Home Entertainment Jamie Lee Curtis on ‘Halloween Kills’ Ending: “It’s Masterful”

Jamie Lee Curtis on ‘Halloween Kills’ Ending: “It’s Masterful”

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After 43 years, Jamie Lee Curtis is the happiest she’s ever been in Haddonfield. Curtis — who’s about to return to the big screen as her signature character, Laurie Strode, in David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills — gives much of the credit to Green, whom her godson, Jake Gyllenhaal, introduced her to in June 2017. Green has not only helped Curtis rediscover her love for the Halloween franchise, but he’s also inspired her to write her own screenplay for a horror movie titled Mother Nature. Most of all, Curtis is impressed with Green’s foresight.

“Once again, David Gordon Green is prescient. The #MeToo movement, those brave women who first spoke to Ronan Farrow, happened at the beginning of October of 2017, but Halloween (2018) was written way before that,” Curtis tells The Hollywood Reporter. “So they were prescient about [female trauma], and [in Halloween Kills], they were prescient about the mob violence, the uprisings, the civil unrest, the people taking matters into their own hands, the ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore’ idea, and the ‘system is broken’ conversation. We made this movie a long time ago, and there’s even a hint of police misconduct in the re-creations of the 1978 sequences.”

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Even though Halloween Kills has been on the shelf for a year due to the global pandemic, Curtis remains in awe of the ending.

“I am a pacifist. I don’t like horror films. I don’t like anything scary. I cover my eyes and ears; I wanna have nothing to do with it. And yet … the last 10 minutes of this film are a masterpiece,” Curtis says. “It brings so many homages from both [Halloween (1978)] to even Psycho, my mother’s [Janet Leigh] demise in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. It’s brutal and surprising, and the surprise of the end, I’ve seen it with audiences. They’re like, ‘What!? No! No!’ So it’s fantastic.”

Curtis also says she’s preparing now for the final film in Green’s trilogy, Halloween Ends.

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“From a creative standpoint, I can tell you nothing except that it will be as shocking as these first two movies,” Curtis shares. “It’s about the blurring, the two sides of violence and really, what is violence? I really think it’s going to be an exquisite end to this trilogy. In 10 years, in 20 years, you will look back on what was going on in the world, and you will look at these three movies and go, ‘How did a slasher film director encapsulate what happened in the United States and around the world, from this year to this year? How did he make three movies about it before it happened?’ And I think you’re going to see that in this new, last movie.”

In a recent conversation with THR, Curtis also explains why she doesn’t insist on having full creative control over present-day Laurie.

So I have to imagine that you had some doubts about returning to this franchise a few years ago, but based on the quality of David Gordon Green’s two films, is this the happiest you’ve ever been in Haddonfield?

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(Laughs.) “Happy in Haddonfield,” that should be a sweatshirt; I’m sure it is somewhere. Yes. Yes, I had no anticipation that I would ever go back to Haddonfield. I felt that I had said what I needed to say. I’m grateful for all of those opportunities, and the last thing in the world I thought would do was another Halloween movie, before Jake Gyllenhaal called me in June of 2017, saying that his friend David, who he had just worked with on Stronger, wanted to talk to me about a Halloween movie. And yes, I think David is a tremendous filmmaker. He’s talented, weird, inventive, collaborative and fun. His sets are unlike any movie set. I loved working with David so much that I went home and wrote a film; I’ve never written a screenplay. I had such a good time in the 2018 movie that I actually came home and thought, “Wow! If that’s making movies, then I want to make one.” It was so fun, and he’s just done an amazing job with these stories.

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David Gordon Green and Jamie Lee Curtis Ryan Green/Universal Pictures

Well, thank you, Jake Gyllenhaal. Obviously, nobody knows Laurie Strode better than you, so do David and Co. defer to you when something Laurie-related doesn’t feel authentic?

