Jamie Lee Curtis Reveals How She's Stayed A Scream Queen For So Long

Laurie Strode with a gun in Halloween

If there's one genre that has relied on long running franchises and sequels, it's horror. Much of the biggest properties have been going strong for decades, being passed down across generations of horror-loving moviegoers. As such, horror stars have remained truly iconic as the years passed-- especially the scream queens and final girls of each movie. And there's none quite as beloved as Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode from the Halloween movies.

John Carpenter's 1978 classic Halloween made Jamie Lee Curtis a star, as her performance as the vulnerable yet determined Laurie really resonated with moviegoing audiences. She's since gone on to reprise her role four times-- with the most recent being Blumhouse's record breaking Halloween, which is in theaters now. Curtis recently explained why she's continued to stick around, saying:

You know what I just -- honestly -- every job I've ever gotten I didn't expect to get. I got [it] and then I did the best I could. It's really that simple. Suit up, show up. Be early. Stay late. Say please and thank you. Bring cookies. (Sorry everybody.)

Despite her decades as a successfully working actress, it sees that Jamie Lee Curtis has always tried to remain #humble and #blessed. Rather than getting a big head in the wake of her massive Halloween success and the bevy of fantastic projects she took afterward, Curtis believes that the right work ethic is key to a long career. And because of this, she's always had a home in the horror genre.

While Jamie Lee Curtis has played Laurie Strode in a whopping 5 Halloween movies, she's not actually a giant fan of the genre. She doesn't watch horror movies, or necessarily understand the appeal-- as she said in her recent conversation with Entertainment Tonight. But horror fans have always embraced Curtis, as both Laurie Strode and the franchise itself has a special place people's hearts.

Jamie Lee Curtis never thought she'd get any of her iconic roles in movies like A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies, and Trading Places, and therefore is happy to be a working actress in any capacity. This is mostly due to her strong work ethic, as highlighted in the quote above, as well as her willingness to take risks and say yes to projects. And since Halloween is what put her on the map and gave her a career, Curtis is also happy to return to Haddonfield every so often, and face off against Michael Myers.

Jamie Lee Curtis also doesn't seem to have expected so many Halloween movies for her career either. While she was happy to appear in the original sequel Halloween II, there was a series of years before she'd once again inhabit Laurie. Curtis brought her back for 1998's H20 and had a bit part in Halloween: Resurrection, before taking a whopping 16 years until reprising her role in Blumhouse's new (and massively successful) sequel. And since the new Halloween has done so well, it seems almost inevitable that the Strode women would pop back up for another installment.

Laurie Strode in the original Halloween

Many horror fans consider Laurie Strode to be the OG scream queen, as the slasher genre wasn't really in existence before John Carpenter's Halloween. Laurie essentially started the trope of the smart, good girl who somehow manages to evade the killer. And in a move that is now typical for horror movies, the film saw Laurie's sexually active and partying friends get massacred, leading up to a final chase sequence-- including with the iconic closet scene.

Jamie Lee Curtis may have had some trepidation about returning for Blumhouse's Halloween, but those fears were quelled once she got her hands on David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's script. The plot was refreshingly simple for the horror genre, and was a deep psychological look into Laurie Strode's broken psyche. Despite being about a masked murderer, Halloween was also about trauma and family, and was full of emotional payoffs, as well as terrifying violence.

In addition to being a critically acclaimed new movie, Blumhouse's Halloween also honored John Carpenter's original film, and the myriad sequels that followed since 1978. Plenty of references and Easter Eggs were included in the new project, with director David Gordon Green sometimes even recreating iconic shots from other movies, and giving it his own touch.

San Diego Comic-Con first debuted the footage of Michael Myers wandering through Haddonfield, both killing and sparing victims seemingly at random. It all opens with trick-or-treater accidentally bumping into Michael-- a direct shot from Halloween II. Everyone involved in the new Halloween movie has real reverence for the franchise, something that no doubt resonated with Jamie Lee Curtis when returning to the set, and the role which made her famous.

Another stand out moment comes when Laurie's granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) is in class, and look out the window. While fans were waiting to see Michael staring at her as he did to Laurie in the first Halloween, it's actually Laurie who is out there-- watching her granddaughter. Beside being merely an interesting shot for casual moviegoers, these moments have significance to the generations of Halloween fans out there, as well as the cast and crew who worked on Blumhouse's record breaking new sequel.

It should be interesting to see what comes next for Jamie Lee Curtis, as well as Laurie Strode. The actress is clearly happy with her mantle as the OG final girl, especially considering she recently starred in Ryan Murphy's campy comedy Scream Queens. While Blumhouse's Halloween has been teased as Laurie's final conflict with Michael Myers, the massive critical and box office success of the new release seems to usher in another movie. Curtis has said she'd be open to returning to the Halloween franchise, given that director David Gordon Green is once again behind the camera.

Since Blumhouse is largely an indie production company, the box office numbers for Halloween are even more significant. There's an active audience and the potential to make even more money, and that's not an opportunity that Jason Blum will likely let pass by.

Halloween is in theaters now. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.