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'Halloween Ends': Jamie Lee Curtis on what’s kept Laurie Strode alive for all these years
John Carpenter works in mysterious ways.
by Tyler McCarthy
It’s been almost 45 years since the original Halloween introduced audiences to not just the Boogeyman himself, Michael Meyers, but Hollywood's number one scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode.
To celebrate the franchise’s legacy as well as the upcoming premiere of what is being touted as the final film in the franchise, Halloween Ends, Curtis took to the 2022 New York Comic Con where she made it clear, the key thing that’s kept her character alive -- despite really, really good efforts to kill her -- has always been the fans.
“You know, endings are a bitch but so is Laurie Strode,” Curtis said at the top of the panel, moderated by fellow queen of horror Drew Barrymore.
Curtis got visibly emotional when she talked about finally saying goodbye to the character.
“I’m ready to end it but I’m gonna miss you so much,” she said before immediately breaking into tears. ”I take it so seriously, you guys. I don’t take any of this for granted and you just have to understand this is overwhelming and I appreciate your support very much."
The actress continued to make sure the crowd, which never missed an opportunity to give her a standing ovation, knew it was because of their love of the franchise and her character that she’s been able to do this for so many decades.
“At this point, Jamie and Laurie have become woven together,” she said. “There is no separation… I don’t have anything in my life without Laurie Strode, nothing. I wouldn’t have a career, I would not have a family. Everything comes from you loving her. I’m telling you, this should be flipped. It should be me with the lights on you because everything good in my life came from that sh---y little office on Cahuenga Boulevard... When John Carpenter and Debra Hill cast me in the part of Laurie Strode.”
In a joyfully morbid moment that only Curtis is capable of pulling off, she even went as far as to say she knows someday she’ll pass away and the headlines will read: “Halloween Actress Dies.”
“It is the permanent ink of my life. It is the permanent saturation into me no matter what I do,” she said while smiling.
It’s not uncommon for the slasher in a slasher movie to become a pop culture icon. However, Strode is a rare example of a final girl being almost as famous as the killer. She told the crowd she believes that all comes back to some early direction she got from Carpenter on the set of the 1978 film.
She told the crowd she was told to play Laurie as “vulnerable,” which she at the time thought meant weak. It wasn’t until Halloween came out and she went to a screening that she fully understood the term.
According to Curtis, the crowd was completely silent until the moment her character decides to walk across the street and check out the house of horrors there. “In a pin-silent theater, a woman in the middle stood up and went, ‘DONT GO IN THERE, THERE’S A KILLER IN THE HOUSE!!’ And the theater, it was like the moment they were released to now go, ‘F--- no, no!” and the whole theater started the audience participation that we now know is a horror movie experience.”
She concluded: “And it was in that second that I went, ‘Oh, that’s what he meant. He wanted her to be vulnerable so that you cared about her and you didn’t want her to get hurt. And you guys haven’t wanted me to get hurt for 44 years…”
You can catch Laurie’s final bout with Michael Meyers on Oct. 14 in theaters and on Peacock.