Screwing up on live TV is an actor’s worst nightmare, and it’s exactly what happened to Broadway vet Brooke Shields at the Tony Awards on June 12. During the show’s hilarious opening number, “Broadway: It’s Not Just For Gays Anymore!” host Neil Patrick Harris headed into the crowd to enlist some singing help from A-listers in the audience. After a glowing introduction from Harris—“Brooke Shields?! You made me think I was straight for 23 years!”—Shields missed her musical entrance and needed a couple of embarrassing do-overs before getting her verse of the song, an Anthony Weiner joke, out correctly.
New York magazine caught up with Shields, who joins the cast of The Addams Family as Morticia later this month, at the June 13 Webby Awards and got her reaction to the flub. “I think it was the first time in my career I messed up that royally," Shields said. "I was beyond embarrassed. I wanted to give up show business. I fucked up. They counted me in wrong; the TelePrompTer was wrong. I felt like I was having an aneurysm."
Following her snafu, Shields said she was texting her husband Christopher Henchy, a co-founder of comedy website ‘Funny or Die’ for advice on what to say about it when she presented an award later in the telecast. "He said, 'Just say you fucked up. You'll get bleeped. So what?'” Shields said. She did, and she was.