Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page - Hal­loween is in cin­e­mas na­tion­ally from Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 25.

ur­tis made the first Hal­loween when she was 19 years old. She was not di­rec­tor John Car­pen­ter’s first choice for the role, but when he learnt she was the daugh­ter of Psy­cho star Leigh – whose Mar­ion Crane may well be the most fa­mous mur­der vic­tim in film his­tory – he wel­comed the kismet.

Step­ping back into the role of Lau­rie Strode four decades later (the 2018 it­er­a­tion of Hal­loween is in­tended as a di­rect se­quel to the 1978 clas­sic, with au­di­ences asked to dis­re­gard every other fol­lowup and re­boot in-be­tween) pre­sented Cur­tis with some­thing of a dilemma: how to make au­di­ences for­get that they are watch­ing, well, Jamie Lee Cur­tis.

The an­swer came in the form of an unglam­orous wig that leaves her look­ing like punk icon Patti Smith – or, at the very least, an art class teacher in need of a shower and a hug. “The first time you see me in the movie,” she tells Stel­lar, “I don’t look like Jamie Lee Cur­tis. Be­cause Jamie Lee Cur­tis now ex­ists in a very big, iconic way. That’s why we put me in a wig.”

When Cur­tis speaks of her­self in the third per­son, she man­ages not to sound haughty but rather can­did in ex­plain­ing the in­flu­ence that comes with an in­stantly recog­nis­able pub­lic pro­file.

It’s also the main rea­son that Cur­tis has never ap­peared in one of the mock­u­men­tary films writ­ten and di­rected by her hus­band Christo­pher Guest, who she mar­ried in 1984. (The cou­ple have two adopted chil­dren: An­nie, 31, and Thomas, 22.) “Most of the peo­ple in his movies have be­come fa­mous – they weren’t fa­mous when they be­gan work­ing with him,” she says. “I am too fa­mous. Plus, I don’t im­pro­vise. All of the di­a­logue in his movies is im­pro­vised – it’s a very spe­cific skill and I don’t have it at all.”

It may be one of the few tal­ents she lacks – aside from her work in film and tele­vi­sion, Cur­tis has dab­bled in in­vent­ing (she holds the patent for a nappy with a pocket that holds wipes), she blogs, tries her hand at pho­tog­ra­phy and is a self­pro­claimed queen of or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“I was [Ja­panese or­gan­is­ing con­sul­tant] Marie Kondo be­fore Marie Kondo even ex­isted,” Cur­tis quips. “I have al­ways been com­part­men­talised – I am pre­pared. If you were at my house right now and said, ‘OK, bring me your sec­ond grade re­port card,’ I could go down my stairs, open my file and be back up­stairs with it in 25 sec­onds.”

Her side hus­tle as a chil­dren’s book au­thor, mean­while, has only blos­somed since she first en­tered the mar­ket in 1993. “Books are just the best thing,” says Cur­tis. “They are what I think about, they are how I think about the world. They’re mu­sic, they’re rhythm.” Ear­lier this month, she re­leased her 13th ti­tle, Me My­selfie & I: A Cau­tion­ary Tale. “It’s about a mother who gets a cell phone for her birth­day from her kids – and she goes crazy tak­ing self­ies, so the kids have to shut her down. It’s about our ob­ses­sion with self-doc­u­men­ta­tion.”

Af­ter Cur­tis re­turned home from South Carolina from the set of Hal­loween ear­lier this year, she found her­self sit­ting down for a writ­ing project of an en­tirely new kind. “I came back with full mojo, re­ju­ve­nated about the movie-mak­ing process,” she says. “No­body was get­ting paid much and we worked our ar­ses off… but I for­got how fun it is. And I ended up writ­ing a screen­play, which is some­thing I’ve never done and never thought I would do.

“I thought, ‘F*ck yes! I get it!’ I see why peo­ple do this… be­cause this is who I am. Writ­ing af­fords you the op­por­tu­nity to say what you mean. I’ve been an in­ter­preter of oth­ers’ ideas for a very long time, and I have to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for those ideas – to in­vest and di­gest and wear them like a skin.”

She points to Mother’s Boys, an all-but­for­got­ten thriller from 1994 in which she plays a woman who aban­dons her hus­band and sons – only to re­turn three years later, ha­rass­ing and stalk­ing them as she begs for re­uni­fi­ca­tion. “That movie is a great ex­am­ple: I had to wear that woman for a long time – and I didn’t agree with any of the things she said.” (As for a me­moir, don’t hold your breath. “The only good mem­oirs tell the truth,” Cur­tis says, “and that means be­tray­ing con­fi­dences and in­ti­ma­cies. I’ve had it done to me and it’s been up­set­ting. So I don’t be­lieve I would ever do so.”)

Mother’s Boys was a flop, but the film that hit cin­e­mas mere weeks later would turn out to be the big­gest hit in Cur­tis’s canon. “True Lies was a mon­ster,” she says of James Cameron’s fizzy ac­tion block­buster in which she co-starred with Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger, re­in­forced the comedic chops she had

re­vealed in films such as 1983’s Trad­ing Places and 1988’s A Fish Called Wanda and show­cased her out­ra­geously toned body in a scorch­ing strip­tease for the books.

“It was such a great, trans­for­ma­tive part to play – lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively. It was deeply emo­tional, wickedly funny and gor­geous to look at. There are se­quences in that film that are just land­marks, and I can’t be­lieve I got to be in it.”

Her mem­ory of the film may be slightly marred, how­ever – ear­lier this year, Cur­tis wrote an opin­ion piece in which she dis­cussed the “new, hor­rific re­al­ity” that the #Metoo move­ment ex­posed, point­ing to ac­tor El­iza Dushku’s claim that a stunt co­or­di­na­tor on the True Lies set sex­u­ally mo­lested her dur­ing film­ing. (Dushku, who played Cur­tis’s daugh­ter in True Lies, was 12 at the time of film­ing.)

“I’m older and there­fore clearly have some sto­ries to tell,” Cur­tis says. “But my sto­ries are pri­vate and not on that level of malev­o­lence; I cer­tainly didn’t have any­one sex­u­ally as­sault me.

“[But] it’s ev­ery­where – it feels like a big wave. Women are mad as hell, and they aren’t go­ing to take it any­more.”

As for Cur­tis, she re­mains de­fi­antly, con­ta­giously up­beat about what the fu­ture holds – it is, she reck­ons, pretty much in her DNA. “I was a cheer­leader in high school,” she notes. “And cheer­lead­ers are re­ally only there when your team is los­ing, to bring en­ergy and sup­port. I’ve al­ways taken that role in what­ever work I do.”

So when she turns 60 in Novem­ber, Cur­tis will un­doubt­edly spend the day serv­ing as her big­gest cham­pion, hap­pily em­brac­ing the dawn of a new decade. And she al­ready has a sense of how the day might un­fold: “I be­lieve we will be hav­ing break­fast at my house. I be­lieve we will be wear­ing PJS… I like to not worry about what I wear. And I be­lieve every­body will be gone by 11. Which, to me, is the per­fect party: show up at nine, leave by 11. Thank you for your nice wishes. Now get the f*ck out.”

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