Brooke Shields stands her ground in documentary about her career

Nothing can come between Brooke Shields and her self-esteem.

The former child star, notorious Calvin Klein supermodel and Hollywood icon takes center stage in the two-part documentary “Pretty Baby,” directed by Lana Wilson (“Miss Americana”). The film debuted at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where executive producer Ali Wentworth encouraged pioneering creatives not to “listen to ‘no, you can’t’.”

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“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” is an exciting look at the actress, model and icon as she transforms from a sexualized young girl into a woman discovering her power, according to an official synopsis. Her story holds up a mirror to a society that objectifies women and girls and shows the dangers and triumphs of gaining agency in a hostile world.

The documentary is produced by ABC News Studios in collaboration with Matador Content and Bedby8. The film marks the debut project of BedBy8, the newly formed production company of Ali Wentworth, George Stephanopoulos and partner Alyssa Mastromonaco. Christine O’Malley and Jack Turner serve as producers, with director Wilson, Wentworth, Mastromonaco, Stephanopoulos, Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin, Jacqueline Glover and Jennifer Joseph serving as executive producers.

Named after Shields’ 1978 film, “Pretty Baby” follows the icon through her extraordinary childhood and complex relationship with her mother and manager, Teri Shields.

Shields’ professional career began when she was just 11 months old, working as a child model before starring in Louis Malle’s controversial film “Pretty Baby” at age 12. She became the face of the ’80s with advertisements for Calvin Klein jeans and starring roles in “The Blue Lagoon” and “Endless Love,” navigating the relentless scrutiny of the press and a culture that wanted to trade her. After defying stereotypes by going to college, Shields returns to the entertainment industry as an adult, but it isn’t until she begins to trust herself and her instincts that she can find her identity and voice.

Kate Erbland of IndieWire praised the “disturbing” documentary for not shying away from Shields’ high-profile status. “Viewers who have never seen early interviews with Shields – who began her modeling career when she was just a baby, turning her into someone who has literally been famous all her life – will probably be shocked to see how Shields even in ostensibly friendly talk,” Erbland wrote. “Almost always she’s an object, constantly told how beautiful she was, praised only for her looks, just a face and body to humans. As a talking head puts it, Shields was a ‘nuclear version of what it was like to be judged by your looks.’”

“Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields” premieres April 3 on Hulu.

Watch the teaser below.

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