Although 16 years apart, Millie Bobby Brown and Evan Rachel Wood have a lot in common. Both celebrated talents started pursuing acting with purpose and determination at about the age of eight years old; they both tend to play strong yet vulnerable characters where it’s unclear if they’re the hero or villain; Brown signed with the iconic modeling agency IMG while Wood is the face of Gucci’s Guilty campaign; Brown played Young Alice in ABC’s Once Upon a Time in Wonderland while Wood grew up feeling such a strong connection to Lewis Carroll’s white rabbit-chasing protagonist that she was given the nickname Alice. And to boot, both Brown and Wood currently sport fetchingly short hairdos.

Therefore, it was an interesting choice for Variety to pair the two up for a recent Actors on Actors interview. The thirteen-year-old English actress asked the more experienced, 29-year-old Westworld star for any advice she might have to offer. Wood answered:

“Just make sure that you love what you do. And be an actor not because you want to but because you have to and because it’s your passion. Because it’s so difficult. And it does get harder the older that you get. The criticisms come more. But the best advice somebody ever gave me, it was Selma Blair. And she said, ‘Don’t ever read message boards. It does you more good to lick a toilet seat than to read the nasty things that people say about you.'”

Regardless, it’s hard to shake the steadfast Millie Bobby Brown. She’s primarily known for playing the enigmatic and at times terrifying Eleven on the Netflix original hit series Stranger Things. Brown’s intriguing and expressive portrayal of the mysterious psychokinetic character inspired a popular waffle-wielding, nose-bleeding Halloween costume last year, and earned her a Primetime Emmy nomination as well. With a second season to be released this coming October, Brown has good reason to feel invincible. Regarding the online vitriol, she told Wood that she takes such insults in stride, insisting they make her stronger. “That is like compliments to me so, I’m playing on their mind clearly … I never really take it personally because I just think I’m playing on their mind.”

And it’s not just talk; Brown is quite a force. At the age of seven, she was told she has “instincts you cannot teach” by a talent scout; she’s been described as “immensely talented” and is even predicted to become a superstar. Indeed, she is strikingly mature, charming, intelligent, super-confident–and she even taught herself various American dialects.

Similarly talented and ambitious as a child, Evan Rachel Wood landed her first major screen role with the low-budget Digging to China with Kevin Bacon. The part led to several other roles, but her breakthrough performance came while portraying Tracy who hits rock bottom in the heart-wrenching film Thirteen opposite Holly Hunter. Indeed, Wood received a Golden Globe nomination for the part. However, the R-rated content of films like Thirteen and Pretty Persuasion took a toll on the actress. “Growing up on screen is painful. I have had to go through puberty with millions watching.” On the other hand, she found solace in performing as well, saying it was her time to “let go in a safe place.” Back then, Wood was described as “the golden one,” and a “super-talented teen star.” Currently, she is widely praised for her portrayal of Dolores Abernathy in HBO’s science fiction, western thriller Westworld. And among the many accolades she’s earned, Wood was nominated for yet another Golden Globe for the role.

 

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