Jamie Lee Curtis Talks Horror Movies, Producing, and Revisiting Her Most Iconic Character in ‘Halloween Kills’

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Throughout her four-decade reign as Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis has encountered every type of cinematic horror imaginable. There’s the scythe-wielding pirate ghosts of The Fog; the revenge-seeking psychopath from Terror Train; the serial killer tailing her in Blue Steel. She was nearly decapitated by her brother in Prom Night, chased through the Australian outback in Road Games, and faced the ultimate terror (teenage girls!) in Freaky Friday

Michael Myers, however, was a different story. 

Of all the boogeymen Curtis has evaded, none have made a bigger impression on audiences than the masked killer with a penchant for slashing babysitters. Made on a shoestring budget by a group of film-school dropouts led by John Carpenter, Halloween redefined horror when it opened in the fall of 1978. Playing the whip-smart Laurie Strode—her first film role—Curtis went on to become such a genre fixture that she basically crafted her own archetype. Comedies like Trading Places and A Fish Called Wanda showed she was capable of far more than looking wide-eyed and terrified, but Curtis never strayed too far from the character that propelled her to stardom.

Halloween was never meant to become a franchise until it became one. Nobody involved knew it would amount to anything worthwhile,” the actor told Vogue over a recent Zoom call. “And here I am, 43 years later, still playing Laurie Strode.” 

Made for a scant $300K, Halloween grossed $70 million and became one of the most successful independent films of all time.

Photo: Courtesy of Alamy 

Curtis brought Strode back to life for David Gordon Green’s franchise reboot in 2018. Instead of reckoning with the sketchy mythology laid out in decades of mediocre sequels–including a widely criticized decision to make Michael and Laurie siblings–2018’s Halloween ignored them all, acting as a direct sequel to the 1978 original. And while Laurie Strode may have been a bookish virgin running for her life then, by 2018 she was ready to fight back. When Myers made a bloody return to his hometown of Haddonfield, she trapped and burned him alive in a climactic moment that appeared to end his reign of terror for good. 

But as anyone who’s seen literally any slasher film knows, you can’t keep a killer down for long. Set moments after the events of the 2018 film, Halloween Kills (which both arrives in theaters and streams on Peacock this Friday) sees the residents of Haddonfield band together to take Myers down. Even if Curtis is sidelined for most of the action—having sustained massive wounds from the last film—she remains the beating heart of the franchise. With a third and final installment, Halloween Ends, set to cap off the trilogy next year, Curtis is preparing to lay Laurie Strode to rest while gearing up for what comes next. 

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