Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Actress Brooke Shields Plays Not My Job

Actress Brooke Shields, shown June 2012 in Los Angeles.
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Brooke Shields landed her first modeling job at 11 months old. When she was 16, she famously appeared in an ad for Calvin Klein jeans with the tagline: "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing."

We've invited her to play a game called, "OK, what about these Calvins?" Three questions about Calvins who are not Calvin Klein.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

And now the game where we ask famous people on to do something obscure. Actress and model Brooke Shields did her first modeling job at the age of 11 months. That means she's been avoiding doing this show for more than 40 years, a modern record. But we've got her at last. Brooke Shields, welcome to WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!.

BROOKE SHIELDS: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Great to see you. Great to talk to you. Is that true, by the way, that your first modeling job was when you were a baby, 11 months?

SHIELDS: Yeah, I started off with a nude scene.

SAGAL: There you are.

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: I was. I was 11-months-old and we were friends with the photographer and they needed an Ivory Soap baby, and I don't know, I fit the bill.

SAGAL: Really? And you were in your first movie when you were 10. Was that when you did "Pretty Baby?"

SHIELDS: No, I actually did a move when I was nine.

SAGAL: Oh, of course, excuse me.

SHIELDS: I did a really scary murder mystery movie when I was nine. And then "Pretty Baby" was when I was 11.

BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT: But that first movie, there's a killer in a raincoat?

SHIELDS: Yes.

GOLDTHWAIT: Yeah, yeah, I've seen it.

SHIELDS: It's a different raincoat...

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: It's a different one. It had so many different names. It was called "Holy Terror." It was called "Alice, Sweet Alice."

GOLDTHWAIT: That's when I saw it; it was "Alice, Sweet Alice."

SAGAL: And what is your role in that movie?

SHIELDS: I play the sister who's receiving her first communion, because it was originally called "Communion."

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: And my...

PETER GROSZ: What is it called now?

SHIELDS: You know what, I think...

GOLDTHWAIT: Confirmation.

SHIELDS: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: Yes. I don't know what the title is now, but I play a young girl going through her first communion. And my sister is - they think she's a murderer because somebody gets murdered in the church.

GOLDTHWAIT: Yeah. And then there's a twist at the end that I don't want to ruin.

SHIELDS: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDTHWAIT: It's the crazy old lady. All right, I did it. It's the crazy old lady, she did it.

SHIELDS: Oh no.

GOLDTHWAIT: Oh well.

SAGAL: You just killed her residuals. Thanks a lot.

SHIELDS: Yeah, and somebody got killed with a - I then got killed.

GOLDTHWAIT: That's when I knew your character was not the murderer, after that.

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: Yeah, that's when you knew I wasn't the murderer because I actually got killed. I got strangled with a candle.

SAGAL: This is so funny. This is like my afternoons with HBO in the 1980s, come to life: Bobcat Goldthwait talking to Brooke Shields. It's like...

SHIELDS: About "Alice, Sweet Alice."

SAGAL: It's terrible. So you were then...

GOLDTHWAIT: Hey, here comes Screech.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDTHWAIT: No wait, that's the wrong period. Sorry.

SAGAL: You have been incredibly famous since a very young age. I grew up, I saw you on all these magazine covers, in all these movies. How in the world are you not crazy?

SHIELDS: I wonder if I'm just very deeply disturbed, on a different level of crazy. It's schmaltzy as an answer. I never moved out to California. I never moved to Hollywood, and I went to regular non-professional schools and never worked during the school year, except for after school.

So I think that that had a huge effect on just the way I grew up. You know, I sort of had these jobs that I would do and they were - there was a sense of normalcy.

SAGAL: I mean you were like going to high school. You went to high school in Englewood, New Jersey.

SHIELDS: I did.

SAGAL: And then you'd like, after school you'd say "Oh, I need to go and be photographed for these incredibly influential famous Calvin Klein ads. I'll see you guys later for study group."

