“Halloween” has been a staple of the spookiest season ever since John Carpenter unleashed the unrelenting monster Michael Myers on an unsuspecting suburban town in 1978. The man in the mask went from boy-murderer to indestructible killing machine, seemingly always drawn back to one person, his surviving sister Laurie Strode. Played by the incomparable Jamie Lee Curtis, fans have delighted in the (many) returns of Strode always flipping the traditional slasher script from victim to survivor. We spoke to the actress, who returns in David Gordon Green’s “Halloween Kills,” the second film in the trilogy,. Curtis discussed whether there can be a Michael Meyers without a Laurie Strode (which past movies have tried before) and if she will finally be ready to leave Laurie’s legacy behind after the final chapter “Halloween Ends.”
After you premiered the film to the fans, the reactions were overwhelmingly positive about the gory kills. They were really excited about all of the slayings. Did you have a particular favorite kill in “Halloween Kills?”
Jamie Lee Curtis: It’s a slasher movie. These are slasher movies. They are beautiful works of art. They are films made by talented filmmakers. They are scored by talented composers. They are acted by talented actors, but they’re slasher movies. That’s a specific type of movie. Therefore the kills in this movie are so much more wildly, violent, energetic and repetitive. There’s a repetitive nature to the way Michael is killing. I think that’s because he has ascended. I think he has risen from the flames. He is transcended into something bigger than Michael, but his level of violence has accelerated in this new movie. So having said that, the way that Dylan [Arnold’s] character [Cameron Elam] Andy’s boyfriend, he’s the Bonnie to her Clyde. The way he is killed in this movie is long and brutal and disturbing for me.
And then you think it’s over…
But guess what? In a slasher movie, you can never think it’s over. Because it’s never over.
The 2018 “Halloween” film had an amazing response, now that we’re getting deeper into this trilogy, how much input did you have with [David Gordon Green] and what sort of things did you want to see for your character that were important to you?
So the truth of the matter is I’m not going to take any credit. Even for the 2018 movie. I really showed up and did the work that David wrote. I did it the way he wanted me to do it. I felt the reason I said yes to the movie was because it was so clear that the intention of the movie felt right to me. The trilogy, which I didn’t know was a trilogy, by the way, when we made 2018. Only when we were editing and doing the final touches of the 2018 movie, did I find out that they were going to make another movie. My only input in the 2021 movie was about the hospital gown because Laurie is wounded and has a surgery in a hospital. My concern was they had written scenes where Laurie is running down the hall with her daughter in a hospital gown.
I just said to David hospital gowns are not hot and they’re not tough. You put Arnold Schwarzenegger in a hospital gown, he looks like a wimp. They’re designed for a specific purpose, but they just don’t help you create a character. My biggest issue was that I needed to get dressed again, I was a little bit vocal about how soon we could get Laurie back in her clothes. The idea of me running down a hall of a hospital with my ass hanging out of a hospital gown just seemed counterproductive… My only contribution really was putting her back in her bloody old clothes, that of course wouldn’t have existed because they would have cut her clothes off. Anyway, we have a lot of logic police going on.
I noticed that when they pointed out her old bloody shirt! We’ve seen “Halloween” movies without Laurie Strode in the past. But can there be a Michael Myers movie without the Strode family without the Laurie legacy?
No, no, no. It’s the dance. The dance is between Lori and Michael. Don’t think it would be satisfying, but maybe I’m just being romantic and protective.
When “Halloween Ends” premieres, do you feel like you’ll be ready to step away from the Laurie Strode character?
I never thought I would be Laurie Strode again in my life when the phone rang and Jake Gyllenhaal called me and said, “Hey, Jamie, my friend David would like to talk to you.” The last thing in the world I thought I would do is a “Halloween” movie. I had other things going on. So I can’t imagine that happening again in the same creative vein that this happened with a great filmmaker, with a trilogy of films, all written and directed by the same filmmaker. It would be hard to imagine somebody else coming up with another iteration of those stories. But at the same time, I never thought I’d be doing this one. So to say never would be stupid. I’ve learned not to say never because you know, here I am wearing orange!
We’ve talked before about the legacy of Laurie and how she was the first she was before “Alien,” she was before Buffy. Looking forward, what sort of legacy do you hope Lori leaves behind for horror fans?
That she fought for it. She fought for her family, for herself. That she fought for other people. There’s The Pretenders song, bring on the revolution. I want to die for something and I would hope that if Laurie Strode ever dies in a movie, that you will play that song, because her life had great purpose. She was a fighter. She says it in the 2021 movie, when Tommy says, “What do we do, Lori?” She says, “We fight. We always fight.”
I know everything can change but I read online that “Halloween Ends” could start filming in January 2022. How are you physically and mentally getting ready?
You know, one of the great things about me is I don’t do much thinking I’m, I’m a very instinctual person. And so whatever technical skills I need to have for the new movie I will have. That will be something I will practice — whatever that technical skill is beyond that, I just show up. David Green creates such a wonderful, free kind of interactive filmmaking experience that’s not very controlled. Therefore I don’t go into it with a ton of expectations. I go in open and wide open with my eyes, thrilled to be on another movie set with David and his crew and my crew and Laurie. And it’s going to surprise people. That’s all I can tell you.