Shelley Duvall grew emotional in a rare interview as she recalled how difficult filming 1980 horror “The Shining” was.
In Stanley Kubrick’s iconic horror, Duvall played Wendy Torrance, who spends the majority of the movie in a state of hysteria as her husband Jack, portrayed by Jack Nicholson, goes insane inside a snowed-in hotel and eventually tries to kill his family with an axe.
The movie took 56 weeks to film and the schedule was gruelling as Kubrick liked to shoot a vast number of takes for each scene for up to 16 hours per day, six days a week.
During a rare interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Duvall, who walked away from Hollywood in the ’90s, watched a clip of the staircase scene, in which she meekly swings a bat at Nicholson as he threatens to kill her, and began to cry at the thought of filming that scene 127 times.
“It was a difficult scene, but it turned out to be one of the best scenes in the film,” she said. “(I’m crying) because we filmed that for about three weeks. Every day. It was very hard. Jack was so good – so damn scary. I can only imagine how many women go through this kind of thing.”
She admitted constantly crying and being hysterical for such a long shoot took its toll on her. Sometimes she would need to play sad songs before a scene to get her in the right headspace but sometimes simply looking at the shooting schedule would make her cry for real.
“After a while, your body rebels. It says: ‘Stop doing this to me. I don’t want to cry every day.’ And sometimes just that thought alone would make me cry,” she confessed. “To wake up on a Monday morning, so early, and realize that you had to cry all day because it was scheduled – I would just start crying. I’d be like, ‘Oh no, I can’t, I can’t.’ And yet I did it. I don’t know how I did it. Jack said that to me, too. He said, ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ ”
– Cover Media