The Betty Interview: Brooke Shields
The former teen star talks about her controversial mom, her own daughters, and why she had it easier than Lindsay or Britney.
As a child star, Brooke Shields became involuntarily mixed up in several controversial projects, including a portrayal of a 12-year-old prostitute in the movie Pretty Baby. But because of her mother, Shields says, she never went out of control like today’s young stars, including Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears.
And, she told BettyConfidential, “I think Hollywood is insane now. It was a very different time when I was a teenage star. There wasn’t this instant access of the Internet where your every move could be documented.” Yet her career has had more than enough publicity. At age 15, she was the youngest model to ever be on the cover of Cosmopolitan. A year later, she was on the cover of every major fashion magazine including Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Seventeen and Vogue.
Brooke, who went on to star in everything from teen movies (The Blue Lagoon) to TV comedies (Suddenly Susan), is now appearing in the movie Furry Vengeance as the wife of a condo developer (Brendan Fraser) who comes up against some wild animals fighting for their own homes. In real life, she’s spent decades navigating a jungle called Hollywood.
Surprisingly, the actress credits her mother, Teri Shields, who acted as her manager back in those days, for setting her on the right track—even in the midst of movies like Pretty Baby.
“My mom had an uncanny, even bizarre way of maintaining my innocence,” Brooke explains. “She protected me in a very difficult industry. She didn’t let anyone get near me. I was almost painfully and frighteningly naïve for so long. When I did eventually go out on my own I was shocked. Even with journalists, I thought, ‘Oh, they’ll just be kind.’ Then I realized as an adult, ‘What! You’re going to be mean to me! You don’t care?’ My mom never even let me read any of my own press in those days. Thank God she kept me away from it.”