While Jamie Lee Curtis is a bona fide queen of horror these days, and an indispensible part of the storied Halloween franchise, in the early days she was confinced she wouldn't last through the first one without being fired.
The fear came when director John Carpenter called Curtis on the phone after her first day of filming. He wanted to tell her how great she was, but her immediate reaction was fight-or-flight.
“I remember the phone rang in my apartment and my roommate Tina said, ‘Jamie, John Carpenter’s on the phone,'” Curtis recently told EW. “It scared me, because I didn’t know if he was going to fire me. Often I’d heard people got fired. He was on the other end of the phone and he said, ‘Hey darling, it’s John. I just want to tell you I thought today went great. I‘m so happy.'”
Curtis would go on to play the role of Laurie Strode three more times: in 1981’s Halloween II, 1998’s Halloween H20, and 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection. She will play the character again in the upcoming movie, which is a direct sequel to Carpenter’s original film that treats all of the other movies in between as apocryphal.
In the 2018 version, Strode is forty years on from battling Michael Meyers when he breaks out of prison and she decides to take him down once and for all. Her character is dealing with years of post-traumatic stress as well as a lifetime of being the town oddity due to her run-in with the serial killer and subsequent obsession with home security and revenge.
Curtis is continuing a long legacy: even before she was the face of the Halloween movies, her family name was tied in with horror and suspense, since she is the daughter of Psycho star Janet Leigh. Her father was Hollywood legend Tony Curtis, who some fans might remember from an appearance in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman near the end of his career.
Whatever happens next, Curtis has suggested that this is Laurie's last Halloween movie, so in all likelihood there are no chances of her getting fired off the franchise now; it seems she will get to leave on her own terms.
Halloween will be in theaters on October 19.
h/t: Entertainment Weekly