After 20 years out of the public spotlight and the film world altogether, acclaimed The Shining actress Shelley Duvall is returning to the big screen. Per Deadline, she’s set to star in the indie horror flick The Forest Hills from writer/director Scott Goldberg where she’ll portray the mother of a mentally deranged man. Deadline also shared the first look at Duvall from behind-the-scenes on set.
Duvall has been missing from screens since her appearance in 2002’s Manna From Heaven. Before then, she was a beloved star, known for her brilliant turns in Three Women, Annie Hall, and Nashville among others. Her magnum opus came with Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining, though, which saw her star opposite Jack Nicholson. Although initially panned for the performance, she’s now viewed as part of the heart and soul of the film, playing the tormented mother trapped with her rapidly mentally deteriorating husband. She’d go on to co-star with Robin Williams in Popeye and take on a slew of other roles, even earning a pair of Emmy nominations for Shelley Duvall’s Bedtime Stories and Tall Tales & Legends. Throughout her career, she teamed with many famous actors and directors, earned a Peabody Award, and took home the Cannes Film Festival Best Actress prize among so much more.
The last time the public saw Duvall was under more unfortunate circumstances. In 2016, she reappeared on an episode of Dr. Phil, sparking a firestorm of outrage as stars throughout the industry, including Kubrick‘s daughter Vivian Kubrick, slammed the talk show host for exploiting the actress. During the interview, she discussed her personal battles with mental illness which contributed to her retirement.
The Forest Hills centers on Rico (Chiko Mendez), a disturbed man who suffers from nightmarish visions after suffering a head injury up in the Catskill Mountains. Duvall is set to play Rico’s mother, serving as his guiding inner voice throughout the film. Joining her and Mendez are Edward Furlong and Dee Wallace.
Goldberg was ecstatic to have Duvall aboard the project, telling Deadline:
We are huge fans of The Shining and it’s honestly one of my favorite horror movies of all time, up there with John Carpenter’s Halloween and George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead with the dark tones they delivered in their movies, along with perfect scores and elements that make them my personal favorites. Shelley contributed to The Shining being an absolute masterpiece by giving her all, and performing in a way that really showcased the fear and horror of a mother in isolation.
Filming is currently underway on The Forest Hills. Check out the first image of Duvall behind-the-scenes below.