‘Ev­ery good thing that ever hap­pened to me was be­cause films’ I was in hor­ror

Chattanooga Times Free Press - Parade - - Front Page - BY LEONARD MALTIN COVER AND OPEN­ING PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY AN­DREW ECCLES

This may come as a shock, but Jamie Lee Cur­tis is not a fan of hor­ror films, never re­ally cut loose on Hal­loween night and doesn’t par­tic­u­larly like be­ing scared.

Yes, that Jamie Lee Cur­tis, who was cat­a­pulted to star­dom in the hor­ror clas­sic Hal­loween 40 years ago, who be­came a teenage scream queen—the first, re­ally—in the movie that launched a whole new genre of con­tem­po­rary hor­ror about young peo­ple ter­ror­ized by boogey­men. She re­turns to the throne in grand form this month in the new Hal­loween (Oct. 19), as Lau­rie Strode, the same iconic char­ac­ter she played in the first film. And once more, she’s locked in a des­per­ate strug­gle with the masked, al­most su­per­nat­u­ral Michael My­ers, who just keeps com­ing back, again and again, to fin­ish what he started back in 1978.

Cur­tis has ap­peared in four other se­quels to the orig­i­nal film and, af­ter “sur­viv­ing” the first night stalk­ing by My­ers, went on to ap­pear in other hor­ror flicks, in­clud­ing The Fog, Prom Night and Ter­ror Train (all re­leased in 1980). Then, as re­cently as 2015, she de­lighted view­ers in a reg­u­lar role as Dean Cathy Mun­sch on TV’s campy-vampy Scream Queens.

Cer­tainly, she made nu­mer­ous de­light­ful, non-hor­ror movies too—in­clud­ing Trad­ing Places (1983), True Lies (1994), A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and Freaky Fri­day (2003). But she clearly knows where her bread is but­tered. Ev­ery­thing in her life, she says, is “the di­rect re­sult” of Hal­loween and its scary spawn. “Ev­ery good thing that ever hap­pened to me,” says Cur­tis, 59, “was be­cause I was in hor­ror films.”

But she’s never re­ally been a fan of things that go bump in the night. “I don’t love the genre,” she says of fright flicks. “But I’m grate­ful to the genre.”

Hol­ly­wood Kid

We are re­lax­ing in the kitchen of her spa­cious, white-on-white house on the west side of Los An­ge­les. It’s not far from where Cur­tis grew up, across town in Palm Springs, with her two fa­mous par­ents, ac­tors Janet Leigh and Tony Cur­tis. But even though her par­ents were Hol­ly­wood roy­alty, their seem­ingly pic­ture-per­fect mar­riage was on the rocks by the time Jamie came along in 1958 to join her sis­ter, Kelly, older by two years. Part of the fric­tion might have been the frus­tra­tion they felt at the lack of pro­fes­sional recog­ni­tion from Hol­ly­wood, she says.

There were no Os­cars on their man­tel­piece, in spite of her par­ents’ suc­cess and pop­u­lar­ity. For

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.