Kyle Richards' life in horror: From Eaten Alive to her new film Halloween Kills
Think some of the behavior on the Real Housewives franchise is terrifying? Then you should check out the early acting career of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards, who spent her childhood appearing in a host of scary movies, including director Tobe Hooper's 1976 flick Eaten Alive and John Carpenter's 1978 slasher classic Halloween, in which she played Lindsey Wallace.
The actress is now reprising that role in Halloween Kills, Dave Gordon Green's new follow-up to 2018's Halloween. To mark her return to the genre, we called up Richards to discuss her history in horror.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I'm guessing you didn't think you'd be reprising your Halloween role all these years later.
KYLE RICHARDS: I know. People keep on saying 40 [years]. I'm like, I think it's a little more, but I'm going to let it slide. [Laughs] Yeah, I never ever imagined that, absolutely. I never, realized what an iconic film I was making at the time either. I mean, I was just a kid. I had no idea it was going to be such a pop culture phenomenon. I'm just really proud and excited that I get to be a part of it. It was just such an incredible experience then and now.
I want to talk about then in a minute, but how were you approached about Halloween Kills?
Well, I interviewed Jamie Lee Curtis for Entertainment Tonight and then ended up going to the premiere of the last Halloween movie. They asked me on the red carpet, "Why weren't you in this?" So I was like, "Well, I don't know, why wasn't I in this?" Danny McBride [who co-wrote 2018's Halloween] was standing there and I kind of heavily hinted, and then I got a call saying the director wanted to meet with me. So David Gordon Green and I met, and we had a conversation, and I felt really good about it. I was like, "I think I'm going to be in this movie." Then he called me to say they wanted me to be in it, and he wanted to give me a little heads-up about a scene that could be a little scary for me and wanted to know how comfortable I was going to be with it, and it kind of went from there.
Your part is not a cameo. This is a full-fledged supporting role. There is running and screaming!
I know, I know. When I agreed to do it I was like, "I don't know how big this part's going to be." I mean, I'm definitely not the lead, but it was very time-consuming. I had to be there for a long time. I was flying back and forth filming The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and then I had to go to North Carolina to film Halloween Kills, and I was doing my clothing line in New York City, so I was so exhausted. But the only time I really felt alive and invigorated was when I was in Wilmington making this movie. I was just so excited and happy to be there, and around such an incredible crew and cast. I couldn't feel tired for a second because I was so happy.
What do you remember about filming the first Halloween?
I remember just enjoying being on the set. My mom was there every day, and Jamie Lee Curtis was sweet with me. You know, once you do one horror film, you end up doing a whole bunch. So I would go into a casting office, and the director and producer would have me read the script, and then they'd say, "Let me hear how loud you can scream," and I would just go, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" So I remember screaming a lot, being chased, hiding in closets, and Jamie Lee Curtis being an angel to me.
When I lived in Los Angeles, I would give visitors the "John Carpenter Tour" and take them to the alley from They Live and the church from Prince of Darkness and the houses from Halloween in West Hollywood.
Yeah, up on Sunset! I remember that exactly. [Close to] Sunset and Fairfax, where the Kentucky Fried Chicken was.
Did you stay in contact with Jamie Lee Curtis after the first Halloween?
Yes. Funny enough, years later, she ended up doing a movie with my ex-boyfriend, C. Thomas Howell, called Grandview, U.S.A. We are both very passionate about Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and we bond over that and Halloween. So over the years, we've always stayed in touch. She's always so incredibly supportive of me, and she even showed up on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She always makes a point to tell me that she's proud of me and my marriage and my family, and that I kept my head on straight. It really means a lot to me.
Before Halloween you were in the Tobe Hooper movie Eaten Alive.
Yes. That was actually disturbing to film. That caused me a lot of anxiety as a child. I was being chased with a sickle by Neville Brand! And they were telling me to hide under a motel. I think it was the Universal lot as well, where there were rats, and my mom was like, "My daughter's not going under that fake motel with the rats." They were like, "They're trained!" My mom was like, "I don't believe [the] rats are trained!" My mom had them go buy a dress in a bigger size. She said, "The makeup artist is tiny. Have her pretend she's my daughter, and she can climb under the house." Then I did Universal's The Car with my sister [Kim Richards]. So I did a lot of scary movies, [including] The Watcher in the Woods with Bette Davis, which was Disney's first actual venture into a very scary movie.
Speaking of your sister Kim, she had worked with John Carpenter before you on Assault on Precinct 13, correct?
She has one of the most famous and memorable deaths in movie history, when she is shot by a gang member at an ice cream truck.
I mean, I remember that. I was very little, but I was on the set. I don't remember what I did yesterday, but I will never forget this. The vanilla ice cream was mashed potatoes, and I just remember it blowing up, the whole thing. So that was terrifying. I mean, no wonder I get anxiety these days! [Laughs]
Are you a fan of horror films?
I'm generally not. I like thrillers but [not] horror, I think because I did so many and I did have anxiety as a child. Making Halloween, the original, was not scary for me. But I went to the premiere and invited my best friend. We were little and my mom invited her, and [her] mom said, "Sure, cute little Halloween movie." She didn't know what she was getting herself into. We both slept with our moms 'til we were 15 years old after seeing the original Halloween. I was always thinking someone's under my bed or in the back seat of my car or in my closet.
Halloween Kills hits theaters and lands on Peacock Oct. 15. Watch the trailer for it above.
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