‘The Shining’ star Shelley Duvall returns to acting after 20 years: How producers got her to say ‘yes’

“The Shining” star Shelley Duvall is back on the screen for the first time in 20 years.

The 73-year-old actress, who last appeared in the 2002 independent film “Manna From Heaven,” was featured in the official trailer for the upcoming movie “The Forest Hills.”

In the movie, Duvall plays the mother of Rico (Chico Mendez), a man who is tormented by visions while wandering through the Catskills mountains.

“You’re a f—–g murderer, Rico!” Duvall shouts in the trailer while standing against a black background and glaring into the camera.

“The Shining” star Shelley Duvall is back on the screen for the first time in 20 years.
(Digital Thunderdome)

“The Forest Hills” was written and directed by Scott Goldberg and produced by Scott Hansen, with Golberg also serving as co-producer.

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The movie also stars Dee Wallace (“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”) and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day’s” Edward Furlong.

Duvall first became known for her memorable portrayals of quirky characters including Millie Lammoreaux in the 1977 drama “Three Women” and Olive Oyl in the 1980 live-action “Popeye” movie.

She shot to international fame when she starred as Wendy Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel “The Shining.”

After announcing her retirement in 2002, Duvall moved back to her home state of Texas and stayed out of the public spotlight.

Duvall shot to fame after starring in "The Shining" but retired from acting in 2002.

Duvall shot to fame after starring in “The Shining” but retired from acting in 2002.
(Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Hansen told Fox News Digital that he and Goldberg were huge fans of Duvall and “The Shining.”

Of casting Duvall, Hansen explained that it “was just one of those things where we’re like, ‘Hey, do you think we could bring her out of retirement?’”

“We just reached out to her, and it took probably like a couple hundred phone calls to get her to say yes, and then she was really excited,” Hansen added.

The filmmakers traveled to Duvall’s home in Texas for the shoot, which was filmed last week. Hansen said, “It was pretty awesome to meet her, honestly, because that was just a huge thing for me as a filmmaker.”

“We just reached out to her, and it took probably like a couple hundred phone calls to get her to say yes, and then she was really excited.”

— Producer Scott Hansen

Hansen told Fox News Digital that though Duvall had been out of the acting game for a long time, her talent was “still there.” “It’s just dormant,” he added. 

“I hope this role kind of helps her out a little bit. You know, maybe gives her a little push.”

Hansen said that Duvall shared stories about her time working on “The Shining” and her difficult experiences with Kubrick, who she said would sometimes make her do 130 takes of one scene to capture the torment felt by the terrified Wendy.

Duvall has spoken out about her difficult experiences on set with director Stanley Kubrick.

Duvall has spoken out about her difficult experiences on set with director Stanley Kubrick.
(2011 Getty Images)

“I direct too, and you put actors through 130 takes in one scene, you are going to break them, and I could just tell from her talking about those experiences like that movie just took a toll,” he said.

Hansen told Fox News Digital that when the filmmakers explained the character of Rico’s mother to Duvall, she said, “This is kind of reverse of what I went through on ‘The Shining.’”

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“I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s kind of the point in a weird retrospect. We’re trying to flip it for you, you know?'”

Hansen said that the filmmakers didn’t expect the amount of media attention that the film has received due to Duvall’s comeback. 

The movie is set to be released in 2023, and Hansen told Fox News Digital that Kevin Smith has reached out about hosting the premiere.

“Which was insane, the Kevin Smith,” he said with a laugh.

“He has a theater in New Jersey, so we are going to fly Shelley up when the movie’s done, probably in March.”

For her part, Duvall told the Hollywood Reporter that she enjoyed working on the project. “It was a lot of fun and I’m excited to be back,” she said.

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