Courteney Cox hopes ‘Shining Vale’ has a a ghost of a chance

'Friends' alum is back in Starz ghost story

Courteney Cox of ‘Shining Vale’ Sunday on Starz

Q: What appealed to you about “Shining Vale” to make you want to make it your next series?

A: I guess I just think this character is so real and grounded. “Cougar Town” was still a comedy, and it wasn’t taken as seriously. It was really broad, and then there was “Dirt,” and I think that was a little before its time. It could have been a really salacious, fun, exciting show, and I think it got a little too heady.

But this character, it just fits. It feels like something that’s just rich and deep, and I get to go into places that I have never been to before and be raw and vulnerable. I think I’ve worked harder on this than I have anything else, and I want to continue to, because I’m obsessed with it. I love the show. I love the cast. It’s really just unique in every way.

Q: Is it true that you’re making “Shining Vale” on the same Warner Bros. Studios sound stage where you filmed “Friends”?

A: We were on Stage 5. That’s where the attic is in the (new) show. And I remember that on that stage, the dressing rooms were really small. I don’t think we even spent time in there. There was one bathroom that we all had to share, I think, including the crew. So we didn’t stay on that stage very long (while making “Friends”).

Q: Has making “Shining Vale” reminded you of any ghost stories you have yourself?

A: I used to live in a house on top of Lookout Mountain in Laurel Canyon. It was a Tudor house … very, very old. Gypsy Rose Lee used to live in it. I wouldn’t know a ghost if literally one was sitting on my lap — I’m just not that kind of person — here I am with an acting teacher. She passed away, but she used to come out and she’d say, “It’s weird. I have a feeling in this house. I keep feeling drafts.” I’m like, “Oh, OK. I haven’t noticed anything.”

Then I had a friend, and they had a dream that they saw this woman in a white dress, and she came and sat down on the bed next to me. And I thought, “OK.” I didn’t still believe it, then one day I was at the door and the doorbell rang. It was a FedEx guy and he goes, “Are you aware that there is a spirit in this house?” And I go, “No, why are you saying that?” And he said, “Because they’re standing right behind you.” And then I moved.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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