Brooke Shields claims she wasn’t ‘personally scathed’ after playing a child prostitute in Pretty Baby aged 11 because it’s ‘not in her nature to be a victim’
Brooke Shields has claimed she wasn’t ‘personally scathed’ after playing a child prostitute in Pretty baby aged 11 because it’s not in her ‘nature to be a victim.’
L'attrice, 53, was cast as a child prostitute in the controversial period piece which was set in a New Orleans bordello, and had a nude scene and those which saw her character lost her virginity.
Parlando con Il guardiano about whether on reflection, she thinks it’s damaging as a culture to sexualise young girls like that, Brooke explained: ‘I think it’s been done since the dawn of time, and I think it’s going to keep going on.
‘There’s something incredibly seductive about youth … I think it just has different forms and it’s how you survive it, and whether you choose to be victimised by it. It’s not in my nature to be a victim.’
American actress Brooke Shields, 53, was cast as a child prostitute in Pretty baby aged 11 (nella foto)
Brooke said growing up in New York meant being exposed to such themes wasn’t damaging because she’d seen prostitution before on the old 42nd Street. Nella foto, at American Ballet Theatre’s Fall Gala in New York on 26 ottobre 2021
Brooke went on to say that growing up in New York meant she didn’t find themes of prostitution damaging.
‘It takes five minutes to see – on the old 42nd Street – what prostitution was,’ lei spiegò. ‘And also I was very sequestered from all of it in my real life. I was a virgin till I was 22, so it was all pretend in my mind. I was an actress. I didn’t suffer privately about it.’
però, the actress admits that she’s not sure the movie could be made today.
‘I guess you’d have to have an actress who was older, playing younger,’ lei disse. ‘I’m not quite sure what the rules are now [as if it’s an HR issue, rather than a societal one.] But I also wasn’t personally scathed by it.’
Brooke and her mother are pictured in 1980 looking close before their relationship soured
bellezza: As Brooke hit her twenties she wanted to manage her own career; the pair are pictured in 1981
Brooke’s late mother Teri has been heavily criticized and was accused of exploiting Brooke during her early years after launching her into showbiz as a baby.
The pair had a troubled relationship, eventually becoming estranged due to Teri’s ‘iron fist’ approach to her daughter’s career and resentment that Brooke wanted to be independent of her.
She first signed on her daughter, whom she once described as looking like a ‘beautiful doll’, to pose for an Ivory Soap ad at just 11 mesi.
It launched a child modelling career that would include campaigns for Breck, Band-Aids and Colgate.
Teri, who suffered with alcoholism, famously raised eyebrows when she allowed her then 11-year-old to be cast as a child prostitute in 1978’s Pretty Baby and when she was not even aged 16, Brooke appeared in Blue Lagoon, where many of her scenes were spent naked.
American actor Brooke Shields wears a ruffled blouse and heavy makeup in a still from the movie, ‘Pretty Baby,’ directed by Louis Malle in 1978
Teri also arranged for a photographer to take naked pictures of Brooke when she was 10.
Pochi anni dopo, she permitted 15-year-old Brooke to famously star in a series of commercials for Calvin Klein jeans, provocatively professing that nothing comes between ‘me and my Calvins.’
però, Brooke says that while some accused her mother of being controlling, she saw it as her being protective.
Explaining how she never had a ‘#MeToo moment’ and that her mother would go on nights out to Studio 54 con lei, lei disse: ‘I could just dance and have a really good time, and she would make sure I got home.
‘I had school the next day. She protected me, piace, nobody got near me.’
While Hollywood is filled with broken careers and lives of child stars, Brooke also adds that her focus on her mother Teri is probably why she didn’t follow the same path.
‘I don’t know why I didn’t,’ lei spiegò. ‘I talk about it a lot in therapy, but I think because I was so…I had to keep my mother alive. The focal point for me was keeping her alive, because it was the two of us alone in the world, in my opinion.’
Teri previously defended her decision to allow Brooke to star in Pretty Baby, and told an American TV show a few years after its release: ‘They see total innocence, which is totally there.
‘And two, they have the sexy child too, they have the sexy person – that appeals to them.’
In the same interview Shields also said that people who accused her of exploiting her child were jealous.
Da parte sua, Brooke said at the time: ‘It’s only a role. I’m not going to grow up and be a prostitute.’