For more than two-thirds of her life, Jamie Lee Curtis has embraced the mantle of protector and guardian of Halloween (1978) character Laurie Strode. In the late 1970s, the heroine that Curtis brought to life accomplished what few other on-screen women before her—long relegated to damsels in distress—would consider a probability or possibility in a horror film.
Armed with only a coat hanger, knitting needle and the will to live, the teenager fought back against a faceless creature of pure evil who had violated her world and murdered her friends. Refusing to be a victim, the champion Curtis created alongside director John Carpenter and collaborator Debra Hill instantly changed the narrative on the silver screen. Women could, should and will strike back…and no man or boogeyman will stop them from fighting to the death.
Undoubtedly, Curtis has long held Laurie in her heart and understands why people are so connected to this fateful night. Discussing her first filmic role, she says: “Laurie Strode was a smart girl in high school just starting her life. She was probably studying for the SATs, looking at colleges, and then Michael Myers showed up. Life hinged for her on a couple of seconds she never saw coming. The rest of her life is the movie we’re making now. Forty years later, this woman understands that Michael Myers will come back, and that she and her family need to be prepared…but nobody’s listening.”
When she received the script, Curtis fully understood what the new writers were trying to do. “I saw how perfectly homage-y and new it was. I thought, ‘That’s cool, and I like it! That was how easy it was. It’s its own movie with a complete history linked to the past. Yet, it’s in its own story 40 years later. The two movies, side by side, are perfect bookends and complements—telling the same story with new generations in the same simple, clear, iconic way that Halloween was and continues to be.”
Curtis was drawn to the script’s take of a woman who has spent her entire life, 365 days a year, preparing for the return of the monster who violated her world. That said, by refusing to be a victim to Michael Myers any longer, she has allowed him to define her existence. “Once a day, Laurie drives by that mental institution and calls the police officers who are supposed to have an armed guy on the perimeter,” reveals the performer. “I’m sure Laurie sits in her truck from six o’clock in the morning until midnight.
“She is singular in her purpose, and in that sense, everything else has fallen away,” Curtis continues. “Her child was taken from her, and friendships, fun—any sense of a life—has been removed in her pursuit to make sure that Michael Myers stays behind bars at the mental institution…or that he will be transferred to a maximum-security prison.”
Her creative partners saw the acting powerhouse who was equal parts champion, collaborator and risk taker. “What I didn’t get until I met Jamie Lee is the cosmic energy that she brings when she enters the room,” commends director David Gordon Green. “She brings the power of positivity like no one else. She’s a ball of fire—on set early, there to connect with every collaborator, there to do the best job that she can. She brings 100 percent…from a fight scene to a dramatic scene to a scream one. It’s just been a blast to work with her.”
His producer marvels at a career with such depth and distinction. “Jamie’s a great actress, so there’s always room to return to previous work,” Bill Block lauds. “She took that energy and infused it into a terrific performance. She’s like Liam Neeson in Taken. She’s a full-on Terminator herself.”
In Philippine cinemas October 24, Halloween is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/uipmoviesph/
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