Scare and be scared

Hor­ror roy­alty Jamie Lee Curtis warns COLIN VICK­ERY he bet­ter not give her a fright

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

JAMIE Lee Curtis has a con­fes­sion to make. The most recog­nis­able face in hor­ror is ac­tu­ally a scaredy­cat in real life.

Curtis, the daugh­ter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, shot to fame in 1978 when she starred as Lau­rie Strode in Hal­loween and has been scar­ing au­di­ences ever since.

The 56-year-old be­came Hol­ly­wood’s reign­ing “scream queen” with Hal­loween II, The Fog, Prom Night, Terror Train and Road Games.

Now Curtis stars as univer­sity dean Cathy Mun­sch in Scream Queens op­po­site Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abi­gail Bres­lin and Skyler Sa­muels – but you get the feel­ing she won’t be watch­ing it.

“I scare very easily – and there is noth­ing about be­ing scared that I like,” Curtis says. “It is not some­thing I will pay money for. It is not some­thing that peo­ple around me are al­lowed to do.

“Peo­ple are not al­lowed to walk up to me and scare me. My chil­dren learned very early on, ‘Don’t scare Mummy’. Don’t give me a sur­prise party. That was some­thing be­tween my hus­band and I in our wed­ding vows.”

That doesn’t stop Curtis scar­ing other peo­ple, though. Scream Queens, from ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Ryan Mur­phy (Glee, Amer­i­can Hor­ror Story), mixes com­edy with hor­ror.

The first sea­son cen­tres on the Wal­lace Univer­sity cam­pus where a se­ries of mur­ders in­volv­ing the Kappa Kappa Tau soror­ity hap­pen which are seem­ingly linked to events 20 years ago.

Scream Queens is sort of a mash-up of Kevin Wil­liamson’s hit Scream movies and Jen­nifer Love He­witt’s slasher film I Know What You Did Last Sum­mer.

“For me, the hor­ror genre has given me the great­est life,” Curtis says. “I have re­spect for them [hor­ror movies and TV shows] even though I don’t per­son­ally love them.

“Hor­ror movies are not known for [the qual­ity of] their lan­guage [scripts], so the idea that I am in a hor­ror com­edy where I get mouth­fuls of thought is fan­tas­tic.

“I have never had words with this kind of po­lit­i­cal or so­ci­o­log­i­cal in­tent. It is the best part I’ll ever have in my life.”

Curtis is sur­pris­ingly self­ef­fac­ing for some­one who is the daugh­ter of Hol­ly­wood roy­alty cel­e­brat­ing her own near 40-year ca­reer.

Curtis’ other movie cred­its in­clude Trad­ing Places, A Fish Called Wanda and True Lies. Her most re­cent TV role was op­po­site Mark Har­mon on NCIS.

“I have no dis­cernible skills – I’m telling you the truth,” Curtis laughs. “I barely got out of high school. I fell into act­ing and I have done ev­ery­thing [di­rec­tors] ever asked of me but I have ab­so­lutely no skill level.

“You do not want me in a pe­riod piece. I am not go­ing to give you great ac­cents. I do not speak six lan­guages. I can­not sing. I can dance a lit­tle.

“I owe ev­ery­thing to (Hal­loween writer and di­rec­tor) John Car­pen­ter who some­how saw some­thing in me way back in 1978 when he hired me to play vir­ginal re­pressed babysit­ter for his $300,000 movie.”

Curtis mar­ried ac­tor Christo­pher Guest in 1984. The cou­ple have two adopted chil­dren – An­nie and Thomas.

“When you’re the child of some­one fa­mous and your par­ent gets at­ten­tion from the mo­ment they wake up un­til the mo­ment they go to bed, that’s an un­bal­anced level,” Curtis says.

“My chil­dren have been re­ally good at let­ting me know that I’m fine but they have their own lives and dreams and as­pi­ra­tions. It is our job as par­ents to make them the star of the fam­ily.

“They roll their eyes at me all the time. I am the most un­cool hu­man be­ing you would ever want to know.”


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