Matthew Modine was born on November 30, 1959 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Matthew Richard Modine. He is an actor and producer, known for Saving Private Ryan (1998), Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Stranger Things (2016). Stranger Things – Matthew Modine as Martin Brenner. Stranger Things – Matthew Modine as Martin Brenner

Prior to Stranger Things

Before Stranger Things, Matthew Modine was best known for playing Lt. Col. Paul Hackett in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987). He also played a serial killer (David Fisher) with three different personalities in The Dark Half (1993), a cop interrogating child murderer Edward Ginger in Citizen Ruth (1996), and a transgender prostitute in I Shot Andy Warhol (1996). Other film credits include 1987’s Full Metal Jacket, opposite R. Lee Ermey and Vincent D’Onofrio; 1993’s The Dark Half; 1996’s Mrs.

In Season One

If you’re familiar with Stranger Things , then you know that a major plot point revolves around a secret government program—which involved a scientist named Martin Brenner. This character is played by veteran actor Matthew Modine, and while it was far from his first time in front of a camera, it was arguably one of his most important roles to date.

Stranger Things - Matthew Modine as Martin Brenner
Stranger Things – Matthew Modine as Martin Brenner

So who is Matthew Modine? He has been on both sides of success, as well as failure, in Hollywood and he also went through a divorce from actress Rhea Pearlman back in 2004. But today we will focus on Stranger Things . Who better to learn about him from than he himself?

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Meeting Dr. Brenner

When I first met Matthew Modine at a restaurant, we spoke briefly about his work and went back to shooting Stranger Things. A few days later, I received an email with some questions in preparation for our interview. When asked about Stranger Things and Hawkins Laboratory in general, Matthew began answering a question that had been on my mind all day. In reference to Eleven’s mother, he said We know that she was born with these powers but it seems like she can only harness them when under duress. We have very few details about her mother except for that she was out of town when… He paused before finishing with When everything happened to Jane.

Dr. Brenner’s behavior and goals

Eleven was a baby when her mother gave her up to scientists working in a clandestine government program. He and his team take Eleven out of isolation to start testing how she uses her telekinetic powers to manipulate objects. Dr. Brenner wants to control and abuse Eleven for his own purposes, but he doesn’t want her killed or harmed in any way because of what she could mean for society, especially if it’s discovered that humans might be able to develop similar abilities. When Eleven escapes from Hawkins Laboratory, Dr. Brenner tells Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) that he doesn’t know where she is and never did have any contact with her after she escaped through his fence at some point in time before Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) disappeared.

Stranger Things - Matthew Modine as Martin Brenner
Stranger Things – Matthew Modine as Martin Brenner

His staff at the laboratory

His staff, who viewed him with great respect and admiration, included a chemist named Duncan. He was Hawkins Laboratory’s top scientist until he was killed by a monster that was teleported into their midst. His demise appears to have been caused when his mind attempted to overcome the monster’s presence via self-hypnosis; in effect, forcing himself to wake up from his nightmare. The result is that he literally tore his head apart before dying. In addition, an intern named Barbara worked under him until her mysterious disappearance several months before Will Byers’ return from the upside down. Later on in life, Dr Brenner would also employ Billy Hargrove and Max Mayfield as staff members of Hawkins Laboratory until they were fired due to unfortunate circumstances.

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Dr. Brenner’s demise

The sinister Martin Brenner is a pivotal character in Stranger Things. Played by Matthew Modine, his demise was foreshadowed from the moment he walked on screen. We didn’t find out how until season two, but some clues were dropped along the way: For example, when he refused to save Will’s life and instead demanded Eleven for his secret experiments. Despite being so close to creating a stable portal between our world and that of The Upside Down, it seemed more important to him to experiment on Eleven for nefarious purposes. It all came to a head in episode eight: To stop her from creating any more portals, Dr. Brenner was killed—by Eleven using telekinesis.

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