Eluding and fighting back against serial killers is not as easy as it used to be. Just ask Jamie Lee Curtis, who, 40 years after their first encounter, finds herself taking on Michael Myers in the new Halloween, which ignores the multitude of sequels to the 1978 original.
“It was hard,” she admitted to Entertainment Tonight. “The whole thing was very hard. I ended up with a cracked rib at the end of it. [I was] bruised and cut. But that’s the nature of the beast. If you don’t get hurt, you’re not doing it right. Because, in order to do it, you have to get hurt.”
In the film, Jamie, 59, returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. She’s joined by Judy Greer as Karen, Laurie’s daughter who was taken away from her when Karen was a child, and who fluctuates between sympathy for her mother and frustration at her nonstop paranoia. We don’t feel that we’re spoiling anything to say that Laurie is not being paranoid. She’s convinced and for good reason.
Jamie admits that she’s long-held Laurie close to her heart and understands why people feel a connection with her. “Laurie Strode was a smart girl in high school just starting her life,” she reflects. “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.”
Initially, the actress was skeptical when she heard that there was going to be yet another Halloween and that screenwriters Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, and David Gordon Green (who also directs) wanted her to reprise the role of Laurie. “David was exuberant and positive when we spoke,” Jamie says. “When he started to explain the idea to me, I said, ‘Please don’t. Just send it to me, and I will tell you from the opening sequence.’”
That’s pretty much all it took: “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.”
She was drawn to the writers’ 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. 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.”
Needless to say, things don’t go exactly the way that Laurie hopes they will.
Halloween reaches theaters on Oct. 19.