When Jamie Lee Curtis was just 19, she appeared in an episode of the NBC drama “Quincy M.E,” and lead her first feature film a year later with 1978’s “Halloween.” Part of the reason for her early rise was her name — Curtis is the daughter of Oscar nominees Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t worked hard throughout her career, as she put it in a Thursday Instagram post.
This week, New York Magazine published an extensive series of articles exploring “nepo babies,” a slang term for celebrities or public figures with famous or influential parents or relatives in the Hollywood industry. Curtis herself was mentioned in one story. The series went viral on social media, and prompted some blowback from celebrities like O’Shea Jackson Jr. and Lily Allen. Now, Curtis has weighed in on the conversation, although she did not explicitly mention the New York story by name, saying that the current conversation is “designed to try to diminish and denigrate and hurt.”
“It’s curious how we immediately make assumptions and snide remarks that someone related to someone else who is famous in their field for their art, would somehow have no talent whatsoever. I have come to learn that is simply not true,” Curtis wrote. “I have suited up and shown up for all different kinds of work with thousands of thousands of people and every day I’ve tried to bring integrity and professionalism and love and community and art to my work. I am not alone. There are many of us. Dedicated to our craft. Proud of our lineage. Strong in our belief in our right to exist.”
In the post, Curtis did acknowledge her parentage, including two photos of her with her famous parents, and called herself “an OG Nepo Baby.” She additionally admitted that, although she has worked hard throughout her career, her connection to Hollywood royalty has afforded her privileges throughout her career.
“I’ve never understood, nor will I, what qualities got me hired that day, but since my first two lines on ‘Quincy’ as a contract player at Universal Studios to this last spectacular creative year some 44 years later, there’s not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars,” Curtis said. “For the record I have navigated 44 years with the advantages my associated and reflected fame brought me, I don’t pretend there aren’t any, that try to tell me that I have no value on my own.”
Curtis ended her post by plugging this year’s “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which she starred in along with Michelle Yeoh, and is receiving Best Supporting Actress Oscar buzz for.
“So, in these difficult days of so much rage in the world can we just try to find that quiet voice that the brilliant movie, ‘EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE’ reminds us,” Curtis wrote, before quoting the film: “NOTE TO SELF: BE KIND, BE KIND; BE KIND.”
Read Curtis’ full Instagram post below.
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