Lia Beldam is a model and is best known to
genre audiences for her one and only screen appearance as the young Mrs. Grady who
resides in room 237 in Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING (1980). Mrs. Beldam was gracious enough to discuss
with me her experiences on appearing in the film.
Jonathan Stryker: Where were you born and
where did you grow up?
Lia Beldam: I was born in Switzerland and
lived in the county of Zurich. I went to
secretarial college after finishing my regular school and did my work
experience in a couture house. There I
was asked to model now and again. I then
went to London to a college to study English and after I graduated I met my
husband and got married at the age of twenty.
JS: How did you become a model?
LB: I worked as an interpreter and later in a
patent office where one of the girls asked me to meet her uncle who was one of
the top photographers in London, Michael Boys. He gave me a job and with his
pictures I went to a modeling agent. In
the beginning, I did catwalk shows, including modeling for royalty and then I
concentrated only on photographic work.
JS: How did getting a role in THE SHINING
come to you?
LB: My agent was approached by Hawks Films to
supply girls for the ballroom scene in THE SHINING and I was sent along. My portfolio had many nude beauty shots in it
and therefore they gave me the role as the ghost. I never did the ballroom
scene. I had heard of Stanley Kubrick and had seen some of his films. On the set Stanley was extremely nice and
relaxed and never intimidating. The
same goes for Jack (Nicholson). He was absolutely charming and treated me with
great courtesy. We were all a team and
we had many laughs. The whole week I was
there was just one pleasant experience.
I was allowed to make suggestions for the scene and they were accepted.
Stanley's daughter (Vivian Kubrick) was on the set making a film of us all as
we went along.
JS: Do you recall what suggestions you made
for the scene?
LB: I suggested running my hands up Jack's
body very slowly till I reached his face
JS: Stanley Kubrick is known for having
demanded many takes. Did you shoot multiple takes of your scene?
LB: Yes, there were many, many takes!
JS: Did you shoot any additional scenes (to
your recollection) that did not end up in the film?
LB: No extra scenes were shot, however. We shot what you see in the film, so
everything was used. Before starting on
the film, I had no idea of what it was about.
I was not given a script and had not yet read the book. We shot it on a stage in Borehamwood in
JS: THE SHINING is the scariest movie I have
ever seen and it is my favorite horror film. What does it mean to you to be a
part of this film?
LB: I loved being in THE SHINING! However, as a model you get to move around
all sorts of wonderful locations and meet some amazingly interesting people.
For me, THE SHINING was just another very, very pleasant job.
JS: Do you get recognized by people who have
seen the film?
LB: Only my name gets recognized, not me.
JS: Where and when did you see THE SHINING
for the first time? What was that
LB: I saw THE SHINING in Leicester
Square, London when it was on general release. I loved it!