Just like her latest character, Brooke Shields has admitted that she’s fallen in love with Scotland.
The Hollywood actress stars in Netflix tartan romcom – A Castle for Christmas – which was filmed mainly at Dalmeny House, near Edinburgh, at the end of last year.
The movie sees the 56-year-old’s character, best-selling author Sophie Brown, quit the US hoping to buy a Scottish castle.
Instead, she falls in love with the grumpy owner, Myles – a duke, played by The Princess Bride actor Cary Elwes.
New Yorker Brooke said: “My character goes to Scotland and falls in love with the place and this castle and that’s pretty much what I did.
“I came back home practically speaking with a Scottish accent. The castle, the pubs, the horses, beautiful scenery, cows, dogs… I loved it all.
“It was such a feelgood environment to be in.”
Brooke flew over in September last year during the Covid pandemic.
And while there were tough restrictions, she loved her time in a Scottish bubble as the cast and crew started their own knitting club.
She laughed: “We basically created our own little commune. We ate all of our meals together and spent all of our time together. It was actually really great.
“We even started our own knitting club. We’d knit together every night and are still all in touch now.
“There was something very beautiful about sitting around with a fire and creating something with our hands. I think it’s sort of indicative of the whole community in the film.
“The people see these two characters fighting their feelings for each other and, in a very Christmas way, they try to navigate them together.
The film, which is streaming now on Netflix, shot scenes at Tantallon Castle, North Berwick, the Dakota Hotel in South Queensferry and Edinburgh Airport but mainly at Dalmeny House.
Brooke was smitten by Dalmeny which is home to the 7th Earl and Countess of Roseberry and has glorious views overlooking the Firth of Forth.
She said: “It was so beautiful and the surroundings were incredible.
“It really was like being transported back in time. We were so lucky because we somehow managed to pull off shooting smack-bang in the middle of Covid. It wasn’t even too cold!”
Brooke has been a household name since she was 12 and played a teenage prostitute in 1978’s Pretty Baby.
She caused further sensation in Blue Lagoon where she appeared nude despite being only 14.
Controversy seemed to follow her.
When she appeared in a Calvin Klein TV ad, saying “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing”, she was just 15.
Brooke took time out to study but has kept her eye in with modelling and acting.
She’s also been married twice, to tennis player Andre Agassi, and then in 2001 to Chris Henchy, a TV writer and father of her two girls, Rowan, 18, and Grier, 15.
Brooke’s acting career never quite recaptured those early heights, although she did play the lead in sitcom Suddenly Susan and was Joey’s girlfriend in Friends. But she re-emerged recently on our screens in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and we will now see more of her in A Castle for Christmas.
She said: “People are always saying it’s a comeback but I never went anywhere. You’re told in this business you hit 40 and it’s over.
“I started to believe that for a while but now I don’t accept it. I’m better now than ever. I’m being rejuvenated.”
Brooke was drawn to A Castle For Christmas because of Netflix’s commitment to female-empowered stories where she can play her own age.
“And then when they said it’s going to be shot in Scotland, I knew I had to do it,” she laughed. “Also, it’s just so nice to do a comedy after this crazy two years we have all had.”
Brooke fell in love with the character of Sophie Brown as she believes women can now have it all – career, family and romance.
She said: “I think women can have so much more than they realise. I feel very lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to try to grasp as much as I can in my life.
“I do have a family, a husband and a career. I think no matter who you are – male or female – the more you have in your life the more you have to juggle.”
Brooke feels Sophie is very different to most female roles in festive films.
She said: “She’s not looking to be saved and she’s not looking to fall in love. She’s really just looking for an adventure and to write her next bestseller.”
Brooke is now back home in New York and is looking forward to Christmas with her husband and daughters, and preparing for Santa! She said: “I leave Santa some champagne because I think he gets a little tired of cookies sometimes.”
The actress hopes that Scots will enjoy watching A Castle for Christmas and believes that the film embodies what the festive season means to her.
She said: “It’s about being surrounded by people who you love and celebrating each other.
“It’s about enjoying the ritual of whatever this time means to you and really being giving with all of your heart.
“I think that if Covid has taught us anything, it’s how much we rely on our interpersonal connections, relationships and the family we build around us.”
● A Castle for Christmas is streaming now on Netflix.