CATEGORIES Interviews
Known for decades as the little girl who started her modeling career at 5 days old, Brooke Shields is a iconic symbol of precocious innocence. She has taken on a variety of roles, from 'Friends' to 'Suddenly Susan' and even a few episodes as Miley Cyrus' mom on 'Hannah Montana,' and is now starring as a cool mom in the new family comedy 'Furry Vengeance.'

Shields is also a working mom in real life -- she has two kids with TV writer Chris Henchy. She has been laying low since last starring regularly on NBC's 'Lipstick Jungle' in 2008-09, save an appearance on Patricia Heaton's 'The Middle and at last summer's Michael Jackson memorial, where she eulogized her childhood friend.

Shields, who plays a teacher and Brendan Fraser's wife Tammy in the April 30 release, spoke with Moviefone recently about talking lionesses, making friends with a skunk and getting her comic timing just right on her new movie. Known for decades as the little girl who started her modeling career at 5 days old, Brooke Shields is a iconic symbol of precocious innocence. She has taken on a variety of roles, from 'Friends' to 'Suddenly Susan' and even a few episodes as Miley Cyrus' mom on 'Hannah Montana,' and is now starring as a cool mom in the new family comedy 'Furry Vengeance.'

Shields is also a working mom in real life -- she has two kids with TV writer Chris Henchy. She has been laying low since last starring regularly on NBC's 'Lipstick Jungle' in 2008-09, save an appearance on Patricia Heaton's 'The Middle and at last summer's Michael Jackson memorial, where she eulogized her childhood friend.

Shields, who plays a teacher and Brendan Fraser's wife Tammy in the April 30 release, spoke with Moviefone recently about talking lionesses, making friends with a skunk and getting her comic timing just right on her new movie.

Why did you want to play Tammy?
First of all, I wanted to work with Brendan. And [director] Roger Kumble is so acute when it comes to comedy. That was the first draw, because a lot of it was not on the page. But he told me that they were going to keep adding stuff for me, and I could trust him. So I knew I was going to get some comedy. But what I like about her is that she is just a real person. She is trying to be supportive as a wife, she is kind of a cool mom, she has a good relationship with her son. She is going through some crises, and she has to whip everybody into shape. There is a strength to her, but I think she is also trying to keep her relationship in a good place and be the wife she wants to be.

How did you get the comic timing just right for this?
You don't think about it. The minute I start thinking about it, it all goes awry. Working with comics like Ken Jeong, Angela Kinsey, Brendan, you just have to be willing not to over think things. Listen, be ready and be relaxed enough to just react. That's the hardest thing to do.

Did you know Brendan?
We just met a couple of times socially. We had mutual friends, but didn't with really know each other. He knows the script, but he rarely does what's on the page. You have to just trust where he's going and that he won't sell you down the river. He loves to highlight other people, so you just have to trust him. We never ran lines or rehearsed or anything like that, we just went off road right into it. Then there was an immediacy to all of it. That's the funny of it.

What's the message kids should take away?
First of all, I hope their bellies hurt they are laughing so much. It seems like we are already on a good path for that. But we don't want them to think there is a message. We just want to open the conversation. When we see what's happening, you want them to say it's not okay to not take care of the forest and animals and Mother Nature. It's important. For my kids, when they saw it, they wanted to talk about the beaver dam. They wanted to know what would happen to the babies of the raccoon if something happened to the house. They get it and are intuitive. You hope that it allows parents to open up a conversation with them about the planet.

What is it like being a working mom in Hollywood?
It's never easy. I don't ever feel like I have it all together. I always feel one area is lacking. But as long as my kids are first and taken care of, that allows me to pursue some of my artistic needs.

Are you environmentally friendly around the house, and do you encourage your kids to do it?
We do it at home. They are after me. They tell me at times [to] turn off the water when you're brushing your teeth. They love to be the police. Obviously recycling. We use an energy-saving car and washer and dryer. We do stuff in our house that we can do. Once it becomes natural, we start upping it. First products, then machines we work with. It's been augmented, and the [kids] have been a big part of it along the way.


What was your favorite animal growing up?
I have always liked lionesses. Female lions have always seemed like the best. They were really strong and took care of their babies and are beautiful.

Are you a country or city girl?
I am a city girl I think, at heart. I used to be a lot more adept in the woods and wilderness. But after being in this movie, where the mosquitoes are the size of newborn kittens, I was like, 'I want to go back into the city.' I will save the forest, and then I will leave. I love it, we are going to have to go camping with our kids, hopefully, go back and survive.

How did the animal animation work?
They had a movie being done simultaneously. They were in their own movie, basically being filmed 24-7 in different environments, getting them to do things, or waiting for the raccoon to cover his eyes or the cock of a head with whatever animal. They were watching them all the time. What we did, CGI-wise, was enhance their eyes. Or we added a sound effect or rounded their mouth a little bit. Adam was adamant, as was I, about not having the animals speak. We wanted them to be as natural as they possibly could. The crow was trained to tap on a little red dot. You shine a little red dot, and he taps there through classical conditioning and he would get a treat. We would get him to tap on cue. The CGI part was done minimally and later for the dream sequence, obviously.

Did you bond with the animals?
We weren't really allowed to be around them. We saw them, but we were never able to touch them. That would sort of challenge the bonding. The trainers needed to be the primary person in these animals' lives. They were kind of wild, so they just didn't want to risk any of it. We got to hold a little skunk, which that was a treat to me, because it was a little baby.

What's next for you?
Most likely, it's going to be Broadway, and take it from there. It's been a long time. I have starred on Broadway four times. Every time, a few years go by and it's about time for me to get back onstage. This is the time for that, so we are deciding when that is going to be.

What's the Broadway production?
Can't really say it yet, because we are in the uncomfortable stage of making it all happen.

Would you do another 'Lipstick Jungle'?
I would do it yesterday. Yes, couldn't come out of my mouth fast [enough]. It's perfect to work in the city. We live in New York. To be able to have a steady job and take your kids to school, and be around and work hard, is the perfect life.