It came as no surprise that Millie Bobby Brown was among the actors included in this year’s Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people. At 14, the Stranger Things star is now the youngest person to ever be included in the group (which puts her in the company of women like actor-screenwriter Lena Waithe, Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd and activist Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo movement). What made us do a double take, however, was the fact that Breaking Bad hottie Aaron Paul wrote the mag’s accompanying tribute to the teen, in which he described himself and his wife as MBB “superfans.”
“I’m proud to know her. To call her a friend. To call her my adopted daughter,” wrote the 38-year-old. “She somehow understands the human experience as if she has lived it for a thousand years.”
Aaron’s admiration for Millie didn’t stop there. He wrote that when he first met the English star, he was struck by her “timeless” spirit, and saw her as “a wise woman” speaking from a “cherubic face.” Aaron (who sounds a bit obsessed in this write-up, IMO) added: “It was like speaking to a future mentor with a perspective and groundedness that I could only have dreamed of at that age. Or at any age, if I’m being honest.”
By this point, you must be thinking that the actors worked together or crossed paths at a Hollywood event, but *spoiler alert* they haven’t. So how did Aaron go from fan to father figure? We did a deep dive into the unlikely duo’s friendship history. You’re welcome.
The Breaking Bad alum’s admiration for MBB began when he—like the rest of the binge-watching world—saw Stranger Things for the first time. The mystery! The ’80s references! The kids on bikes! Aaron expressed his gratitude to the series’ creators on Twitter, writing: “Dear Duffer Brothers, Thank you. Sincerely, Everyone.” His sentiments have since been retweeted over 11,000 times.
Dear Duffer Brothers,
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) July 30, 2016
If all it took to become BFFs with a breakout star was tweeting about their show, then we’d probably be hanging out with Cole Sprouse right now. In Aaron’s case, the key was having people *notice* how much he loved Stranger Things. When ELLE asked him to interview Millie for their Celebrity Stanclub series (which featured stars in conversation with their famous fans), he responded with “an instant, spontaneous yes.”
Speaking over the phone for the interview, he complimented the TV star on her acting, singing and even gave her parents credit for raising her so well. The words, “First of all, I love you,” came up early in the conversation, and the call ended with him passing the phone to his 31-year-old wife Lauren Paul so that she could get in on the excitement. It was also the first time they joked about adopting Millie.
Shortly after that, Aaron was a guest on the The Tonight Show, where he told host Jimmy Fallon that he’s “obsessed” with the addictive sci-fi series. He also admitted he was starstruck when he chatted with Millie. “She’s the best. But I was so terrified,” he said. “My wife and I said that we’d want to adopt her…She said that we could.”
Had the absolute pleasure to interview the brilliant, articulate and absolutely adorable @milliebobby_brown the other day. She of course exceeded all of my expectations. If you have seen Stranger Things then you know how amazing this young lady is. If you haven’t seen the show you need to get on that as soon as possible. Millie, you’re the best. Thanks for sitting down and discussing life with me. Love to you and your family. Interview is in my bio. Check it out!!
Millie told InStyle that after their phone interview, she and Aaron started texting about potentially meeting in L.A. In September, dreams came true when the Pauls met Millie and her family for ice cream. (Srsly, how cute is that?) Both the Stranger Things star and Aaron’s wife Lauren documented their meet-up on social media, with the latter claiming the adoption they joked about was Insta-official. With that, the actress officially got a new, triple-barrelled moniker: Millie Bobby Paul.
Family update alert! Aaron and Lauren announced they’re expecting their first child together. In February, their daughter, Story Annabelle Paul, was born.
Even with a newborn at home, there was no love lost between the Pauls and the first person they ever referred to as their child. Like a true BFF, Millie was there to congratulate the couple on the newest addition to their family. While she introduced herself to six-week-old Story on the ‘gram, she also appeared in Lauren’s Insta-story holding her baby. Lauren captioned the image: “Our daughters finally meet.”
As if she wasn’t feeling enough love from Aaron and Lauren already, Millie told InStyle that she couldn’t believe Aaron’s flattering words in Time. “I was almost in tears,” said Millie, shortly after the Time 100 list dropped. “I was in my fitting for the show, and I read it, and it was so nice and so kind. I love him; he’s amazing.”
Aaron must be the patron saint of putting things out into the universe, sitting back and watching them happen. May this unlikely friendship be a reminder to say your goals out loud—and on Twitter. Because whoever’s on your screen today, might *just* be your bestie tomorrow.