Shelley Duvall, 71, breaks silence on ‘trauma’ she suffered while filming The Shining

Jack Nicholson stars in the 1980 classic horror The Shining

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The Shining has gone down in history as one of the scariest psychological horror films of all time, and main actress Shelley Duvell admitted she would spend days on set of the 1980s film crying. Duvall, who chose to drift off the Hollywood scene, spoke out in a very rare interview about her trauma filming the movie along with its gruelling schedule, which took 56 weeks to film.

Your body says, ‘Stop doing this to me, I don’t want to cry everyday’

Shelley Duvell

Produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, the film is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel, with Duvell playing Wendy Torrence, wife of Jack Torrence (played by Jack Nicholson) who is driven crazy by the supernatural goings on in the resort hotel.

The reclusive actress revealed Kubrick would shoot six days a week, up to 16 hours a day, explaining: “[Kubrick] doesn’t print anything until at least the 35th take.

“Thirty-five takes, running and crying and carrying a little boy, it gets hard. And full performance from the first rehearsal.

“That’s difficult.”

She recalled going to great lengths to get herself in the right headspace to play her terrorised character, using a Sony Walkman to listen to sad songs or thinking of unhappy memories.

“You just think about something very sad in your life or how much you miss your family or friends,” she continued.

“But after a while, your body rebels. It says, ‘Stop doing this to me. I don’t want to cry everyday.’

“And sometimes just that thought alone would make me cry.”

The 71-year-old star told The Hollywood Reporter: “To wake up on a Monday morning, so early, and realise 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.'”

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In a 2015 interview with film critic Roger Ebert, Duvell said making the film was “almost unbearable”.

“But from other points of view, really very nice, I suppose,” she added.

Duvall has not worked as an actress since 2002 and chose to relocate from California to Texas 27 years ago.

After avoiding the limelight for a decade and a half, the movie star revealed her struggle with mental illness in November 2016.

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