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At 56, Brooke Shields is just getting started

At 56, Brooke Shields is just getting started

Brooke Shields can’t stomach “Squid Game.

The previews alone signaled to the 56-year-old that watching the violent survival drama “would not be healthy for me.

Even bingeing the bawdy “Sex Education” can be a bit much for her at times. Instead, she longs for cozy viewing escapes.

like the new Christmas rom-com she stars in and executive-produced for the Netflix crowd who, like herself, simply wants to live, laugh, love this season.

“If I could, I would be doing rom-coms and sitcoms 24/7,” she told The Washington Post during a recent video call from her home in New York.

“To me, that is my happy place.” Wearing oversized glasses and a creamy Nike zip-up sweatshirt.

Shields’s brunette hair falls around her shoulders in casual waves while layers of necklaces and rings as eclectic as her career complete the look.

a chunky gold smiley face signet on her hand, a delicate key dangling from her neck.

During the height of the pandemic in 2020, Shields journeyed to Scotland to film “A Castle for Christmas.

the aforementioned Netflix film, directed by Mary Lambert, that will premiere Nov.

26. In it, Shields plays a celebrated author who travels to Europe to purchase a castle and ends up meeting a romantic lead in the form of a crotchety Scotsman.

played by “The Princess Bride” star Cary Elwes. It’s a pure comfort watch, and the rare film centered on a woman over 50.

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“There’s this whole era that I’m walking into, and I’m seeing it out there being less represented. You go from Gen whatever to Depends.

Shields said of the lack of roles for women who are not ready to be relegated to supporting grandmother parts.

“Why is menopause just associated with being crusty and old and dried up? I am better now than I was ever before. I’m more focused and more confident.

I feel sexier. I understand my body more. I’m fitter.”

But despite Shields’s proclivity for feel-good fare and her generally perky demeanor.

the actress is “not all Pollyanna,” stressed Lambert, who is best known for directing the 1989 horror flick “Pet Sematary.” “She’s got a dark, crazy sense of humor.

She can talk trash like the best of them.”

Shields’s unconventional life has been breathlessly documented.

Born and raised in New York City, Shields is the product of Teri, a socialite and model, and Francis, a businessman.

who separated after just a few months of marriage when Brooke was still a baby. At the tender age of 11 months.

Simultaneously hyper-infantilized and -sexualized, a young Shields was the object of the world’s fascination.

The Washington Post alternately branded her “sixteen going on 9” and “The Littlest Sex Goddess. But while America couldn’t stop staring at her.

Shields began avoiding her own reflection, dodging mirrors in fear of becoming too vain. “It felt very arbitrary,” she said of the attention on her looks.

“I didn’t want to focus on something that I, at that time, didn’t have any control over.”

Of course, no child star becomes a child star on their own.

Shields’s mother was an early momager and the driving force behind propelling her into adult situations and controversial roles.

And yet, Shields has staunchly defended Teri and credits her with protecting the young star from the worst of the industry.

Shields remains resolutely proud of her early work, but it’s difficult to imagine a similar trajectory for a minor in Hollywood now.

Shields sees her teen self as “the first reality star,” a commercial brand that, while aspirational, was largely rooted in relatability and access.

The media reported on her first period. Her trips to the orthodontist. Her virginity.

Watching the recent documentaries about Britney Spears, Shields recognized some of the same obsessive, prying treatment in early interviews with the pop star.

To control the narrative, Shields (and her mom) decided to routinely offer up information and answer everyone’s questions directly and in ample detail.

“There’s always been a sense of entitlement about me. And part of it is because I put a lot out there, so that I’m doing it first,” she said.

“Then you can say what you want and there’s speculation, but I’ve told my truth. That’s also why I write books.

Find out before you freak out:

For much of her life, Shields assumed people – especially other women – would hate her on sight.

She learned to not take up all the space in the room with her inherent glow and charm and to knock herself down with self-deprecating jabs before anyone else could.

“I had to disarm people so they weren’t out-of-the-gate against me or jealous or threatened.

You point out your flaws so that they aren’t intimidated. It’s a self-preservation tactic,” she said. And, for a long time.

it worked. “Then, at a certain point, it doesn’t behoove you. You start hearing that tape in your head.

and you belittle yourself when it doesn’t really serve you.”

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