Of all the cast alumni from John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween, the journey of Kyle Richards may just be the most unique, going from little Lindsey Wallace in Haddonfield to one of the original Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, with some pretty interesting stops along the way at Disney, Little House on the Prairie, and numerous more bloody thrillers within the horror genre.
We caught up with Kyle last month to talk to about this year’s landmark 35th anniversary of Halloween and get her memories of making the iconic film and her thoughts on its immortal legacy three and a half decades later.
Already a veteran actor by the time she got the role of Lindsey Wallace, Kyle told us, “I was so young, I don’t remember that particular audition. I had also just done another horror film right before that. I think The Carwas before that, so I started doing these scary movies young, but I don’t remember the actual audition. The filming I do remember.
“I remember exactly where we were when we were filming. I remember being on the set, and it was not scary at all. It was like hanging out on the set, playing cards, having fun. I wasn’t scared at all.
“I remember doing that walk into the laundry room. It felt like we did that a hundred times. I don’t know why. I don’t remember exactly specific directions. I do remember when we ran out screaming. I was always a very good screamer. I think that’s probably why I did so many horror films. You know, it was just, ‘Scream your lungs out and run for your lives’. (Laughing)
“Every time I drive on Sunset past where we filmed, no matter what, no matter how late I am or many years later, I always remember filming.”
Kyle says that the film’s star Jamie Lee Curtis took her role as caretaker and protector of the two children on set very seriously, both on and off camera.
“I always remember Jamie just being so sweet and kind, and just very maternal, even though she was so young herself,” Kyle said. “She was a very maternal type, and she was really sweet to me.
“You work with some actors and they ignore the kids, some that are more playful with the kids, and some that take on kind of a nurturing role with the kids, and she was more of the nurturing type, just looking after us.
“I remember she picked me up and carried me all the way back to my dressing room, which wasn’t that close by either. She was just always sweet and thoughtful like that.“
Kyle said that the making of Halloween was a very lighthearted, fun experience, like most sets that she remembers working on as a child, but she is quick to point out two notable exceptions that gave her nightmares even before she ever saw the finished films.
“Everybody was really nice on the set of Halloween,” Kyle said. “I’ve always had positive experiences ever since I was little on all the movies and TV shows I’ve done. I’ve only had two odd, I’d call them negative, experiences.
“One was a film called Eaten Alive. The guy that did The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hopper) directed it, and that film really gave me nightmares for I don’t even know how long. It was absolutely horrifying making the film. I didn’t have that feeling from Halloween. It was very disturbing working with method actors. You don’t want to work with a method actor who’s playing a murderer. Note self: Don’t do that again.
“And this other film was called Friendships, Secrets, and Lies. Tina Louise was a method actor too that was odd and kind of scared me.
“Other than that I’ve always had positive experiences, like doing Little House on the Prairie for all those years with Michael Landon and the cast of that show, and only good stuff on Halloween.
“Growing up on the set, I was always like playing card games with all crew guys. It wasn’t your typical upbringing. I think I was eight (on Halloween).”
Though she was already a Hollywood veteran by age eight, Kyle remembers the Halloween set having an especially cozy and warm atmosphere.
“Donald Pleasance, I had done Escape to Witch Mountain with him, so I had met him, and John Carpenter knew my mom and my sister,” she said. “Our mom was our manager. So it was always just a very fun environment, just having fun on the set and my mom trying to keep my life as normal as possible considering we were in movies and television.
“On Little House on the Prairie, on a break on the set, we would all be fishing in a pond or making picnics outside or riding horses or riding my roller skates. When we weren’t filming or doing homework, I’d be roller skating, or she (my mom) would have us do just normal exercising outside, having fun. She tried her best to keep us down to Earth and tried to live a normal life.
“Other kids got up and went to school. I got up and I went to work and made movies.”
As we stated in our opening, Kyle Richards has a unique career in that she is a “former” child actor who has not only grown up to be a well-adjusted adult, but has also seen her career reach even greater heights as an adult. We asked the actress how she survived the Hollywood machine at such a young age and managed to come out of it okay, and she told us that there are plenty of others just like her, but they’re not the ones we hear about.
“I think it depends on the person,” Kyle said. “I lot of people will say, ‘Oh look what happens to a child actor’, but I think you’re either predisposed to be like that or not. That’s my take on it, because there’s a lot of child actors who go on to lead normal lives, who are educated and successful, but you just don’t hear about those.
“I knew child actors who are now producers. Look at Brooke Shields. There are a lot of people that have grown up in it and they’re together and normal. For me, it was just always a positive experience, and fortunately I didn’t go down that (negative) path.”
Like many of the former cast members we spoke to this year, Richards told us that she would love to have a return visit to Haddonfield.
“I do think it would be fun if they did another one now, at this point, where Brian (Andrews) and I are grown up and older, and get Jamie and we could all be in it,” Kyle said. “That would be cool. What could they do with all of the original cast? That would be interesting. I think that would be amazing. But like I said, it would have to be the original cast, otherwise it just wouldn’t be the same.
“I don’t know if it ever will happen, but we can hope. I think we need to tell John Carpenter he needs to do this. You never know. We’ll put it out there. We’ll plant that seed and see what happens. I think it would be a lot of fun and very interesting. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.”
Be sure to click here for Part 1 of our interview with Kyle Richards, and then click here to read our entire “Halloween at 35″ retrospective series, including additional interviews with P.J. Soles, Brian Andrews, Caroline Williams, and more!
You can see Kyle in John Carpenter’s Halloween, playing in limited theaters this week, and on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, returning for Season 4 on Monday, November 4 on Bravo.