As one of the longest reigning queens on Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise, Kyle Richards has found great success on camera, even if it wasn’t exactly what she imagined for herself as a kid. The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” fan favorite began her career as a child actress at just five years old, following in the footsteps of her sisters Kathy and Kim, who have also appeared on the reality show at different times. Though not her biggest role (she had a longstanding run on “ER” in the early aughts), her most notorious appearance is in the original “Halloween,” a role she reprises in “Halloween Ends.”
While the shots fired at some of those dinner parties may make reality TV look a lot like a horror movie, Richards insists they’re very different beasts.
“Unfortunately, it’s not scripted. It’s not set up. And I’m just myself there,” she said during a recent interview with IndieWire. “They are very, very different. Being yourself on camera and dealing with that is a lot more challenging for me than acting is. I would rather act all day long. … I first didn’t realize that doing it was going to maybe be hurting me because people knew me as Kyle.”
At eight years old, Richards originated the role of Lindsey Wallace in “Halloween,” one of the kids babysat by Jamie Lee Curtis’ iconic character Laurie Strode. Though Lindsey popped up in a few of the sequels, it wasn’t until David Gordon Green’s updated take on the franchise that Richards returned, appearing in last year’s “Halloween Kills” and the supposedly final “Halloween Ends.”
“I never imagined all these years, starting at eight years old, that I’d be here until the very end, decades later,” she said. “I hate the fact that it says it ends. I was like, ‘Is it really going to end?’ But if it does have to end, I think the way they did it is the best way possible.”
While her acting career may have needed a boost from “Housewives,” Richards has shown a remarkable savvy navigating the reality show gauntlet, which can be harrowing both onscreen and off. She has managed to stay out of the fray enough to not alienate herself from the other women, while also providing enough drama to keep herself central to the show. It’s a rare kind of longevity not often seen on the franchise, which has highly opinionated fans who can turn on a dime.
“I mean, think that I’ve just always been true to myself on the show, and I’m not afraid to speak up. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty at times. I’m not afraid to show the good, the bad and the ugly,” she said. “[A great housewife] is someone who’s not afraid to show it all, who doesn’t need to look perfect all the time. Someone who is not afraid to show their flaws, have an opinion, speak up, OK with being hated sometimes, okay with being loved sometimes, just sort of bearing it all and being OK with what comes with that.”
Though she only appears in a few scenes as a local bartender and tarot card reader, Lindsey is a grounding presence for Laurie and her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) throughout the mayhem of “Halloween Ends.” As anyone who’s seen the amazing supercut of Curtis knows, Green’s interpretation of “Halloween” focuses on family trauma, inherited trauma, and generational trauma. With both of her outspoken sisters on the show, it’s a family affair for Richards on “Housewives.” In the latest season, she had to defend her sister Kathy against some pretty nasty allegations that she had used bigoted language off camera.
“I think every family deals with some trauma, and every family has their secrets and their issues that they go through. It’s very hard to have these issues play out on camera,” said Richards. “If you saw the reunion, it was extremely difficult for me. And it affects me deeply as it does most people, family issues.”
With her family in the fray, Richards had to abandon her neutral peacekeeper role this season, becoming embroiled more directly in the drama than she typically does. With such accusations flying, one can’t help but ask why she keeps doing it.
“We actually do have a lot of fun,” she said. “I think that kind of gets lost sometimes, but we do have a lot of fun. I couldn’t keep doing the show all these years if we didn’t.”
“Halloween Ends” is now in theaters and streaming on Peacock.