If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to grow up in Hollywood, Kyle Richards can shed some light.
On Wednesday, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star sat down with PEOPLE’s Dan Wakeford at the 92Y for a tell-all night of stories about being born into a California acting family. One of her many exciting anecdotes? That time she went on vacation with George Clooney and didn’t even know it. In fact, the realization didn’t hit her until she landed the role of nurse Dori Kerns on ER.
“The first day I was on the set of ER my friend said to me, ‘I can’t believe you’re going to see George again, that’s so cool,’ ” she recalled. “And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ And she started talking about this trip we went on and I was like, ‘Wait a minute — that George was George Clooney, the Sexiest Man Alive on PEOPLE magazine?!’ “
“I never put two and two together,” she continued. “I was friends with him when I was a teenager. So that first day I was shooting ER, he came up to me and he was like, ‘Hey, how are you?’ I was like, ‘I cannot believe he remembered and I didn’t. This is so embarrassing.’ He was just so sweet and down to earth. So lovely.”
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And that’s just one of Richards’ recollections from coming of age among the glitterati. In fact, she has so many stories to tell that she decided to develop and produce a TV series called American Woman, centered on and loosely inspired by the life of her late mother Kathleen Richards.
“My psychic told me that my mom really wanted her character to have red hair — she will come back and haunt us if this woman doesn’t have red hair!” Richards said on Wednesday. “And so I was focused on a red head, a red head, a red head. And then Alicia’s name came up and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, everyone loves Alicia Silverstone. She came to meet with us and we shared stories. She loved the script and she wanted to sink her teeth into the role, so we knew she was the one to play the part.”
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That’s not the only message Richards says her mom has sent her from the beyond.
“I really believe in these things,” she said. “After my mom passed away, I had hummingbirds following me all the time. It was very strange. My daughter came to me and said, ‘I’m really embarrassed at school, there’s this hummingbird that follows me and the kids are teasing me.’ And when my sister and I had a big fight on the season one finale, the next day I was so distraught and I could not stop crying. I was like ‘How am I ever going to fix this?’ And I came downstairs and there was a hummingbird on the ground.”
“I picked up the bird and was sobbing and it flew away,” she continued. “It was so weird. I get signs from my mom all the time.”
To watch Richards’ full interview, visit 92YOnDemand.org.
American Woman premieres Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on Paramount Network.