During a recent interview, Jamie Lee Curtis spoke about a career high point she experienced while on the set of 2018’s Halloween. The Venice Film Festival saw fit to award Curtis the Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to cinema over her 44-year career. As the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Curtis was part of Hollywood long before she took to acting. Her career started in 1977 with small parts on TV, but the next year saw the release of John Carpenter’s Halloween, where Curtis gave a career-defining performance in what would become a horror classic. Curtis would continue to find success in numerous horror films, such as The Fog and Prom Night, which saw her dubbed a “scream queen.” However, Curtis would go on to do much more.
Aside from horror, Curtis branched out into every genre possible, finding success wherever she ventured. She showed a talent for comedy in films like Trading Places and A Fish Called Wanda. She tackled action in films like True Lies and even mysteries with movies like Knives Out. Curtis would also revisit the character of Laurie Strode a few times throughout her career in Halloween sequels. In 2018, David Gordon Green took on the challenge of reinvigorating the Halloween franchise by making a direct sequel to Carpenter’s 1978 film and retconning all other sequels. Green succeeded in his endeavor, and part of that success can be attributed to Curtis for reprising her role as Laurie. Having Curtis return to the franchise was a big deal for fans, but as it turns out, it was also a huge deal for Curtis and the crew.
While speaking with THR about her Lifetime Achievement Award, Curtis was asked about the high point of her career. The question spurred Curtis to share a story from the set of 2018’s Halloween. She described one of her last scenes where she is sitting in a truck reacting to Michael Myers being taken away; the scene was also an emotionally cathartic one for both Curtis and her character. The role that helped launch her career was coming full circle in a way she never could’ve imagined, and preparing for it was a heavy undertaking. When she arrived on set, Curtis describes a moment of solidarity from the crew, in which they were all silently standing with nametags that read, “We are Laurie Strode.” Check out what Curtis had to say about her career-high moment below:
“When I was making the 2018 Halloween, the last scene of the movie that I had to shoot was a moment where Laurie Strode is sitting alone in a pickup truck, watching Michael Myers headed to a supermax prison where he will spend the rest of his life. And she is seeing this person who has caused her 40 years of trauma being taken away. And the scene was just me alone in a truck. When we went to shoot it, it’s just my little truck with about 14 cameras around it and cranes and lights and a crew. I was in my trailer preparing for my work, which was going to be emotional, cathartic. It was described as a moment where Laurie sort of replays the 40 years since this first occurred. I’m someone who likes name tags because everybody knows my name, but often I don’t know anyone else’s. And so, whenever I start any project, I ask for everybody to wear a name tag. And this was now the end of the movie. This is me shooting my last scene before I was going to fly home to be back with my family. And when I approached the set, the entire crew were standing in silent solidarity with their hands behind their backs. And everyone was wearing a name tag. And the name tag said, “We are Laurie Strode.” What they were saying was, “We are with you, Jamie, in this moment. And we know there’s nothing we can do to help you as you do this moment of work alone in a pickup truck. We believe in you, because we are you.” I gotta tell you, that may be the high point of my career.”
While the scene seems simple, tapping into the needed emotions for the character was a challenge. As many actors would say, acting is reacting, but in an instance that saw Curtis meant to react alone, the crew of Halloween saw fit to give her every ounce of support they could. When Curtis was meant to be alone, in truth, she was surrounded by fans and collaborators who knew just how important the scene and the film were for Curtis.
Curtis is set to reprise the role of Laurie Strode two more times. Halloween Kills, which is due out in October, is a direct followup to 2018’s Halloween, picking up moments after the previous film ended. The following installment, Halloween Ends, is currently slated for a 2022 release, and it looks to be Curtis’ final performance as Laurie. It’s unknown if Laurie will die in Halloween Ends, but the end of the Halloween trilogy will no doubt be emotional for Curtis. As mentioned above, Curtis has been involved with dozens of projects over the years, but based on this quote, it’s clear she has a soft spot for the franchise that kick-started her career.