Millie Bobby Brown was the breakthrough TV star of the summer for her role in Netflix’s endearingly retro sci-fi/horror hit “Stranger Things” as Eleven, a mysterious escapee from a sinister government laboratory who can harness extraordinary powers through her mind. This English girl, 12, delivered a truly heartfelt performance with very little dialogue or backstory from which to draw. We watch her face as she reacts to the horrors not only around her but within her as she slowly recollects the dark secrets of her past over the course of the show’s first season.
Brown has emerged as a genuine contender for awards recognition, including next year’s Emmys. Given her rave reviews, she is a good bet at the upcoming Critics’ Choice TV Awards in Best Drama Supporting Actress. And we know the Golden Globes love to embrace new shows and performers such as Brown. But how often does the HFPA cite child actors?
In the past quarter-century, five have earned Globe nominations on the film side. In 1990, Macaulay Culkin was 10 when he contended for Best Comedy/Musical Actor for his breakthrough role in “Home Alone” (he lost to Gerard Depardieu for “Green Card”). In 1993, Anna Paquin, 11, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “The Piano.” While she was edged out by Brown’s “Stranger Things” co-star Winona Ryder for “The Age of Innocence,” she surprised the world by taking home the Oscar a few weeks later. The following year, Kirsten Dunst, 12, was nominated in that same category for “Interview With a Vampire” (she was bested by eventual Oscar winner Dianne Wiest for “Bullets Over Broadway”). In 1999, Haley Joel Osment garnered a Supporting Actor nod at age 11 for “The Sixth Sense” (he lost to Tom Cruise in “Magnolia”). And in 2007, Saoirse Ronan was 13 when she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for “Atonement” (she was an also-ran to Cate Blanchett for “I’m Not There”).
However, it has been tough for child actors to break through on the TV side though. None have been nominated since Fred Savage contended for Best TV Comedy Actor for “The Wonder Years” for two years running beginning in 1989 when he was 13 (he went down to defeat both times to Ted Danson for “Cheers”).
Adding to Brown’s uphill climb at the Globes is the fact that she is vying for a nomination in the catch-all supporting actress category, against featured players from other drama series as well as comedies, movies and limited series. However, if the HFPA love “Stranger Things” enough, anything is possible and stranger things have happened.
Make your early Golden Globes TV Awards picks now and tell industry insiders which shows and performers you have out front to win on January 8. You can keep changing them until just before nominations are announced on December 12 at 5 am PT/8 am ET. But it is important to register your initial predictions now both to lock in those all-important starter odds and let Hollywood know who has the inside track for these kudos. Be sure to make your predictions right here. You’ll compete for a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s nominees). Read our contest rules.