When Kyliegh Curran began working on the movie adaption of Stephen King’s “Doctor Sleep,” she had nightmares for days.
“I remember this one dream super vividly. I was stuck in my bed, and this cult was all around me,” she recalled. “They didn’t do anything, but they were just staring at me. I remember waking up yelling.”
Although the 13-year-old Atlantan was terrified, those visions helped her prepare to shoot tons of scary scenes for her first feature film.
In the thriller, which was shot in Georgia, she plays Abra Stone, a young psychic. When she meets hospice nurse Dan Torrance, who has similar abilities, they venture to defeat the True Knot, a group that preys on innocent children with Stone’s powers.
The flick, out Nov. 8, is the sequel to the 1980 horror classic “The Shining,” also adapted from a Stephen King book. “The Shining” follows a school-aged Torrance, who discovers his supernatural capabilities after his family spends the winter at a haunted inn when his father is hired as the hotel’s caretaker.
“‘Doctor Sleep’ is the continuation of young Danny’s story, and I think everyone wants to know what happened to him,” Curran said. “It’s also compelling. I think it relates to the real world. There’s a lot of people that are just as evil the True Knot, and there’s a lot good people that try to stop them.”
While Curran doesn’t have psychic abilities like her character, she’s been developing her acting skills for years.
At age 7, she started taking theater classes. From dance conservatories to acting workshops, she fell in love with the craft easily. She learned to master the audition process, and by 11, she was starring as Young Nala in Broadway’s “The Lion King.”
“Imagine a bouncy ball bouncing off the walls but on the ceiling, too! That was me when I found out about ‘Lion King,’” she said.
She had a similar reaction when her mother pulled her out of class to tell her she landed a major role in “Doctor Sleep.”
“I walked out, and my mom shut the door. She whispered, ‘Kyliegh, you’re going to be in a movie! We were jumping all over the hallways,” she laughed.
Despite her blossoming career in entertainment, education remains a top priority for Curran. The home-schooled student dips off to complete assignments between takes and during press runs.
She also still makes time for her hobbies, like ballet and writing, and for family hangouts with her three siblings and parents.
“I’m so grateful. They’re so supportive. My whole family is just amazing,” she gushed.
In fact, her loved ones inadvertently helped her get rid of those scary nightmares she had been experiencing.
“You really just gotta know who you are. Keep your life apart from your character or else it can really mess with your mind,” she said. “I just thought of all the positive things in the world and just how fun it was to be in a movie.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.