Horror is a laughing matter in the new Starz series ‘Shining Vale’

Courtesy of Starz

Horror and comedy collide in the new Starz series Shining Vale, debuting Sunday.

Courteney Cox and Greg Kinnear play Patricia “Pat” Phelps and her husband Terry — a couple stuck in a rut professional and personally, and they move their whole family into an old home that turns out to be haunted. Series co-creator Sharon Horgan describes the premise to ABC Audio as “The Shining reimagined as a comedy.”

Cox’s character is not exactly the perfect wife and mother, according to Horgan’s partner Jeff Astrof, who notes, “She cheated on her husband…is not a very good mother [and] curses a lot.”

It’s not a role most people wanted to play, but Courteney says it was an amazingly complex character she was lucky to play.

“Depression and midlife crisis, all of it. I mean, you know, mental health issues and you know, the fact that she is a writer. If you just took that, and hasn’t written in 17 years and you know, she used to have all this money and contribute to the family, and now she feels hopeless and alone and depressed,” she explains. “That’s an interesting thing to play just in itself, but there’s so many things else that I get to do.”

So does Cox believe in ghosts? The Friends alum admits she didn’t — until a recent trip to England.

“I saw something and I woke up [partner, Johnny McDaid],” she recalls. “I was like, Johnny, and he said, ‘Courteney, you’re asleep.’ I said, ‘I’ve been up, I’m jet lagged, I’m not asleep, I’m not even that tired.’ But I wasn’t petrified. I just was – I was I was wanting it to stop. And I could see things, I’m not kidding.” 

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