'RHOBH' season 9: From Wild Thing to Real Housewife, the amazing journey of Denise Richards
After almost half a decade, Richards is back on the small screen with 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hill's new season and all we can say is, it's perfectly timed.
Denise Richards was like a star that burned too bright - she burst onto the entertainment scene in the late 1990s, was on top of the world for a while and then fizzled out and suddenly you couldn't see her anymore. A lot went down with her life and although the initial years of her life were troubled, she did manage to swing her career around. After almost half a decade, Richards is back on the small screen with 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hill's new season and all we can say is, it's perfectly timed.
Richards started her career doing small roles in low budget films and guest spots in shows like 'Married With Children', 'Beverly 90210', 'Seinfeld', 'Lois and Clark' and 'Melrose Place'. She then hit her big break with 'Starship Troopers' in 1997 where she played Carmen Ibanez, a Captain in the military. Her role, although objectifying in bits, was quite substantial. The film received negative reviews from critics on release and didn't really make huge sales. It grossed $54.5 million in the US and a total of $121.2 million worldwide against its budget of $105 million. The film, however, was good for Denise. She was nominated for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Female Newcomer that year.
Neve Campbell and Denise Richards in John McNaughton's WILD THINGS released on this day in 1998. pic.twitter.com/bc8ReaGEuh— Peter Avellino (@PeterAPeel) March 20, 2014
Then she followed it up with 'Wild Things' just a year later. A pivotal film in her career, her performance as a manipulative seductress Kelly Ryan is her best-known stint on screen till date. Denise's role was offbeat and uncommon at the time but it focused on just how great she looked, perhaps a little too much. Not that it was a bad thing at the time - she landed up working in a Bond film in 1999. She was cast as nuclear physicist Christmas Jones in 'The World Is Not Enough'. While she thought it was a pretty great and substantial role, not everyone thought so.
Her credibility was questioned and the skimpy outfits throughout the film didn't help her case either. Entertainment Weekly, in fact, called her one of the worst Bond girls of all time. She then decided to try a satire and shared the screen with Kirsten Dunst in the beauty pageant satire, 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' in 1999. Then over the years, she guest starred as Cassie, Ross and Monica Gellar's hot cousin in the sitcom 'Friends' in 2001. Later that year she appeared in four episodes of 'Spin City' as Jennifer Duncan, a love interest of Charlie Sheen's character.
Richards may have seen herself as just a girl next door from Illinois, but the rest of the world didn't. She had the reputation of an enticing sex symbol that made her almost every boy's dream girl. Why wouldn't she be? She was tall, blond, curvaceous and gorgeous and had the legs of a supermodel. Unfortunately, she met the fate that most gorgeous young actresses do - she got typecast into being the shallow bombshell. The characters of almost all of her appearances on film and TV since 'Wild Things', especially roles in 'Blond and Blonder', 'Scary Movie 3' and 'Undercover Brother' were proof.
🎬MOVIE HISTORY: 15 years ago today, October 24, 2003 the movie ‘Scary Movie 3’ opened in theaters!#AnnaFaris #SimonRex #ReginaHall #CharlieSheen #LeslieNielsen #QueenLatifah #AnthonyAnderson #KevinHart #CamrynManheim #GeorgeCarlin #EddieGriffin @DENISE_RICHARDS @JennyMcCarthy pic.twitter.com/2iCLTyVPH7— Film News Nostalgia (@FilmNewsNos) October 24, 2018
It's not a terrible place to be, you may think and it's true - it wasn't. Denise still had work and was still being seen but then came along a disastrous marriage that almost ruined her for good - her marriage to Charlie Sheen. In the same year, as she made her 'Friends' legendary cameo, Richards got engaged to the Hollywood bad boy and married him the very next year. Richards had the best couple of years in this marriage before things started to unravel in 2005 when she was pregnant with their second child.
They kept it civil at first and even got counseling to fix their issues. Things got really out of hand after she filed for a restraining order from Sheen claiming there were death threats against her. She accused him of having gambling issues, being involved in prostitution and claimed that she had seen him visiting websites with "very young girls, who looked underage to me, with pigtails, braces, no pubic hair, performing oral sex with each other." Sheen called the allegations " a most obvious immature and transparent smear campaign designed to hurt, embarrass and ultimately extort me." Ultimately in 2006, Richards and Sheen's divorce became final and he was ordered to stay 300 feet away from his ex-wife and their daughters, except during supervised visits.
Richards was shunned by Hollywood after that, she said in an interview later because of how popular Sheen was with 'Two and a Half Men'. "I was surprised how much that affected me work wise…I was perceived as being a lunatic and crazy. There are people that have [since] come up to me and apologized for drinking the Kool-aid…It was hard," she told US Weekly. Richards continued focusing on her family for another two years and attempted to make a comeback in 2008 with an E! reality show called 'Denise Richards: It's Complicated'. Sheen objected to their daughters being a part of the show but Richards won this time too in court.
Charlie Sheen beds ex wife Denise Richards... in Anger Management pic.twitter.com/ov3awKc7iA— M A T T Y 🧚♂️ (@hellomattyW) April 6, 2013
The show didn't do too well and was canceled after two seasons in 2009. She did a couple of films like 'Jolene' and 'Finding Bliss' and appeared in 'Dancing with the Stars' for 5 episodes. She then went on to adopt another daughter Eloise Joni Richards in 2011. Things blew over with ex Sheen as well and the two are now on good terms. In fact, Richards also takes care of his kids from his now broken marriage with Brooke Mueller. In 2012, he made a cameo appearance in her movie 'Madea's Witness Protection' and she appeared in Sheen's television series, 'Anger Management' on the FX.
To be back on screen with a show like 'RHOBH' has got to be the perfect start over for Denise. She is definitely at a point in her life where she isn't raising kids or fighting court battles with former husbands - making it a sweet spot for a comeback. Her energy would surely vibe with the rest of the housewives, especially since she's already friends with Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards. With her other ventures like Denise Richards House of Style as well her animal welfare work, 'RHOBH' would be a great place to get back in the spotlight.
'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' returns for season nine on Tuesday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.