Steven King’s new book Doctor Sleep hit shelves late last month. The novel tells the unsettling story of what became of five-year-old Danny Torrence – the kid at the centre of The Shining. But what happened to the kid who played him in Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of King’s novel? Was his fate equally as dark?
I guess it all depends on your point of view. To some, spending all day trying to teach hungover college kids about science might seem difficult or daunting, to others it’s nothing short of a nightmare. Dan Loyd seems to like it well enough though. It was Dan who played Danny in the 1980 film, starring opposite Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and those creepy twin girls (who knows what happened to them). Since then, he’s had a pretty normal life – he quit acting at age 14 and has tried his hand at pig farming and teaching since.
Loyd is now 40 and leads, in his words, a “pretty normal life.” He doesn’t miss being psychic, when he goes to the grocery story he doesn’t get recognized as the kid who screams “REDRUM” 42 times, and he’s pretty happy living a quiet life in the Midwestern United States with his wife and six kids. He also doesn’t find The Shining, one of the most frightening movies ever made, to be all that scary.
I just personally don't find it scary because I saw it behind the scenes," the erstwhile actor told the New York Daily News. But don’t go thinking that being in Kubrick’s film turned Loyd into some hard-to-spook horror buff "I know it might be kind of ironic, but I like funny films and documentaries," he admits. Interestingly enough, Loyd didn’t watch The Shining until he was a teenager, after he’d quit acting. Not only did it not scare him, but he actually has pleasant memories of being on set. "To be able to ride your bike inside was this great thing," he says, recalling the scene in which he rode his tricycle down the carpeted hall of the Overlook Hotel.
While Loyd says that a life in show business probably wouldn’t have suited him, he isn’t opposed to paying Hollywood a short visit sometime in the future – especially if Dr. Sleep gets a movie deal. "I would be up for a cameo for sure,” says the former child star. “That would be fun.”