JAMIE LEE CURTIS screams again in HALLOWEEN
‘Every good thing that ever happened to me was because films’ I was in horror
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.”
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