By María Estévez, MWN
Jamie Lee Curtis is, without a doubt, the queen of terror. She is the face of several of Hollywood’s most iconic characters. Curtis is Laurie Strode, or Laurie Strode is Jamie Lee, the equation gives the same result. And if in 1978 ‘Halloween’ became a classic, in 2021 we are still consuming that fantasy with modern technology. The new chapter of the saga shows Strode facing her demons with her daughter and granddaughter. Her bravery is the trigger for a narrative charged with life, bullets, terror, but, at the same time, it is one of the best installments of the franchise with an absolutely colossal Jamie Lee.
Metro sat down to talk with an actress who made women in horror films fashionable. Heiress of a dynasty who, without mincing words, recognizes herself as a Hollywood outsider because of her nonconformist style. She is funny, direct and proud to return to the franchise.
Is this new ‘Halloween’ chapter intimately tied to the #MeToo movement.
No doubt about it. There was still Bill Cosby to be shown and we still didn’t know about the Harvey Weinstein allegations. Certainly, the conversation was on the table. Women have been traumatized since the beginning of time, oppressed and assaulted. That’s what my character lives through the trauma of waiting for Myers for 40 years. The time has come to show our cards and demand change. We, women, are brave. If in fiction we show what we are capable of, in reality as well.
There is a revival in Hollywood for women heroines.
First of all, I’m glad that women who have crossed the barrier of 50 can find work. I want to talk about my film, the depth of the character, the complexity of the character. Laurie Strode is the best role an actor can find in her career. I won the lottery when I was 20 years old and since then, I have continued to evolve with it. I’m lucky because, at my age, I’m offered a job.
Today women are the leading actresses in horror films. Laurie was a pioneer in the genre.
Yes, but when the character came up, Laurie was 17 years old and a victim. Today, 40 years later, her life is ruined. She’s a woman absolutely traumatized by what she had to live through. She knows he’s coming back when he gets out of prison and she spends her days waiting for him. I think David’s twist on the story is very real and very authentic.
Why did you decide to play Laurie again?
I’ve been playing the character for 40 years and I feel like this team is part of my family. When David Green offered me to reinterpret Halloween, I didn’t hesitate. I love that this film is about family, a strange family, but a family nonetheless.
Is the Michael Myers mask reinvented again?
For me, Myers represents an enigma. The question we ask ourselves is about what the demon really is. I think John and Debra created the idea that the mask is one’s personal vision of the demon. Not being able to see his expression, we invented his face. All the directors involved in the franchise have wanted to reinvent the mask in each chapter of the saga. It’s something the studios have spent enormous amounts of money on. The mask has become an enigmatic and mysterious force that dehumanizes the character. To me, it’s simply a terrifying symbol and I think David has shaped the character from an extraordinary perspective.
Is it true that you don’t find many job opportunities?
I guess it has to do with the fact that I do yogurt commercials for bathroom breaks and they are very popular. It also has to do with the fact that I’m a very political actress, one of those who doesn’t shut up, I say what I think all the time. It is also true that the more I am, the less I want to be other people, just the opposite of what happened to me when I was 19 when I wanted to become someone different.
Did you think your legacy with ‘Halloween’ was going to be last that long?
The last thing I thought a few years ago was that I was going to shoot another ‘Halloween’ movie, let alone a trilogy. I was perfectly happy doing the work I was doing in the mountains where I live, when the phone rang and it was Jake Gyllenhall, my godson, letting me know that his friend David wanted to talk to me about a new ‘Halloween’ installment. I loved his vision, honestly, that’s the truth. Doing a trilogy about female trauma seemed very powerful and appropriate.
Do you think ‘Halloween’ fits into that cultural war that the world is going through of good versus evil?
Yes, I agree with that idea. It’s interesting how David understood 5 years ago that female trauma was going to become a major issue within society. They intuitively understood the collateral damage that street violence could have. I feel that life imitates art and art imitates life. I truly believe that when in the future someone studies this trilogy, and I’m not an expert in film theory, but I promise you that 20 years from now, when a class studies what David has done and they see what’s going on in the world at the same time, it’s going to be a social testament to who we are at this point in our lives even though we’re talking about a horror movie.
‘Halloween Kills’ is now showing in theaters.