Millie Bobby Brown is the breakthrough star of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” She plays the mysterious Eleven, who after escaping a laboratory finds herself helping out a group of boys in their search for their missing friend. It is a rarity at the SAG Awards for a pre-teen performer even to be nominated, and if Brown should pull off the win at just 12-years old she will be the youngest individual winner ever on the television side.
Brown is only the third pre-teen ever nominated individually for her work in television. Keke Palmer is currently the youngest nominee ever as she was only 11 years old when she was nominated for “The Wool Cap” (2005). Jena Malone was 12-years-old but just a few months younger than Brown when she was nominated for “Bastard out of Carolina” (1997). Both were nominated for Best Movie/Mini Actress.
So if this is such a rarity, how can Brown pull off a win? It’s simple: the Screen Actors Guild has a weakness for breakout characters and the actors who play them. In the Drama Actress category look no further than past winners Chandra Wilson (“Grey’s Anatomy,” 2007) and Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story,” 2012): both were in scene-stealing supporting roles playing characters you missed when they were not on screen. And look at the two-time reigning Best Comedy Actress winner Uzo Aduba (“Orange Is the New Black”) who burst onto the screen with her memorable character Crazy Eyes and often steals the spotlight from the show’s lead characters.
While Brown’s co-star Winona Ryder is a far more established star and the lead of “Stranger Things,” she hasn’t generated quite as much buzz as her younger co-star. Just consider how many iconic moments there were for Brown in just one eight-episode season. Typically, to take down a co-star in a popular vote and avoid dividing their support and cancelling each other out, one must be far and away the obvious choice and in this case that might be the heroic pre-teen.
According to Gold derby’s exclusive odds as of this writing Brown sits in last place with odds of 20/1. Currently expected to win is “Westworld” scene-stealer Thandie Newton, who has leading odds of 5/4. In second place is Claire Foy for “The Crown” with odds of 7/4, followed by Brown’s co-star Ryder in third place with odds of 12/1 and Robin Wright for “House of Cards” in fourth place with odds of 14/1. In a tight race with four newcomers this could be anyone’s game, and Brown and her performance stand out from the pack.
Brown might need to summon all of Eleven’s powers to pull off a win, but if she does it would also give her Emmy campaign a necessary boost after she was unexpectedly snubbed at the Golden Globes. In the golden age of television ignoring Brown and her performance because of her age would be a sad oversight as she gave the breakthrough performance of the year.
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