Jamie Lee Curtis announced she would reprise her first film role less than three weeks before allegations against Harvey Weinstein ignited the #MeToo movement (see tweet below). With decades of experience in an industry notorious for sexism, workplace harassment, and worse, she sensed that for women, change was afoot. At Universal Pictures’ Friday evening San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) presentation, she discussed why her “Halloween” character’s turmoil is as relevant as it gets.
“Same porch. Same clothes. Same issues. 40 years later. Headed back to Haddonfield one last time for Halloween. Release date 10/19/18.” pic.twitter.com/IvptiZctyw
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) September 15, 2017
“Laurie Strode was 17 years old when she was brutally attacked by Michael Myers, a random act of violence that stayed with her her entire life,” she began, joined by co-writer/director Devin Gordon Green, plus producers Jason Blum and Malek Akkad. “This is a girl who — 40 years later — never had any mental health services… She has carried the trauma and PTSD of someone who was attacked randomly. And what was so interesting about the movie that David and company wrote is that what they’re honoring today is that [with] that trauma, there comes a point where you say, ‘I am not my trauma, the narrative of my life is not that I am a victim.’ And this is a woman who’s been waiting 40 years, who faced the person who she knows is coming back, to say, ‘I am going to take back the legacy of my life, I am going to take back my narrative, and you don’t own me anymore.’ And that, weirdly enough, seems to be a bit of a thing in the world today.”
She then referenced Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards, where 141 survivors of sexual misconduct by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.Nassar must serve three separate prison sentences, each lasting at least 40 years. “All of those women stood on that stage while that M.F. — and there are kids in the audience wearing Luigi and Mario hats, so I’m not saying what I really want to say — rots in prison. Those women stood there and said, ‘You do not control our narrative anymore.’ And that is why I am sitting here today, in this great Hall H, in a movie for David Gordon Green, because he wrote a character who is saying, ‘I am taking back my narrative.'”
Fans later got their first look at a sequence from the film, the eleventh in franchise history. Myers is shown brutally killing two women — neighbors who are each home alone on Halloween night.
But the most profound moment of SDCC came at the start of the Q&A. A tearful man in a Haddonfield High t-shirt named Joseph Scott said that when a home invader with a knife threatened his family 20 years ago, his survival instincts kicked in thanks to the thought, “What would Laurie Strode do?” Curtis left the stage to give him a hug, kiss, and selfie.
Universal Pictures brings “Halloween” to theaters on October 19.