Why did Jamie Lee Curtis agree to reprise her signature role of horror movie heroine Laurie Strode in the new Halloween sequel (out Oct. 19)? In part, because the actress mistakenly believed it wouldn’t involve much effort on her part and that the movie’s real emphasis would be on her character’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).
“I really focused on [the characters played by] Andi and Judy,” says Curtis. “When I first got sent the script, I literally said, ‘Look, you guys, I’m in it so little, you can shoot me out in, like, five days.’ ”
Curtis only realized her error when she landed in Charleston, S.C., where the film was shot, and began to rehearse with director David Gordon Green, unpacking the psychic damage the masked killer Michael Myers had inflicted on her character 40 years previously in John Carpenter’s original Halloween.
“I started crying the day I arrived,” she says. “I didn’t stop crying until the day I left. I didn’t expect it. I knew [Laurie] would be fierce, I knew she’d be galvanized, I knew I’d be tired, I knew I would work hard. I did not know that it would move me so deeply, the whole experience of the movie. It took me a good month [to recover].”
The shoot also proved physically taxing for the actress, who injured herself while filming her character’s climactic confrontation with Myers.
“I cracked my rib [shooting] those last sequences,” says Curtis. “By the end of that sequence, not just the stuntman was taking Advil. We all were taking lots of Advil. I mean, obviously, there were stunt people involved but all of the fighting is all me. Or a great, great great majority of it is.”