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I became a fan of Jamie Lee Curtis a bit later in the game than some of my peers. As a teen, I knew her as a horror and suspense actor, thanks to movies like Blue Steel and, of course, Halloween, and neither genre appealed much to me. As schlocky as it sounds, I did not need to fuel my already-active imagination with dreams of a goalie mask-wearing bad guy carrying a bloody knife, among other things.
I knew she was the daughter of Hollywood royalty. Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh were well known in my house when I was growing up, and my parents encouraged my love of movies from their generation. I saw Tony Curtis in movies like Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe and Houdini, with then-wife Janet Leigh. My interest in Jamie Lee Curtis didn't truly hit until True Lies in 1994. It was then that I realized just how hugely funny she could be, and so, I became intrigued.
I hadn't expected the reinvention from the suspense/horror actor with which I was familiar, and it was a refreshing change. In any press I watched where she'd show up, it was always warm and just plain fun to listen to her banter with her interview. Whether she was talking about her core beliefs with Oprah or gushing over Justin Timberlake with Ellen, Jamie Lee Curtis was just a ball of energy and she was so open, I could not help but admire her.
When she came out with her series of children's books with illustrator Laura Cornell, I fell in love. Is There Really A Human Race? was probably one of my favorites to read with my girls, who are now 9 and almost-14. This book, along with so many others that she wrote, was bouncy and fun while still encouraging kids to try and be their best people when they grow up because it's not a "race." What a powerful message for kids today to hear. In a world where so many kids see people not being terribly nice to each other for whatever reason, along came this book to encourage kids to lift each other up instead of trying to one-up each other. How cool was that?
This multi-dimensional woman—mom, prolific actor, prolific writer—has used her voice in so many awesome ways to send positive messages about life and understanding each other and each other's trauma.
She's now doing it with Halloween.
Jamie Lee Curtis makes no bones about it: Halloween is a slasher flick. However, there's a whole new dimension to Laurie Strode's story that many may not have expected when the initial Halloween bowed in 1978—one that was discussed in a very moving moment at this year's Comic Con, and one which Jamie Lee Curtis has openly talked about in further interviews.
Halloween as a treatise about the effects of generational trauma? Who'd have thought?
I love that Jamie Lee Curtis is continuing to be outspoken. I think it's awesome that she's embracing her past—and her future—with the Halloween franchise, and openly discussing issues like trauma. Sure, the trauma is in the guise of having to endure the horror brought forth by no less than Michael Myers himself, but who among us can adequately gauge the trauma endured by other people? Each person's experience is uniquely their own, and the Comic Con attendee who acknowledged Jamie Lee Curtis—or, at the very least, the character she portrayed—for her role in saving his life is only further proof that her staying power goes far beyond her body of work.