Brooke Shields: ‘The Blue Lagoon’ would not be ‘allowed’ today.

“A movie like this will never be made again,” Shields reflected on the 1980 film, in which she was partially nude when she was 14 years old.

Brooke Shields hopes young stars are protected from experiences like The Blue Lagoon these days.

The legendary actress starred in the shipwreck film at the age of 14 alongside then 18-year-old Christopher Atkins. The duo played two cousins-turned-lovers who consummate their relationship after their boat wrecked in the South Pacific. The controversial 1980 film featured nudity from both Shields and Atkins.

“A movie like this will never be made again,” Shields said during her “Now What?” iHeartRadio podcast. “That would not be allowed.”

Atkins agreed, adding, “Oh god no. Animals were injured in the film. We’ve speared fish and all sorts of crazy things. Children run naked along a beach; couldn’t do that now.”

While Shields and Atkins were encouraged by the production (and Shield’s mother) to pursue a romantic relationship off-screen, the duo agreed their stark age difference made the pressure uncomfortable.

“They really wanted us to fall in love,” Shields said. “I didn’t react well because I was forced to feel something. I hadn’t even kissed anyone at that age.”

Shields recalled being told to tan completely naked next to Atkins, with only a makeshift wall between them (via Buzzfeed News).

“You were right next to me, and that was even weirder because you were only 14 at the time,” Atkins said, before continuing, “There were scenes where I was stark naked with you, if you remember, sliding down that slide and stuff like this. And that was a little bit awkward, but it was kind of fun for me because at that point I was just going to do it. But your reaction was, ‘Ugh, oh god.’”

Shields shared: “We were never brought to it. We got there and they immediately wanted us to get tanned. Remember, they set up these little thatched areas so we could get a tan without tan lines.

She continued: “We wore small garments and my hair was taped to my body to cover the breasts, which were very small anyway. I don’t know what I was trying to cover up. Do you remember the bumpy pads? They put these little flesh-colored things on my nipples because ‘nipple’ was obviously where they drew the line in this film.”

Shields had a body double for her character’s sex scenes, while Atkins did not. A rat infestation and ulcers during production meant The Blue Lagoon was far less glamorous than an island vacation.

“We were like the Wild West, just on the water,” Shields summarized. “And I remember getting pneumonia. In the birth scene, when I’m about to have the baby, I can’t breathe uncontrollably and have a coughing fit, and everyone says, “What a great choice for acting!” I say, ‘I can’t breathe!’”

Directed by Randal Kleiser, The Blue Lagoon marked Shields’ breakthrough and launched her modeling and acting career. The sequel, Return to the Blue Lagoon, was shot in 1991 without Shields or Atkins.

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Lindsay Lowe

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