Interview with Brooke Shields for Daisy Winters

Brooke Shields Plays an Emotional Mother in Daisy Winters

Brooke Shields has the perfect opportunity to show her maternal side in “Daisy Winters,” her riveting new movie, in which she plays an extremely hands-on mother.

This thought-provoking and powerful movie is filled with many vital life lessons, so much so that you do not want to let this cinematic treasure slip away!

Shields plays Sandy, a gravely ill and protective mother of Daisy, her precocious 11-year-old daughter, played by Sterling Jerins. The two share an extraordinary range of complex emotions, in the movie which opened on Friday, Dec. 1.

The beautifully written, directed, and acted movie, from Hannover House, shows why the career of the 52-year-old Shields has continued to shine for nearly four decades, and why Jerins, now 13, is considered a rising star.

New York native Jerins, who is starring in the HBO series “Divorce,” and has made the movies, “Patterson,” The Conjuring,” and “World War Z,” said that Shields’ maternal nature on the set of “Daisy Winters,” was extremely helpful.

Shields, her producer-husband Chris Henchy, and their two young daughters are living in New York, and enjoy sharing family bonding time. The hands-on mother says she has to keep in mind that her daughters are “not carbon copies of me,” but regardless of any differences, she is always there to lend an ear.

The lovely actress began her career as the Ivory Snow baby, and had her first major acting role in “Pretty Baby,” the same age as her young co-star in “Daisy Winters.” Shields has starred in two prime-time television shows, “Lipstick Jungle,” and “Suddenly Susan,” and appeared on Broadway and several films. Now, her career is back in high gear, and she says she is inspired by the material.

At the heart of “Daisy Winters,” is the unconventional relationship between Daisy, a smart, strong and adventurous young girl, and her mother, Sandy, and what happens with the mother-daughter bond is harshly broken.

Along her sweet, bittersweet, and often difficult journey, including her quest to discover her father, the courageous and resourceful Daisy learns about how to embrace every moment with determination and an unrelenting belief in herself.

Daisy and Sandy’s journey is about challenging convention, and the unexpected joys and sorrows all of us face at one time in our lives or another, and ultimately, how to embrace life one moment at a time.

Where did you go inside yourself to play this complex character with enormous challenges?

BROOKE SHIELDS: What I kept in mind the entire time was that I am a mother, and that everything was really more about my daughter, than it was about me. Even though I was the one that was sick, it’s my responsibility [as a mother] to be honest, but very strong for my child.

Why is that important?

BS: Well, the children need to know that their parents can handle the situation. I think that’s what I kept going to the whole time; I was just trying to really only think of my daughter, how to be honest with her, but think about how my reactions would affect her.

Since you grew up in this business, do have any advice for aspiring actresses – or for Sterling Jerins, your young co-star in this film?

BS: I don’t think it’s about advice. I think it’s about being available to these young people, and to be there, to listen to them, rather than preach to them. So, I never said ‘do this or do that.’ Instead, I would ask her questions. I think listening is really much more powerful, when you’re talking to younger people.

How do you decide to do this difficult role?

BS: I did not agree right away. But I was able to see that it was something I needed to do even though I was a bit of afraid of doing it.

Why is that?

BS: Just the story-line and focusing on a girl who was the same age as I was when I started, was also appealing. Just dealing with being a mom and the nature of that relationship was important to me.What are the life lessons here in “Daisy Winters,” a very emotional film?

BS: They are really hard lessons. The beauty of the relationship that this mother and daughter has – its loving, but also honest. I would say that they are both trying to give their best to the other one because they love one another so much. So, I think the life lesson becomes love as deeply as deeply as you can, because it is fleeting in general, and it could be more fleeting – and try to learn as much as you can from those you love, and try to support your loved one.

Did it help inform you and the role because you have two daughters – Rowan, 14, and Grier, 11?

BS: What helped even more is that it brought me back to what it was like to be 11 and thinking of who I am right now – and it was so beautiful to watch and see Sterling’s commitment to the role and how mature and amazing she was.

What have you learned about motherhood and your daughters?

BS: There is so much to learn as they get older. I have to keep in mind that they are not carbon copies of me.

Are you going to let your daughters see the movie?

BS: No, they honestly don’t want to. I always offer [my work] for them to see, but I think the fear of that for young girls, and the fact that my daughter in the movie is 11, the same age as my youngest. So, Grier said to me, ‘I am never seeing that movie, mom.’ And I get it. I totally understand.  I don’t think they need to see this movie, at this particular time in their lives.

What advice do you have for young girls who see you as a role model and want to follow in your footsteps after seeing all of your career success?

BS: If you love the theater, film, music, or any endeavor – artistic or otherwise – it can’t be a hobby; it truly has to be your passion. You can’t take no for an answer, and you can’t let the ongoing rejection stop you.

You seem to be working more now, please tell me about that.

BS:  Between “Daisy Winters,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and another project I am starting in a couple months, I am quite busy again and don’t have too much extra time, but all of this feels great.

Are you a big fan of “Law & Order: SVU?”

BS: Definitely, I am.  I love it and appreciate the show. But it’s also funny that now I have younger kids and they want to watch it with me, and sometimes I’m like ‘You can watch this part, but not that part.’

How do you see the show?

BS: Well, after being on the air 19 seasons, it has truly become a part of everybody’s family. I love that it delves into difficult topics that we need to face.

How important is it for you portray strong female characters on television and in film?

BS: It’s very important. It’s so interesting because other people watch you, and look at you, and you give them such permission to be strong, and also to be vulnerable.

So, what are you looking for in a character and a project?

BS: Someone who acknowledges that we are all scrambling, because we’re human; so there’s a vulnerability that all of us have.  It’s not about represented a particular point of view. Instead, it’s about saying, ‘All of us, women and men, can be both vulnerable, but not necessarily weak. We can be strong, but not bitchy. We can be conflicted, but that doesn’t mean we are dumb.’

Please tell me more.

BS: For such a long time I have felt that the way the way females are often portrayed, even if they are comic and funny, but there are all sorts of underlying negative messages, and women in the “Law & Order” shows are not like that.

What else resonated with you about this story?

BS: You see this mom and this child – doing everything they can for the other one because they love each other so much. But as a mom she is also trying to be very strong for her daughter. And that’s hard. She has been battling cancer. She is a single mom, she knows her daughter is eventually going to be alone at a very young age, and there are really no tools to combat that? So, the only thing you can do is to love hard and to love honestly.

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