Brooke Shields, an actress and model, reflects on her early career in a recent episode of “The Drew Barrymore Show” after the release of the two-part documentary, “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields,” which explores the actor’s sexualization in the industry as well as child abuse allegations that date back to the beginning of her career. During the interview, Shields disclosed that Randal Kleiser, the director of one of her most iconic films, “The Blue Lagoon,” attempted to reach her via a phone call after the documentary premiered at the 2023 Sundance Festival.
Shields revealed that since she hadn’t spoken with Kleiser in a long time and didn’t know what he wanted to talk about, she chose not to answer the call. “I saw his name on my phone and I was like, ‘What do I do?’ and I let it go to voicemail because I was like; I want to see what the tone is,’ and he wants to chat. I don’t know about what. I don’t feel like bringing any of it back up again”. Shields revealed in the interview.
The Blue Lagoon featured Shields and Christopher Atkins as two cousins who end up falling in love and having a sexual relationship after being shipwrecked on an island. The film, along with her participation in Louis Malle’s Pretty Baby two years earlier, sparked conversations about child sexualization in the entertainment industry. Shields reflects on her early career and the on-screen nudity: “It was about these males needing me to be in a certain category to serve their story, and it never was about me. It was not protective of me. It was fun and loving at times, but I was just there, I was a pawn, I was a piece, I was a commodity.” Shields added that Blue Lagoon would “never” be made in today’s era where decency prevails in the industry. Shields documented the pressure she felt when she was asked to date Atkin, who was also incredibly young at the time.
Overall Shields felt protective of herself by not answering Kleiser’s call, and is clear that she cannot bring herself to discuss the details of the past. Shields’ courageous reaction highlights the issues revolving around child sexualization in the entertainment industry, and the traumatic experiences actors go through while forced to follow the script. The goal for any production should be the performer’s dignity and not their bodies being shown on screen. Shields’ persistence to fight the hard fight and bring about awareness while respecting her own boundaries is both brave and commendable.