BANG Showbiz English
Brooke Shields wasn’t “personally scathed” by playing a child prostitute on screen aged 11, because she choose not to be “victimised”.
The 56-year-old actress landed her breakthrough lead role as Violet in ‘Pretty Baby’ in the hit big-screen flick in 1978, and she believes the sexualisation of young people isn’t going away and she refuses to be made out to “be a victim”.
In a candid interview with The Guardian newspaper, Brooke said: “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.”
The ‘After Sex’ star, who lost her virginity when she was in her early twenties, insisted she grew up in a “sequestered” household, and though prostitution was rife in New York, it was all make-believe in her head as a result of her naivety.
Reiterating that she “didn’t suffer” from the controversial role, she added: “It takes five minutes to see – on the old 42nd Street – what prostitution was.
“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.
“I guess you’d have to have an actress who was older, playing younger.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Brooke recently admitted fame made school hard.
She starred in ‘The Blue Lagoon’ two years after ‘Pretty Baby’, and her glitzy life as a teenager meant the other children took some time to warm up to her.
She recalled: “Ninth grade was tough, just like being a freshman in college was tough … I went into a high school and I had just done ‘Blue Lagoon’ or something … They were not shy of getting up at the lunch table when I sat down in unison to move en-masse … Then they get bored with being difficult or caring.
“Then we started studying together, or if I did well on a test then I proved to them that I wasn’t getting special treatment.”
She revealed how the turning point came when her mum, Tina Shields, hosted a roller-skating party for “the whole class”, which was a wake-up call for the other kids.
She explained: “The kids I thought I was so cool but what they saw while we were at this event was how much I had to work.
“So they’re all dancing, and I’m having to take pictures and do soundbites.
“And then I got to dance with them, but I think they saw that I wasn’t stuck up, I didn’t think I was better than they were.
“And then I still had to take that math test on Monday. It balanced out!”