Matthew Modine said he wanted to protect Millie Bobby Brown as best he could after she became world famous at a young age.
Modine plays Dr. Brenner in Stranger Things, a complex father figure to the Brown Eleven character who she sometimes calls “Papa.” The pair were some of the first scene partners on the show, and Modine previously told Vulture that all he wanted during season one was to help her “succeed” in her role.
Speaking on “The Jonathan Ross Show” in an episode set to air Saturday, November 19, Modine said that outside of his on-screen relationship with Brown, he felt “protective” of her and worked out her expectations for fame.
“Over the course of my career, young actors and actresses whose lives have been ruined by this kind of fame and money and everything. It can be very devastating and confusing,” Modine said. “I just wanted to do everything I could to make sure it was safe, and I understood that a career is a roller coaster, and that there are ups and downs in that.”
Other adult “Stranger Things” cast members have expressed concern about the young stars of the show in the past, including Brown. Stranger Things showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer told Harper’s Bazaar that Winona Ryder, who made her film debut at the age of 15, helped Brown and the rest of the cast work through celebrity pressure at a young age. David Harbor also told the Los Angeles Times‘ “The Envelope” podcast that he wasn’t sure his younger classmates would ever know what a normal life would be like.
Brown herself told Allure magazine for its September cover that it was difficult to keep the online harassment at bay as a young star, with the publication stating that she sought therapy to deal with the “constant bullying.”
“It’s really hard to be hated when you don’t know who you are yet,” she told the paper. So she’s like, ‘What do they hate about me? “Because I don’t know who I am.”