Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jamie Lee Curtis

"I'm Laurie Strode's guardian angel."

Jamie Lee Curtis is a badass.

The daughter of legendary actors Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis got her film debut in the 1978 horror film HALLOWEEN. She played the role of Laurie Strode. The film kicked some major box office ass and was considered the highest grossing independent film of its time, earning accolades as a classic horror film. Jamie Lee was subsequently cast in several horror films, garnering her the title, "scream queen".

"For me, I just show up and do what I do. And for me it has to be real -- anything I do, I don't care what it is. On "Halloween," I can remember, John Carpenter's first and only real direction to me was, 'I want people to believe this is a real person.' All I care about is trying to make anything real -- and then because I'm brave I'll try anything."

Her next film was the horror film, THE FOG, which was helmed by HALLOWEEN director John Carpenter. The film opened in February 1980 to mixed reviews but strong box office, further cementing Jamie Lee as a horror film starlet. Her next film, PROM NIGHT, was a low-budget Canadian slasher film released in July 1980. The film, for which she earned a Genie Award nomination for Best Performance by a Foreign Actress, was similar in style to HALLOWEEN, yet received negative reviews which marked it as a disposable entry in the then-popular "slasher film" genre. That year, she also starred in TERROR TRAIN, which opened in October and met with a negative reviews akin to PROM NIGHT. Jamie Lee had a similar function in both films - the main character whose friends are murdered, and is practically the only protagonist to survive. The final girl.

Famed film critic Roger Ebert, who had given negative reviews to all three of Curtis' 1980 films, said that Jamie Lee "is to the current horror film glut what Christopher Lee was to the last one-or Boris Karloff was in the 1930s". She later appeared in HALLOWEEN II, HALLOWEEN H20: 20 Years Later and HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION, as well as giving an uncredited voice role in HALLOWEEN III: Season of the Witch.

Here she is with fellow femme fatale and a woman I simply adore, Sigourney Weaver.

Jamie Lee has always been a fox, from the moment she first stepped out onto the scene to right now. She has been called "The Scream Queen" and "The Body". Her trademarks are her deep, sultry voice, her lovely legs, and her voluptuous body. In fact, her legs are insured for 2 million dollars. Here is a personal favorite exert from her performance in TRUE LIES where Jamie Lee is married to secret spy husband Arnold Schwarzenegger and unknowingly has to seduce him in a vain attempt of his to put a little excitement back into their marriage. Oh, Arnie.

"I believe people are entitled to a private life. I'm not sure where it's written that because you're in the public eye you are required to expose your private business, with anybody. It is nobody's business, and it's interesting because obviously in today's marketplace people don't abide by that. There are no boundaries that people won't cross...We're in a bit of a "Wild West" thing with media, and, I think, it's just kind of like no holds barred - the Internet. You know, there are no criteria on the Internet...I've chosen a public life to express myself, not to tell what I do with my husband in bed, not to do, to talk about my parents and my family life. And I just think it's wrong, and obviously it's an insatiable appetite that people have for gossip and innuendo and things that are nobody's business. And there's a term that they use in this called "legitimate public concern." What is legitimate public concern? If an elected official has an illness, that's legitimate public concern because they're our president or elected official. We, we, we need to know that they're healthy because we want them to live a long life and protect, you know, the Constitution...but in the marketplace, in the world, I don't believe it's anybody's concern. And that's what I think."

It's not easy growing up in the public eye and when your parents are super stars, it's even more difficult. Especially when things in your life aren't "happily ever after". Jamie Lee and her father, Tony Curtis, didn't have a relationship. Having to grow up not having him there for her at all in front of the world was difficult and emotionally upsetting to say the least. Jamie Lee handled the situation with great maturity and honesty.

"He was not a father; he was not interested in being a father - and this is not a slam against him - he did what he had to do from a financial standpoint, which was honorable of him to do, but he wasn't an involved father. Therefore, I look at him much more from the perspective of being a fan of him. I was more of a fan of his work, of his spirit, of his joie de vivre (joy of living)... My mother was never a diva, my father was bigger than life, who lived in Vegas! There was no bond, not at all. Except for the fact that I inherited genetically a part of him."

Jamie Lee is also an accomplished writer. She has written books, mostly for children. She has written "I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem", "It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel", "Is There Really a Human Race?", and "Big Words For Little People".

She is a strong believer in charity work. Jamie Lee feels that it's her duty given the power she has by her celebrity status. She takes time to support various philanthropic groups. Curtis was Guest of Honor at the 11th annual Gala and Fundraiser in 2003 for Women in Recovery, Inc., a Venice, California-based non-profit organization offering a live-in, twelve-step program of rehabilitation for women in need. Past honorees of this organization include Sir Anthony Hopkins and Angela Lansbury. Jamie Lee is also involved in the work of the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, serving as the annual host for the organization's "Dream Halloween" event in Los Angeles, launched every year in October.

"I'm not sure what fame is for if it isn't to focus on charitable work."


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