Linney, 59, also recalled how the pair would ‘duck and cover’ when Shields’ alcoholic mother, Teri, would come home in a drunken rage.
The revelations came in Shields’ new documentary Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, which explores the model and actress’ complex life and career, along with her relationship with her mother.
Shields, 57, spent her life in front of the camera, first as a child model, and then as a model and actress throughout her teenage years. Her mother looked on as Shields was turned into a sex symbol – even appearing nude in movies and photoshoots – despite being underage.
The two-part documentary released on Hulu on April 3.
Laura Linney recalled the drunken rages of Brooke Shields’ mother in the new documentary
Laura Linney (left) and Brooke Shields (right) were childhood friends in elementary school
Brooke Shields (right) and her mother Teri (left). Teri served as Brooke’s manager
In the documentary, Linney recalled being a child in elementary school and watching Shields travel from New Jersey to California to appear in some of her first advertisements.
‘The sort of whispers around the school, like “She’s gone to California,” third graders, fourth graders like “Where’d she go?”‘ Linney said.
‘And I would remember seeing the ad campaigns come in, like opening the paper and seeing her face, and it was hard to comprehend.’
‘I just always remember thinking I hope she’s okay,’ she added.
As one of Shields’ good friends, Linney saw firsthand the two sides of Brooke’s mother – a huge personality one moment, a terrifying drunk the next.
‘When Teri was sober she was raucous and fun and loud and big and took up space,’ she said. ‘And when she was not in a good way it was duck and cover.’
Linney recounted many situations where and and Brooke would be playing at the Shields’ house alone, and then Teri would come home drunk. She said Brooke always sprang into action and knew how to avoid conflict.
‘I would follow her lead, she would know what to do, how to do it, how to protect herself, what room to go into, what doors to lock,’ Linney said.
‘We could both hear the keys would rattle, we would go to a room, we would make sure we were safe, Teri would come home very drunk and then we would wait until it got quiet, and then we would come out.’
Linney said she understood the complicated situation Brooke found herself in, being frightened of who her mother could be but loving her all the while.
‘You want to protect the people you love even if they’re deeply flawed and damaged and damaging,’ Linney said.
Brooke Shields with her mother Teri. The two had a complicated relationship
Brooke and Teri Shields in 1981. Teri was an alcoholic whose moods would often swing
In the documentary Shields discussed complicated moments with her mother, like the time she looked on while at just 11-years-old she was forced to seductively kiss Keith Carradine, then 27, in 1978 film Pretty Baby in which she played a prostitute.
Shields said she struggled to understand how her mother did not intervene as she revealed her own daughters, Rowan, 19, and Grier, 16, refuse to watch it.
In the documentary, Rowan said ‘It’s child pornography! Would you have let us [do that] at the age of 11?’
Shields replied ‘No’ as she was overcome with emotion.
The star’s mother died in 2012. Shields, an only child, said she could not be angry at her as her mother was so insecure.
The actress long deflected the blame faced by her mother – who allowed Shields to pose nude for a Playboy publication at the age of 10, but Shields now admitted ‘I don’t know why she thought it was all right. I don’t know.’
The incidents weren’t the first she was sexualized by the media. At 15 she shot The Blue Lagoon and then Endless Love. Both featured sex and nudity, while she also appeared scantily clad in a Calvin Klein denim advertisement campaign at the same age.