P.J. Soles is of massive importance to the late '70s and early '80s. Between her roles as Lynda in Halloween and Riff Randall in Rock 'n Roll High School Forever, her impact on cinema is incalculable.
But she's nothing compared to her perfect, flawless hat. When it comes to the hat from Carrie, Soles was the accessory, and her hat the star.
And no one knows that more than Soles because the hat's the primary reason she got cast in the movie.
In an interview with Vulture in 2013, Soles detailed her audition:
"I was wearing my red baseball hat because I was covering my face from the sun, having come from New York to bright and sunny California — and [Brian De Palma] said, 'At the next audition, wear the hat.' And I said, 'My red baseball hat?' He says, 'Yeah, wear the hat.' It was weird, he liked the hat. I was wearing overalls and a striped T-shirt — I was looking very tomboyish — and this hat with the pins on it. And then the subsequent three auditions, every time I would go, he’d say, 'Next time bring your hat.' But I was reading for the part that Nancy Allen got [Chris Hargensen, the meanest girl] because the part of Norma was really only one line at the very beginning, at the volleyball game, when I take my hat off after we lose and I say, 'Thanks a lot, Carrie' and I whack her over the head with this hat ... The pins caught in [Sissy Spacek’s] hair and I ripped it out of her hair anyway, and I felt so bad afterwards and I apologized. She’s like, 'No, no, it worked, it made the scene really good.' And I was only on for one week but after Brian saw the dailies of that and saw how bad I was to rip that hat out of her hair, he said, 'I’m gonna put you on for the rest of the shoot and wherever Nancy is, you’re going to be her best friend.' I’m thinking now, did Brian know that I’d hit her over the head with my hat? Why he liked this hat so much, I have no idea. The hat got cast, I think before I did."
Yeah, Peej, because that hat? IT'S A GOOD HAT.
Let's break it down.
To fully appreciate the hat, we must go beneath the hat. Because look at those bangs. Tiny, little, crooked baby bangs that Courteney Cox would later sport in Scream 3 in what could very conveniently be written off as homage but was probably just the kind of poor hair decision we were all making in 2000.
Then the hat itself. Bill slightly curved, worn to comfy perfection but still retaining its vibrant redness, laden with rainbow pins like a precious human Pride float.
Then, SIDE TURN. It's got a dang cloud.
So good. So good a hat. So good, in fact, she wears it to PROM. With a dress that isn't even color-coordinated!
She doesn't give an eff about anything but Carrie White's complete and total humiliation! Such is the power of a truly stupendous hat.
Tragically, the hat (and the character wearing it but who cares) was hosed to death. We'll never forget you, hat, and the good times we shared.