Laurie has evolved; we all have. I don’t know how old you are. You’re young; you’re younger than me. But where were you when you were 20? What were you doing? What were you thinking? How were you behaving? What were you wearing? What was your hair like? We’ve all evolved. I’ve become this woman. The woman I am here with you today, I’ve become her through trial and error, and many missteps and much grace from the universe. And I think Laurie is the same. I would not presume to really be able to take ownership and say, “Well, no, Laurie would never do that.” Because in the 2018 movie, it’s been 40 years. For 40 years, she was a pinball in a pinball machine, banging around, man to man, bottle to bottle. She didn’t exist. So it’s very hard to say what she would or wouldn’t do. But I was thrilled with the direction that they took her, and the gravitas and the time they were going to spend honoring how hard her life has been.

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Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer Ryan Green/Universal Pictures

At first, it was nice to see people unite against a greater threat, but then Halloween Kills explored the downside of that in the form of mob mentality. Have the past 18 months changed your perception of that particular story point?

Well, of course. And we made this movie two years ago. Once again, David Gordon Green is prescient. Halloween (2018), he wrote it in 2017. It was a movie about female trauma and the power of that trauma over a human being’s life. The #MeToo movement, those brave women who first spoke to Ronan Farrow, happened at the beginning of October of 2017, but the movie was written way before that. So they were prescient about that, and they were prescient about the mob violence, the uprisings, the civil unrest, the people taking matters into their own hands, the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore” idea, and the “system is broken” conversation. We made this movie a long time ago, and there’s even a hint of police misconduct in the re-creations of the 1978 sequences. And yet, here we are. It is never gonna end well because that powerful energy turns people. You can have the best of intentions, but civil unrest, even civil disobedience, can sometimes be for a greater good. Nothing changes unless something changes. And yet, there are rules in place to protect us. If not, it would be anarchy, everywhere, all the time. And so it crosses the line, as these things do, as we’ve seen it do all over the world, not only in this country. So it’s a scary time because the lines are blurred.

The last 10 minutes of Halloween Kills are jaw-droppingly brutal.

Aren’t they gorgeous, though?

Yes, and they’re impressionistic in a way. Do you remember your general reaction after you first read or watched those moments unfold?

It was the beauty of it. I am a pacifist. I don’t like horror films. I don’t like anything scary. I cover my eyes and ears; I wanna have nothing to do with it. And yet, it’s masterful. The last 10 minutes of this film are a masterpiece. It brings so many homages from both the 1978 movie to even Psycho, my mother’s [Janet Leigh] demise in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. There are elements. The cinematography, the sound, the music, the performances, the direction is exquisite and terrifying. And then the ending is so shocking that you’re left … (Curtis gasps.) It’s almost like you’ve cut off a beautiful piece of music, and I admire the bravery of the filmmaking because it resonates more that way. If there was some sort of swagger-y ending, I think it would’ve been gratuitous, and what’s beautiful about the way the movie ends is that it’s just like the violence that it’s showing. It’s brutal and surprising, and the surprise of the end, I’ve seen it with audiences. They’re like, “What!? No! No!” So it’s fantastic.

We’ve got about 30 seconds left …

No! No! (Curtis pretends to cry.)

So how much do you know about Halloween Ends at this point? Are you gearing up soon?

Yeah, we’re just starting to. I’m a card-carrying mommy, so mommy is all about, “Where am I living? Who’s going to help me with my dog?” (Laughs.) I’m a card-carrying old lady, and I like to take care of myself. I’m a bit of a nurturer. So from a creative standpoint, I can tell you nothing except that it will be as shocking as these first two movies. It explores an aspect — kind of what you talked about. It’s about the blurring, the two sides of violence and really, what is violence? I really think it’s going to be an exquisite end to this trilogy. In 10 years, in 20 years, you will look back on what was going on in the world, and you will look at these three movies and go, “How did a slasher film director encapsulate what happened in the United States and around the world, from this year to this year? How did he make three movies about it before it happened?” And I think you’re going to see that in this new, last movie.

Interview has been edited for length and clarity. Halloween Kills is available in theaters on Oct. 15.

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