The Magic Behind Young Eleven's Appearance in "Stranger Things" Season 4

One of the most incredible special effects to come out of season four is young Eleven’s appearance in the multitude of flashback sequences that take place during Eleven’s years in Hawkins Lab. Young Eleven’s appearance brought about many questions about how they managed to film scenes where Eleven is young again, since Eleven’s actress, Millie Bobby Brown, is now 18 years old. Did Brown play young Eleven in these scenes and, if so, how did they manage to make her look so young?

Who Plays Young Eleven in “Stranger Things” Season 4?

As it turns out, young Eleven was portrayed by a completely different person. The “Stranger Things” writer’s Twitter account confirmed the young actress Martie Blair portrayed young Eleven. She had some coaching tips from Brown the entire time to really help capture the essence of Eleven at the young and fragile age of eight. That’s not to say that there weren’t some special effects in the works as well.

How Did They Make Martie Blair Look Like Millie Bobby Brown in “Stranger Things” Season 4?

While “Stranger Things” cast a younger actress to portray young Eleven, we as the audience never see Blair’s face onscreen because she never appears unaltered on screen.

Special effects have come so far that altering the way an actor looks onscreen is somewhat commonplace. When an actor is being aged down, the creators use a stand-in actor (Blair in this case) and then superimpose an aged-down version of the show’s star (Brown) onto the stand-in. Think young Luke Skywalker in “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett.” He’s just one of several examples of aged-down characters in the “Star Wars” franchise alone. Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, also stood in for a young Leia in “The Rise of Skywalker”, for example.

Just looking at Blair and Brown together and separately, it’s obvious the pair share a strong resemblance. This was likely done on purpose when casting the role of young Eleven, to make the CGI aspects of making Blair resemble Brown as easy as possible.

Martie’s portrayal of young Eleven was brilliant, whether we knew it was her or not.

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