Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis has revealed intimate details about the re-imagined Laurie Strode, who in the 40-years-later sequel to the 1978 seminal horror classic is now a traumatized and reclusive social leper with a “militaristic mindset.”
Laurie, now nearly 60-years-old, was so scarred by her encounter with serial killer Michael Myers in 1978 that her trauma is “this perseverating sense of eventuality that Michael will come back,” Curtis told Halloween Movies, and “every day of her life has been in preparation for that meeting.”
Laurie’s past 40 years of existence have centered around the expected return of the Shape (Nick Castle and James Jude Courtney), a four-decade sanitarium inmate.
“She lives alone. She has tried to live in society but society has not been welcoming,” Curtis said.
“There weren’t a lot of mental health professionals helping this young woman, so she banged her way into her life. She slammed into people and institutions and law enforcement, and they hate her because she calls the police every day, saying, ‘Do you have somebody patrolling Smith’s Grove? I was out there. I actually sat in my car all day outside of it and I didn’t see one cop car. Why is that? Why aren’t you treating him with the respect that you should treat him?’ That’s the level of perseverating she has done.”
“This is a woman who knows exactly where Michael is and she knows [what he’s capable of], even though they all are convinced that he’s somebody who they can maybe manage, work with through drugs, rehabilitate, and all of the rest of it,” she added. “She is the only one who knows exactly who he is, and that’s who we find.”
Laurie’s Michael Myers obsession strained her relationship with only daughter Karen (Judy Greer), whose exact paternity is unknown to even Laurie.
“I make no assumptions about people’s sexual orientation or whatever, but have you ever had a sexual encounter that was brief, somewhat fast and furious and then you never saw that person again?” Curtis answered when asked how such a damaged outcast navigated a family, adding “to assume that Laurie has a satisfying relationship with somebody is an assumption.”
“Laurie Strode I believe, doesn’t even know who the father of her daughter is,” Curtis explained.
“Nobody could have a satisfying emotional relationship with a woman who is looking over their shoulder every moment they’re together, and it’s that assumption that Laurie’s had some sort of relationship is why we find her in this isolated place that she’s living, in this sort of militaristic mindset.”
She fares better with Karen’s daughter, Allyson (And Matichak), a high-school student who will have her own run-in with the knife-wielding murderer.
“She’s Laurie. Laurie loved kids. Laurie was fantastic with children, probably better with children than adults,” Curtis said of the former babysitter.
“You know, when trauma happens you freeze. We can look at it through history. When something really bad happens you calcify emotionally. The Laurie we’re going to meet is fifty-nine years old but also is in a weird way seventeen, so I think she actually responded much better to her granddaughter than to her own daughter. I think with her own daughter she was dysfunctional in the raising of her, because of this obsession of safety, but because her granddaughter wasn’t raised by her, she can connect to the granddaughter. I mean you know and I know, what did Laurie give to her own daughter when she found out she was going to have a child? A car seat. Laurie is going to buy the safety item.”
Laurie can “relate to Allyson more than probably anybody else in her life,” Curtis said, calling the granddaughter “very smart” and “much like Laurie.”
“She’s a smarty pants and that makes Laurie very, very proud, because she’s just like Laurie was, whereas I think Karen was a little more of a rebel,” Curtis said of her estranged daughter.
“We don’t know exactly what age she was taken from Laurie, but she was taken, and so Laurie didn’t have a hand in raising her as much and I think it was contentious [with] visitation and the horrible restrictions that get put on families when people are pulled apart.”
“The reason that her daughter was taken from her is because she was so focused on this conclusion that he would come back. You can imagine, she’s a very paranoid woman,” Curtis explained of Laurie, who she said would never sit “with her back to the window and door.”
Despite her anticipated 16-years-later return to the franchise, Curtis said the new Halloween is mostly seen through Allyson’s eyes, who's own friends can be seen being picked off in the just-released trailer.
“Laurie comes in and out without question [ala] Paul Revere, ‘Michael Myers is coming, Michael Myers is coming!’ and she knows it, but she’s been saying that for a long time and people are just tired of her,” Curtis said.
After 40 years of preparation, will Laurie prioritize protecting her family or gunning for her personal boogeyman?1comments
“That is the question: ‘What do you do?’” Curtis said. “It’s a really tough question, [and] you will see in the movie she does both. She will go after him but at the same time protect her family.”
Halloween opens October 19.