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In Sharon Horgan’s Shining Vale, Relationships are the True Horror

Picture this — Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining but make it funny. Adding laughs to one of the most beloved psychological horrors is a tall task. But for Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Divorce) that’s exactly the specter she was chasing for her and Jeff Astrof’s new Starz series Shining Vale. The duo chatted exclusively with SheKnows’ Reshma Gopaldas about their new horror-comedy series, now streaming on Starz, how they got Courteney Cox involved, and why relationships are the real horror story of this show.

“I’ve always loved horror ever since I was little, and I’ve always loved writing about relationships,” Horgan shared with us. “I had the feeling that if you were going to do a certain horror-comedy crossover, you’d need to have fairly high stakes. The idea of it being The Shinning but funny was the thing that sort of motivated it. But also it was this idea that you don’t really know if this woman is losing her mind or not.”

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The woman in question is Pat Phelps, played by FriendsCougar Town, and Scream alum Courteney Cox. When Astrof and Horgan started writing the character, they didn’t exactly have anyone particular in mind for the role. It was only when Cox read one of the scripts that she reached out to Astrof, who previously wrote on Friends, and explained why she was so interested in the project.

“The reason she wasn’t our first call was just because we didn’t want this to be Scream,” Astrof shared with us. “And we kind of saw, ‘Oh, that’s what Courteney does with horror,’ and Scream has its own thing,” he went on. But Cox was adamant about the project, and expressed how deeply the character spoke to her. Cox expressed to Astrof that she wanted to do “something about a woman this age. Nobody writes anything for specifically my age,” Astrof recalled Cox sharing with him. “I would say that it wasn’t written for her in mind, but the first time I heard her read the script I think I changed maybe one or two lines…It was just meant to be with her.”

Watch our full video interview with Sharon Horgan and Jeff Astrof above!

Before you go, click here to see more TV shows and marriages about marriages falling apart. 

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