‘The Shining’: Shelley Duvall Says Stanley Kubrick Was ‘Warm and Friendly’ To Her While Making the Horror Movie

In a shocking turn of events, Shelley Duvall says that Stanley Kubrick was “warm and friendly” to her while making The Shining. The movie, based on the Stephen King novel, is notorious for its behind-the-scenes drama. Specifically, the drama between Kubrick and Duvall.

It is common knowledge that the two didn’t get along throughout the filming process, and they often butted heads off-screen. Yet, according to a recent interview with Duvall, he was also very kind to her while making the movie.

Shelley Duvall
Shelley Duvall | Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

What was the drama between Stanley Kubrick and Shelley Duvall?

According to Jack Nicholson, who masterfully plays Jack Torrance, Kubrick was a “totally different director” with Duvall. While Kubrick had a brotherly relationship with Nicholson, he was brutal with his treatment of Duvall.

“We had a good, friendly relationship,” Nicholson says of Kubrick. The actor then says, “He was a completely different director with Shelley.”

In fact, Duvall was so stressed during the making of the horror film that she began to lose clumps of hair. When she confronted Kubrick with this information in The Making of The Shining, he mocked her and assumed she was exaggerating. And sadly, Duvall says the film took a toll on her mental health.

“From May until October, I was really in and out of ill health because the stress of the role was so great,” she says in the book titled The Complete Kubrick. “Stanley pushed me and prodded me further than I’ve ever been pushed before. It’s the most difficult role I’ve ever had to play.”

Shelley Duvall admits that Stanley Kubrick was friendly while making ‘The Shining’

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Duvall was asked if Kubrick was like Jack Torrance from the movie. Duvall said, “No.”

“No, he was very warm and friendly to me,” she shockingly reveals. “(Kubrick) spent a lot of time with Jack and me. He just wanted to sit down and talk for hours while the crew waited. And the crew would say, ‘Stanley, we have about 60 people waiting.’ But it was very important work.”

And in a separate interview with Comingsoon.net, the actor said that Kubrick gets a bad rap.

“Oh, Stanley gets a bad reputation sometimes, but he was a perfectionist,” she said. “We had our moments when we laughed and joked around on set, but then there were times that we just exploded at each other! I’m a very stubborn person and don’t like being bossed around and told what to do. Stanley pushed and pushed to get the performance out of me that he wanted.”

And according to Duvall, she appreciates how hard he pushed her because it got a fantastic performance out of her. “It was a hell of a shoot, but he got what he wanted out of me!” she adds.

Shelley Duvall is proud that people are still watching ‘The Shining’ decades later


‘The Shining’: Why Shelley Duvall Said She ‘Resented’ Stanley Kubrick

“It was one of the most grueling experiences on a set I’ve had, but the end result was worth it,” said Duvall. “Don’t get me wrong, Stanley was a very kind and warm man. He has a vision in his head on what he wants to see through his camera, and if you don’t quite understand where he is coming from, he gets frustrated and angry. Communication and understanding play a big part in film sets, and I just wasn’t getting it. I did in the end. And even though the atmosphere on set was sometimes unpleasant, I’m now remembered for a film that’s become a horror classic. The fact that people are still watching and talking about it 31 years later amazes me.”

It has now been over 40 years since the film was released.