Jamie Lee Curtis talks Laurie’s 40 year nightmare in New Halloween
“How f***ing crazy is this?” is literally the first thing Jamie Lee Curtis says to us on the set of the new Halloween movie. Even she can’t believe that we’re all here, forty years after they made the first movie, and they’re making another one. She’d put the franchise behind her for the second time in her life, but the phone rang once again.
“I thought Halloween: H20 was the correct thing to do at the time,” Curtis says, referencing the “20 years later” sequel she starred in back in 1998. “I liked it, then I had to be in that other thing just to conclude the story and then I truly thought I would not return to this but life is sweet. I was on vacation in June when I got this phone call that David wanted to speak to me.”
Curtis reveals director David Gordon Green tried to pitch her on the idea first but she insisted on seeing the script herself, recalling she thought it was a “clever, modern way of referencing Halloween.”
“It’s a very interesting take on the movie because it references Halloween 1 in every way it can,” Curtis says. “Stylistically, characterologically, visually, emotionally, it follows very similar themes but it’s its own movie so it’s a very clever mash-up, to use a young people’s word, of the first movie in a retelling like a direct sequel but it’s fascinating. When you see what they’ve come up with you’ll be like ‘Wow,’ because it’s a very modern and yet very true movie.”
The upcoming Halloween movie does away with the previous sequels, including the ones where Curtis returned and faced the Boogeyman once again; and in doing so, gets rid of the “twist” that made them brother and sister. This may tear apart the mythology of the franchise, but it makes for a scarier movie… and a very different kind of Laurie. Which makes us wonder, what has the character’s life been like in a world where her life was ruined on Halloween when she was just 18?
“I think for Laurie Strode, society has not been kind to her,” Curtis says bluntly, noting that the main theme of the film is trauma. “I have a friend of mine who is a doctor, a neuropsychologist, and they are studying stress and trauma now in children, be it abuse, physical or emotional violence, the effect changes your brain chemistry. So for me what’s crucial is that level of trauma had an effect on this woman who is now fifty eight years old and that trauma for her is this perseverating sense of eventuality that he will come back and that every day of her life has been in preparation for that meeting.”
Curtis gives us further details on Laurie’s life now, revealing that she lives alone after not being welcomed by the regular people of the world. She has strained relationships with society at large, with mental health institutions, and with law enforcement.
“They hate her because she calls the police every day,” Curtis says. “(She) says ‘Do you have somebody patrolling Smith’s Grove? I was out there, I actually sat in my car all day outside of Smith’s Grove 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.”
There’s another strained relationship that Laurie has, that with her own daughter Karen, played by Judy Greer in the film. Now grown and with her own child, this puts three generations of Strode women still living in Haddonfield, and still in the sights of Michael Myers. Laurie’s granddaughter Allison, played by Andi Matichak in her first major role, is the one that makes her try to get back in touch with her family; after all, she’s the same age Laurie was when Michael attacked.
“I think she actually responded much better with a granddaughter than her own daughter,” Curtis says of the character, recalling that the crux of Laurie in the original was her love of children. “I think with her own daughter she was dysfunctional in her raising of her because of this obsession of safety but because her granddaughter wasn’t raised by her, she can connect to the granddaughter.”
But what happens when the moment she’s been preparing for finally comes to pass? What does Laurie do when Michael Myers returns? Does she protect her family or does she go after him?
“That is the question,” Curtis says. “What do you do? It’s Sophie’s Choice and I’m with you, I protect my family and in protecting them you take him down, but you can imagine the harping about protection. When it comes to our children we are all safety oriented and Laurie Strode, she is the OG safety person so therefore, it’s a really tough question, you will see in the movie, she does both, she will go after him but at the same time protect her family.”
Laurie Strode will return this October.