you have besides acting? Games/sports that you enjoy doing?
Marty: I’m kind of a gamer. I LOVE Roblox, Mortal Kombat and Forza Horizon especially. My closest friends no longer live near me, but I always play with them virtually.
I also love to shop and go out and explore new places. Mom, dad, brother, sister and I do everything together. We are very close-knit family.
c) What do you like most about very strange things series?
Marty: I like the different relationships between different characters. These characters are so developed at the moment and we really know and love them.
And to see how the different relationships between them change over the course of the series is very interesting.
I think the Duffer brothers are one of the best writing teams in the business, they always find a way to outdo themselves… it’s not easy.
c) What are your 3 favorite characters from very strange things ?
Marty: 11 (of course), Joyce and Hopper.
Q) What are your three favorite Hollywood actors that you would love to work with and admire?
Marty: Leonardo, Winona, and he’s not an actor, but I’d love to do a Tim Burton project someday.
Q) If not an actor, what would you like to be when you grow up?
Marty: Fashion designer.
Q) Having already established himself as a young Eleven, what upcoming projects do you have in the new year?
Marty: I can’t talk about my upcoming projects right now. Shh. (puts finger to mouth)
Q) What was the feedback and support from friends, family and fans?
Marty: Incredible! It’s crazy because EVERYONE knows that very strange things is. Everyone knows 11. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone until he came out, but it was a lot of fun.
My pop-pop keeps asking me for signed headshots to give to my friends, haha!
The fans were great. I was actually a little worried because I’m probably as much of a Millie 11 fan as anyone else and I totally understand if people think that no one can play 11 but Millie! So I kind of expected something like that. But, fortunately, this did not happen.
The fans were amazing. I just hope they think I did a good job. It really means a lot to me because I want to know that the biggest 11/Millie fans in the world think I did a good job. It’s important to me because I’m one of those fans.
C) Any message you would like to share with viewers around the world tuned in to watch you on very strange things and on screen in the near future?
Marty: I definitely think this season is a big push. This is the first season since COVID and we’ve all been waiting for it for a long time… cast, crew and fans. It doesn’t disappoint, but beware, the scary stuff has definitely gone up a notch or two.
Also, at first I was a little frustrated that the whole season was not available at once, but now it’s great because we can still enjoy waiting for new very strange things the content will be coming soon and you won’t have to wait another year or more.