JAMIE LEE CURTIS DID NOT EXPECT to reach the busiest point in her four-decade career now. In fact, there was a time in the mid-aughts when she talked repeatedly about retiring. “I wanted to leave the party before the party asked me to leave,” she explains, having watched her actor parents, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, “deal with the fact that people weren’t hiring them anymore, and it’s heartbreaking.” She ventured into TV work, podcasting, and starting a social enterprise, but then her godson, Jake Gyllenhaal, called, wanting to introduce her to director David Gordon Green, who had an idea for a Halloween movie. When she realized that “the script was about generational trauma and showed women surviving trauma and how they deal with it,” Curtis was ready not only to reprise the role she made famous with the 1978 original, but to executive produce it. 2018’s Halloween went on to become the biggest opener ever with a woman over 55 as the lead. Here, Curtis talks about this month’s Halloween Kills; her new production company, Comet Pictures; and the benefits of being the kind of person people trust.
Did you ever expect to be so busy at 62?
No! It’s a total surprise, and I’m thrilled about it. I mean, look at this face! When I came back after filming the 2018 Halloween movie, which was a lot of fun, I thought: The tragedy of my death will be the unexpressed creativity that lives in me that I have not brought out into the world. That was the catalyst. When I went home, I wrote a screenplay [for a climate-change-themed horror movie called Mother Nature] that had been in my head since I was 19 years old. I had written an outline for it, but I was going to give it to somebody else to write it. And my husband [actor and filmmaker Christopher Guest] said to me, “Why don’t you write it?” [That script, which Curtis will direct, led to her forming a company called Comet Pictures, which nabbed a first-look deal with Halloween production firm Blumhouse.] We just sold four TV shows, a movie, and two podcasts. My creative work is happening and it’s all because of that time running out. My motto is, “If not now, when? If not me, who?” And so now I just go for everything, and I keep going for it.
After a long career in front of the camera, you became a producer on the 2018 Halloween revival. What was behind this decision?
I should have been a producer on the 2002 movie. [That film] was my idea, but at that moment I didn’t have enough personal integrity to go, “Wait a minute, we’re making this because I just called everyone—let me produce.” I didn’t do that.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Nike Go FlyEase
For many, shoes are a pain to put on. Our footwear requires some dexterity. And that’s more than just an annoyance for people with disabilities, ranging from arthritis to partial paralysis.
Hydrogen Takes the Spotlight
SocCalGas [H2] Hydrogen Home is set to revolutionize renewable energy in California
As Twitter’s first Chief Design Officer, Dantley Davis was given a mandate to fight toxicity on the platform and shake up the company’s corporate culture. Both are uphill battles.
Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Halloween Kills isn’t the only project of hers that’s slaying.
Jeanne Gang – Building on the Past
Internationally renowned architect Jeanne Gang is transforming neglected old structures into modern marvels.
A New Vision
Neuroscientist Sheila Nirenberg’s breakthrough neural code is restoring sight in humans and expanding visual capabilities in computing, but some of her academic peers would like to see more transparency in her data.
Katie Porter - U.S. Representative (D-CA 45th District)
The Most Creative People in Business 2021
The Imitation Game
Retail has always thrived on Target, with its billion-dollar private trends—spotting them, copying them labels, has turned this and capitalizing on them approach into a winning strategy.
Wind of Change
Public companies are struggling to embrace stakeholder capitalism. Can a new breed of activist investor help?
The King's Gambit
Chess champion Fabiano Caruana has a winning strategy for keeping his head in the game.