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“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields,” a documentary about Brooke Shields and the sexual shaping she endured as a child actress, will be released on Hulu on April 3.
In the two-part documentary, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, the actress and model opens up for the first time about her first experiences in Hollywood. The film traces her rise as a declared child model to her sexualization in films, beginning at age 12, in “Pretty Baby” (1978), and then at age 15, in “The Blue Lagoon” (1980).
“I’ve spent my life owing people things and doing what they want,” Shields says in a new teaser released Wednesday morning. “I finally asked myself, ‘What would I be if I didn’t allow it anymore?'” ”
Shields’ experience with the older men in the group as a child is a common theme in her recollections. In “Blue Lagoon,” a perverted movie about two teens who fall in love, 15-year-old Shields is forced to have sex on camera even though he has never had sex with a man before. The next film she shot, “Endless Love,” was directed by the late Italian filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli, who began by wrapping Shields’ finger as punishment for not portraying sex the right way.
“Zeffirelli kept grabbing my toe, like, ‘Why would I even look at… I think Ecstasy?'” Shields mentions in the documentary. “But it was worrying more than anything else, because it was hurting me.”
In addition to inappropriate experiences with older men, the documentary also focuses on Shield’s volatile relationship with her mother Teri Shields, who doubles as a maid’s manager but is an alcoholic. According to Shields, Teri, who passed away in 2012, was a theater-inclined mom who was dying to make her daughter a star.
A scene in the documentary features a clip of Barbara Walters asking Terry, “Can no one tell you you’re exploiting a child’s lust?” Terry responds by saying, “If that’s all I’ve been doing, then maybe yes. But that’s not all I do with Brock, or what Brock does.”
The series is directed by Lana Wilson, best known for her Taylor Swift hit “Miss Americana,” and is also the first project from George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth’s new production company, BedBy8. Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin of Matador Content also serve as executive producers, and Christine O’Malley and Jack Turner serve as producers.
Stream “Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” on Hulu, starting April 3.
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