Brooke Shields Recalls Losing Starring Role in Dangerous Liaisons to Uma Thurman

Brooke Shields came pretty close to starring in Stephen Frears’ 1988 period drama “Dangerous Liaisons” alongside John Malkovich, Glenn Close, Michelle Pfeiffer and Keanu Reeves. “They told me it came down to me and someone else,” Shields tells me. “They said the other person was this girl not many people knew about. It was Uma Thurman. At that time and that age, it felt so personal, but I’ve learned over time not to take it personally because ‘no’ outweighs ‘yes’ extensively in this business.”

Released by Warner Bros., “Dangerous Liaisons” went on to be nominated for seven Oscars, eventually taking home the awards for adapted screenplay, costume design and production design. Christopher Hampton adapted the screenplay from his 1985 play “Les Liaisons dangereuses.” The $14 million film grossed $34.7 million at the box office.

Shields says she and Thurman have become close friends in the decades since the movie was made.

“Pretty Baby,” a two-part docuseries about Shields’ life, released on Hulu on April 3. When it first released in January at Sundance Film Festival, Variety critic Owen Gleiberman wrote that “the film attains a cumulative power that’s quite moving. Yes, we knew the story before, but here we feel the journey that Shields lived. We pass through the mirror of an overly eroticized, overly unreal celebrity culture and can see what’s on the other side.”

Could a scripted Shields biopic be next? “I’m not sure it’s necessary. That feels a little too self-indulgent,” Shields says. “I feel like the documentary is closing a chapter. I think it’s the healthiest and the most honorable way to tell the story.”

Variety exclusively reported in February that Shields will star alongside Miranda Cosgrove and Benjamin Bratt in Netflix’s upcoming rom-com “Mother of the Bride.” Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”) will direct.

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