Brooke Shields: ‘I’m such an addict of Downton Abbey’

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The 80s star on the joy of an English roast dinner, her Ozark obsession, and her brush with the Dilbert Dunker

As told to Rich Pelley –  The Guardian

‘I must have watched the latest season of Ozark in two days’ … Brooke Shields. Photograph: Kristin Callahan/ACE Pictures/Rex/Shutterstock

I could not wait to see the latest season of Ozark. I was glued. I must have watched it in two days. I find it so terrifying, engaging, otherworldly and shocking. Laura Linney [who plays Wendy Byrde] is a good friend, so I started watching to support her. My daughters said, “Mom, you know the people in this.” But as a viewer I completely compartmentalise and get completely lost.

I’ve balanced that with a lot of Belgravia. I’m such an addict of Downton Abbey. It’s my favourite television. It’s so far from the realm of reality. Everything seems all-glorious, but I’m sure the underbelly was in stark contrast. I’ve spent a lot of time in the UK, and I always notice an element of grace and manners and etiquette. The idea of the Sunday roast was something I’ve brought back. I’m self-isolating with my two daughters and my husband, and we’re having dinner as a family every single night. We had a roast last Sunday. I’ll usually do a roast chicken. I’ve got some good tips. I love the ceremony, dimming the lights and putting candles on the table. It’s very civilised.

My daughters are glued to their computers, so there’s less of a struggle as to who gets the TV. For films, I’ve gone back to Being There, Gallipoli, The Rose and Chariots of Fire. The minute you hear that soundtrack … [sings theme music] “Dum dum dum duuuumm dumm,” it gives you chills. I watched The Piano, which is beautiful. And I also watched Harold and Maude. When I was younger, it used to make me mad because I felt Ruth Gordon [Maude] was a hypocrite by being so fabulous and then offing herself. Now I understand her. I did a movie with Ruth called The Prince of Central Park. It was an honour to work with her.

I’ve watched Arthur. There are lines in Arthur that are so good, that when you’re laughing, you miss the next one. I’ve also watched An Officer and a Gentleman for the thousandth time. You know the Dilbert Dunker? The underwater cockpit escape simulator from the movie? When I was awarded Woman of the Year by the [United Service Organizations] in the 80s, they asked me what I wanted. I said I wanted to do the Dilbert Dunker because I’d seen it in An Officer and a Gentleman. So I did! Oh, for the younger me.

 

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