Brooke Shields is hoping young stars are shielded from experiences like on “The Blue Lagoon” nowadays.
The iconic actress starred in the shipwreck film at age 14 opposite then-18-year-old Christopher Atkins. The duo played two cousins-turned-lovers who consummate their relationship after their boat is shipwrecked in the South Pacific. The 1980 controversial film featured nudity from both Shields and Atkins.
“Never again will a movie be made like that,” Shields said during her “Now What?” iHeartRadio podcast. “It wouldn’t be allowed.”
Atkins agreed, adding, “Oh gosh, no. Animals were hurt in the movie. We were spearing fish and all kinds of crazy things. Children are naked running down a beach; couldn’t do that now.”
While Shields and Atkins were encouraged by production (and Shields’ mother) to have an off-screen romantic relationship, the duo agreed their stark age difference made the pressure uncomfortable.
“They wanted us so desperately to fall in love with each other,” Shields said. “I did not react well being forced into feeling anything. I hadn’t even kissed anybody by that age.”
Shields recalled being told to tan completely naked alongside Atkins with just a makeshift wall between them (via Buzzfeed News).
“You were right next to me, and that was even stranger because you were only 14 at the time,” Atkins said, before elaborating, “There were scenes where I was butt naked with you, if you remember, sliding down that slide and things like that. And that was a little awkward, but it was kind of funny for me because at this point in time, I would just do it. But your reaction was, ‘Ugh, oh god.'”
Shields shared, “We were never eased into it. We got there, and they instantly wanted us to be tanned. Remember, they set up those little thatched areas so that we could get tanned without tan lines.”
She continued, “We were wearing little strips of clothing, and my hair was taped on to my body to cover the boobs, which were very minimal anyway. I don’t know what I was trying to cover. Remember the bumpy pads? They would stick these little flesh-colored things on my nipples because ‘nipple’ evidently was where they drew the line in this movie.”
Shields had a body double for her character’s sex scenes, while Atkins did not. An infestation of rats and ulcerated wounds during production led to “The Blue Lagoon” being far less glamorous than an island getaway.
“We were like the Wild West, but it just happened to be on the water,” Shields summed up. “And I remember I got pneumonia. In the birthing scene, when I’m supposed to be having the baby, I uncontrollably can’t breathe and have a coughing fit, and everyone’s like, ‘What a great acting choice!’ I’m like, ‘I can’t breathe!'”
“The Blue Lagoon” was directed by Randal Kleiser and marked Shields’ breakout performance, launching her modeling and acting career. Sequel film “Return to the Blue Lagoon” was made in 1991 sans Shields or Atkins.
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