Jamie Lee Curtis details ‘Halloween’ reboot success: “They take off the mask of trauma”
Jamie Lee Curtis has been discussing the success behind the new Halloween reboot success and praised the writers’ decision to focus on the mental health impact trauma can cause.
Having smashed Box Office sales upon its release last weekend, David Gordon Green’s ‘Halloween‘ reboot is enjoying a surge of excitement as it hits cinemas across the globe. Written by Green, Jeff Fradley, and Danny McBride, Halloween is the eleventh instalment in the Halloween film series and a direct sequel to the 1978 film of the same name.
“It’s been 40 years since Laurie Strode survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when his bus transfer goes horribly wrong. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the masked madman returns to Haddonfield, Ill. – but this time, she’s ready for him.”
Asked if she would ever be walking back into the role of Laurie Strode, Curtis answered bluntly: “No. And not with any sort of pejorative attachment, really,” in a new interview with SCMP. “I just didn’t think about it, to be honest. I was focusing on other things,” she added.
Earlier this week Curtis explain her regret in taking part in the Steve Miner directed Halloween H20, which was released in 1998, explaining that the money on offer was too good to turn down. It’s little wonder, then, that she’s delighted with the decision to move away from those past storylines: “This movie picks up 40 years [on] from the first movie only,” she explains.
“So all those other movies that I have been in have no relevance to this movie. They exist and there may be people who love them, but for this movie, David very gently trimmed away all of those other storylines and other interpretations.”
Explaining why David Gordon Green’s 2018 reboot has been so well received, Curtis interrupted: “Trauma – if it’s untreated – is like a cancer,” she said with passion. “It just grows in you. And that’s what we really started to explore: what PTSD really looks like.”
Detailing further, Curtis explained: “I think if Laurie from the opening of the movie was just some badass bitch, I don’t think it would work. Laurie Strode was vulnerable. That’s why audiences felt close to her, and this Laurie Strode is vulnerable. There are sequences where Laurie is very fragile and very wounded, and it has to show.”
While some people have hailed the new Halloween as a forward-thinking, female-empowering move in the #MeToo climate, Curtis recognised the importance of the timing but emphasised the film’s direction was in place earlier: “[Halloween was] written before that theme was brought by the courage of those women, Bill Cosby’s accusers, Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, Dr. Larry Nassar’s accusers, and more and more and more. Written before that, interestingly enough,” Curtis told Mashable.
“Women have been traumatised since the beginning of time,” she said. “Since the beginning of time they have been oppressed, and been aggressed, and been violated… The long-standing belief is that women had to stay silent in order to continue moving up whatever ladder of success there is,” she added.
Despite that discussion, Curtis has triumphed the decision to focus on the mental health aspect of the plot: “I was very happy that they [screenwriters] focused on the trauma that occurred with Laurie Strode, and that they wanted to put — it’s a bad analogy — they wanted to take off the mask of trauma. They wanted to show and expose really what trauma looked like,” said Curtis.
“What does that violence perpetrated on a young girl, what does it look like 40 years later if it’s untreated, if she hasn’t been given any mental health services? What does it look like in a person? And then, watch that person take back the narrative.
“So, it was both show the trauma and then flip it. Or as Missy Elliott would say, flip it and reverse it. I’m in Australia, wearing a red power suit, and I just threw down Missy Elliot. Just ‘cause I can.”