SHIELDS: It was just like that. And a lot of the time my mom would say, look, let's bring, you know, who do you want to bring today? And I'd want to bring one of my best friends or, you know, one of my high school buddies. And we would, you know, just we made it fun.

SAGAL: What I'm basically being led to understand is that you were Hannah Montana.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Like high school girl by day, spectacular superstar by night.

SHIELDS: Exactly. Then I went on to play her mother in the show, and it's full circle.

SAGAL: Isn't that weird.

GOLDTHWAIT: Did you go to prom?

SHIELDS: I didn't get asked out.

SAGAL: What?

SHIELDS: But I recruited.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: I would like to retroactively ask you to your prom.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Yeah, I know.

GOLDTHWAIT: I'm building a time machine right now. Stay where you are.

SAGAL: Wait a minute; I was in high school in New Jersey at the same time. I actually could have helped you out.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDTHWAIT: Yeah.

SAGAL: I know, dammit.

SHIELDS: What was your reason?

GOLDTHWAIT: And don't be thrown off by his voice, he's actually very handsome.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So you did those famous Calvin Klein ads. Did you get lots of Calvin Klein jeans?

SHIELDS: I did. And you know what the funny thing is I've found that my mother saved everything. I found two pairs that my mother had saved from the actual commercials. And I got them on.

SAGAL: Hey.

SHIELDS: It's not pretty.

GOLDTHWAIT: Wow.

(APPLAUSE)

SHIELDS: Let me tell you, it was about 20 minutes.

SAGAL: Hey, good for you.

SHIELDS: But I gave one to the Met and as one does, I guess, in the world, you give your jeans to the Met. That sounded obnoxious.

GROSZ: You should.

SAGAL: I do. They keep sending them back.

GOLDTHWAIT: They have a pair of culottes I wore.

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: They asked me, because they were doing a retrospective of all of Calvin's work. And they were so high, they were high-waisted. It was funny how not fashionable they were.

SAGAL: Yeah. The thing that you're doing right now is very cool. You're in a stage production in LA.

SHIELDS: I am.

SAGAL: This is "The Exorcist."

SHIELDS: I am. It is the world premier of the play, which is taken from the book and Richard Chamberlain played Merrin, Father Merrin. And John Doyle, who directed the last "Sweeney Todd" on Broadway and won a Tony for it, he is the director. And it is an hour and a half long and it is a very stylized abstract beautiful stage production.

SAGAL: Yeah, yeah, but when does somebody vomit pea soup?

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: Oh, it's all suggested but there's nothing. You don't see a thing. Like there's no real vomiting, there's just sound effects.

GOLDTHWAIT: Brooke, that's not going to sell tickets.

SAGAL: No.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDTHWAIT: Just tell them there's a lot of vomit.

SHIELDS: There's some sodomy. Does that work?

GOLDTHWAIT: Sure.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Is it true that you auditioned for the movie way back when?

SHIELDS: No, I didn't. I had auditioned for "Audrey Rose."

SAGAL: That was that other satanic little girl...

SHIELDS: Which was the other one. And they said I looked too - like my hair was down and they said I didn't look cute enough. I looked too mature. It was like some - Robert Wise was directing it, obviously then. But no, I did not; it went straight to Linda Blair.

SAGAL: Oh, well, good for her.

SHIELDS: What are you going to do?

SAGAL: Where is she now?

GROSZ: She's doing a play version of those Calvin Klein ads.

SHIELDS: I was going to say.

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: She's doing the horror version of...

SAGAL: I'm trying to imagine Linda Blair...

SHIELDS: "The Blue Lagoon."

GROSZ: Yeah.

SAGAL: She's doing "Blue Lagoon." Oh my god. "Blue Lagoon" 40 years later.

(LAUGHTER)

GROSZ: How do we get out of this place?

SHIELDS: I think we should do it as our ages now. Just be like bitter, old, like...

SAGAL: Oh no, no, let's...

