Shelley Duvall Talks About Her Return To Acting

February 22, 2023 / Posted by:

20 years after she left Hollywood for small-town Texas, the wickedly talented Shelley Duvall has returned to acting. She appears in the upcoming indie horror film, The Forest Hills, which stars a now-sober Edward Furlong. In a new interview with People, 73-year-old Shelley discusses her career, her comeback, and her hopes for the future. Fingers crossed that future includes a reboot of Faerie Tale Theatre! I’ve been jonesing for some new “Hello, I’m Shelley Duvall”s!

Shelley’s been making her slow return to the public eye for a few years now. Back in 2016, Dr. Phil did what Dr. Phil does and exploited Shelley’s mental health struggles. Shelley was contacted by the show’s producers and agreed to sit down for an interview, where she shared her conspiracy theories about shapeshifters and Robin Williams not being dead. In a 2021 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said, “I found out the kind of person he [Dr. Phil] is the hard way.” Shelley’s also known for doing little interviews and meet-ups with local fans and film buffs.

In the People interview, Shelley says she’s happy to return to acting: “Acting again – it’s so much fun. It enriches your life.” The interviewer writes that there’s always been speculation about her mental health, but, in person, Shelley is “sharp, earthy, a bit eccentric and sometimes emotional.” Shelley insisted on doing the interview from her SUV because a foot injury makes it difficult to walk. Another perk of an SUV interview? If the interviewer tries to pull anything funny, a la Dr. Phil, she can make a fast getaway. “Goodbye, I’m Shelley Duvall!” Shelley reflects on becoming an “unconventional It girl” in the ’70s. She admits she didn’t actually feel beautiful at the time, cuz she had “big eyes, big ears.” And, unfortunately, despite her success in the biz, Shelley claims she didn’t make a ton of money:

 “You didn’t get paid much—just scale plus 10 percent,” she says. “They thought women would just marry and the husband’s going to support them. But that doesn’t happen for everybody.”

That sucks. Shelley deserves a life-long pension for dealing with Stanley Kubrick on the set of The Shining. Speaking of men from her past, Shelley declined to talk about past boyfriends like Paul Simon and Ringo Starr, but she’s happy to dish about her old movies. She says when she stumbles across them on TV, she’ll always stop and watch:

“On one channel there is Popeye and another one The Shining. Boy, those are two different films,” she says. “But in a way it’s like, ‘Gosh, I was great.’ “

Shelley explains that she initially moved back to Texas in the ‘90s after her brother was diagnosed with spinal cancer. She says she wanted to reconnect with her family. But, after 20 years of retirement, she’s pleased as punch to be acting again:

Duvall says she enjoyed getting back in front of the camera and hopes to continue acting. “[Jessica Tandy] won an Oscar when she was 80. I can still win,” she says with a wink and a laugh. But first she’s off to place another order. “Let’s go to Dairy Queen and get ourselves some decadent desserts.”

Decadent desserts from Dairy Queen > a lousy ol’ Oscar. I’m happy to hear Shelley has her priorities in order!

Pic: YouTube

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