Brooke Shields on child stardom: ‘Hollywood eats its young’

Brooke Shields has blasted the way Hollywood treats child stars.

The actress, who became famous aged 11 when she kissed 27-year-old Keith Carradine in the 1978 movie Pretty Baby, has spoken out on Hollywood's treatment of both women and children.

She said she was able to survive her early stardom thanks to a strong support network.

"There was this sexualisation of young women and I was at the centre of it," Brooke said, while on a discussion panel for International Women's Day hosted by the SXSW Festival.

"I was promoting it, I was surrounded by a strong mom, had a community around me, I did not become the type of statistic that Hollywood created."

Brooke, 58, was blunt about the way she believes Hollywood treats child actors.

"Hollywood is predicated on eating its young," she said.

She also described her own age as a difficult one for the industry.

"At 58 you're too old to be the ingénue but not quite the granny yet," Brooke explained.

"I find my reaction is to instead of get angry, find and ferret out the filmmakers who appreciate a woman over 40 and appreciate the life experience."