What Was Brooke Shields' Role in "Blue Lagoon?"


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Brooke Shields portrays Emmeline Lestrange in the 1980 period drama, "The Blue Lagoon." The character is introduced as a Victorian-era child when she and her cousin, Richard (Christopher Atkins), shipwreck on a tropical island. Fellow castaway Paddy (Leo McKern), a galley cook, is instrumental in the children's survival, teaching them to fish, hunt and build shelter. When Paddy drowns during a drunken binge, the youngsters are left to their own devices.

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Full Answer

Flash forward a number of years and now Emmeline and Richard are healthy, strong and curious teenagers. The two fall in love as puberty leads to physical feelings and hormonal stirrings neither understand. After a skinny-dipping episode in the island's lagoon, Emmeline and Richard begin an on-shore interlude of physical exploration which leads to sexual intercourse.

The teenage couple now spends almost all of their time together in the nude, repeatedly making love. Soon, Emmeline becomes pregnant, although neither cousin realizes what's happening until she gives birth. Through trial and error, the new parents raise their child to the best of their ability. Years later, however, a stroke of bad luck leads to the child's poisoning from some toxic island berries. Heartbroken, Emmeline and Richard intentionally eat the same berries and soon succumb to the poison as well.

The R-rated film, directed by Randal Kleiser, met with controversy due to its subject matter and imagery of young, unclothed actors. Shields, who was 14 during production, testified before Congress that most nude scenes used body doubles. Moreover, any scenes featuring Shields were carefully orchestrated so that her long hair or other objects obscured her breasts; in other instances, the hair was literally glued in place to strategically cover the underage girl's chest.

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