Brooke Shields claimed she was not “personally injured” after playing a child prostitute in Pretty Baby 11, as it is not in her “nature to be a victim”.
The actress, 53, was cast as a child prostitute in the controversial period play set in a New Orleans brothel, and had a nude scene and those that saw her character lose her virginity.
Speaking to The Guardian about whether, on second thought, she thinks it’s detrimental as a culture to sexualize young girls like this, Brooke explained, âThere is something incredibly attractive about young people. ..
âI think it just has different forms and that’s how you survive it, and if you choose to be a victim of it. It is not in my nature to be a victim.
American actress Brooke Shields, 53, was cast as a child prostitute in 11-year-old Pretty Baby (pictured)
Brooke said growing up in New York City meant being exposed to such themes didn’t hurt as she had seen prostitution on the old 42nd Street before. Pictured at the American Ballet Theater Fall Gala in New York City on October 26, 2021
Brooke went on to say that growing up in New York City meant she didn’t find the themes of prostitution prejudicial, as it was something she saw happening not far from home.
However, the actress admits that she is not sure the film can be shot today.
âI guess you would need an older actress, playing younger,â she said. ‘I’m not quite sure what the rules are now [as if it’s an HR issue, rather than a societal one.] But I wasn’t personally hurt by it either.
Brooke’s late mother Teri has come under heavy criticism and has been accused of exploiting Brooke in her early years after throwing her into showbiz as a baby.
Brooke and her mother are pictured in 1980 getting closer before their relationship deteriorated
The couple had a troubled relationship, eventually breaking up due to Teri’s “iron fist” approach to her daughter’s career and resentment that Brooke wanted to be independent from her.
She first signed on her daughter, whom she once described as looking like a “beautiful doll”, to pose for an ivory soap commercial at just 11 months old.
He launched a career as a children’s model which would include campaigns for Breck, Band-Aids and Colgate.
Teri, who suffered from alcoholism, raised her eyebrows when she allowed her 11-year-old daughter to be seen as a child prostitute in 1978’s Pretty Baby.
Louis Malle directed the 1978 film, which starred Brooke as Violent, 12, who lived with her prostitute mother Hattie (played by Susan Sarandon) in a Storyville brothel in 1917 New Orleans.
Hattie meets photographer Bellocq (Keith Carradine) at his brothel and one night after photographing her, he befriends his daughter.
Violet is eventually sold into prostitution by her mother’s mother and while Hattie runs away to marry a successful businessman from St. Louis and moves north, it doesn’t take long before her daughter loses his innocence.
However, Violet remains focused on Bellocq and the couple fall in love. However, life with Bellocq is compromised for Violet as soon as her mother returns to town.
The film was based on a real location and inspired by the life of EJ Bellocq, who photographed the prostitutes of Storyville.
After starring in the film, then 15-year-old Brooke appeared in Blue Lagoon, where many of her scenes were gone nude. However, these were performed by duplicates of older bodies.
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 had a photographer take nude photos of Brooke when she was 10.
A few years later, she allowed 15-year-old Brooke to star in a series of commercials for Calvin Klein jeans, provocatively professing that nothing stands between “me and my Calvins.”
However, Brooke says that while some accused her mother of controlling, she saw this as protection – adding that she often dated her in the evenings just to make sure she got home safely.
With Hollywood teeming with broken careers and the lives of child stars, Brooke also adds that her focus on keeping her alcoholic mother Teri alive is probably the reason she hasn’t followed the same path.
Teri had previously defended her decision to allow Brooke to star in Pretty Baby and told an American television show a few years after its release: âThey see total innocence, which is totally there.
“And two, they’ve got the hot kid too, they’ve got the hot person – who appeals to them.”
In the same interview, Shields also said that those who accused him of exploiting his child were jealous.
For her part, Brooke said at the time: “It’s just a role. I’m not going to grow up and prostitute myself.