SHIELDS: What's your problem with that?

GOLDTHWAIT: Yeah, I think like by now the magic would be over, right? What are you looking at? I hate the way you chew.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

GOLDTHWAIT: Put some clothes on. Oh my god.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: There is no...

GOLDTHWAIT: Coconuts again?

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDTHWAIT: Coconuts again?

GROSZ: I'm going to drown myself in this lagoon.

GOLDTHWAIT: And the kid that they have is like a real load. Like he doesn't help, you know.

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: Lazy.

GOLDTHWAIT: He's just hanging out with a monkey, his best friend.

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: Yeah.

SAGAL: Brooke Shields, we have asked you here to play a game we're calling?

CARL KASELL: OK, what about these Calvins?

SAGAL: So, you were 16 when you said that nothing comes between you and your Calvins. Well, we saw the ads, we believe you. But we're betting you weren't as close to some other Calvins. Answer these three questions and you'll win our prize for one of our listeners. Carl, who is Brooke Shields playing for?

KASELL: Brooke is playing for Katja Volker of Washington, DC.

SAGAL: All right, ready to play?

SHIELDS: OK.

SAGAL: Here's your first question. The most famous Calvin we know of was John Calvin, the founder of Calvinism. He was an influential French-Swiss preacher of the 16th Century.

Father Calvin lived a virtuous life but came to a bad end. How did he go? A: He went for a swim, even though he didn't know how, because, quote, he said "it wasn't his predestiny to drown?" B: He preached so hard he blew himself up? Or C: For lent, he gave up food?

SHIELDS: Which one of those is true?

SAGAL: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: One of them is.

SHIELDS: I think he drowned.

SAGAL: You think he drowned? That's your choice?

SHIELDS: Sure.

SAGAL: No, actually, it was B. He strained himself so much preaching, it killed him.

SHIELDS: Wow.

SAGAL: Yeah.

Next question: We all remember the next Calvin - you still have two more chances, I'm not worried. We all remember Calvin and Hobbes, that great comic strip by Bill Watterson.

Well, Watterson proved his artistic genius in college, by doing what? Painting a copy of Sistine Chapel onto the ceiling of his dorm room? B: Providing custom lettering on the chests of naked football fans? Or C: Making a series of paintings with nothing but spilled beer from his frat house?

SHIELDS: I'm going to wish that he painted on football player's chests.

SAGAL: Really?

SHIELDS: Yeah.

SAGAL: You think he, like the guy from the Calvin and Hobbes is like, no, just sit still for ten more minutes. I'll get this right.

SHIELDS: Yes.

SAGAL: Well, I'm afraid that that's not correct. No, the answer was that he painted the Sistine Chapel onto the ceiling of his dorm room. Had a scaffold and everything.

SHIELDS: Wow.

SAGAL: We have one last question.

SHIELDS: OK.

SAGAL: Let's see if you can get this one. Calvin Broadus, of course, became Snoop Dogg. Remember him?

SHIELDS: Yeah.

SAGAL: But not everybody can get that name right. Among them was Senator Alan Simpson, who referred to him once as what? A: Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dog?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: B: The D-O Double Guzzle? Or C: That black man with the hair and the rappedy rappedy?

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: Just because that black man with the hair and the rappedy rappedy is so wrong that I'm just going to pick that one.

SAGAL: At this point, why not?

SHIELDS: Why not?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No, it was Snoopy Snoopy Poop Dog, said Senator Simpson.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Quite famously.

SHIELDS: Well, I'm three for three.

SAGAL: There you are. Carl, how did Brooke Shields do on our quiz?

KASELL: Well, she had no correct answers, Peter.

(LAUGHTER)

KASELL: So no prize for Katja Volker.

SAGAL: Brooke Shields is now starring in "The Exorcist" at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Brook Shields, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you. You were delightful. Good luck. Break a leg.

SHIELDS: Thank you, thank you. Bye.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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