The new Halloween film, set 40 years after the original, features Curtis returning as Laurie Strode, who has spent the intervening decades constantly preparing for the day she will face Michael Myers again. As a result she has fortified her home and stocked up on numerous firearms, and she practices target shooting regularly so she'll be ready to kill Michael and end his evil in the world forever. The film's trailers feature regular appearances of these guns, and they're clearly a key part of Laurie's character.
In an article published Wednesday by Fox News, though, Curtis' use of guns while in character as Laurie Strode was positioned in contrast to her own calls for stronger gun legislation, and while the article did not outright label her a hypocrite, the implication was clear. The piece is titled "Jamie Lee Curtis wields firearms in new Halloween movie despite advocating for gun control," and features lines like this:
"But Curtis’s on-screen actions stand in contrast to her real-life persona as an advocate for gun control — one of several Hollywood actors who use firearms in their films while preaching against them away from the set."
Near the end of the article, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is quoted with regard to the hypocrisy of "Hollywood liberals" on issues like climate change and gun control.
Now, it should go without saying that, in Halloween, Curtis is playing a fictional character who happens to use guns as part of a trauma-driven survival narrative, and that character's motives and actions do not reflect her own, in much the same way that Mads Mikkelsen's performance as a sociopathic cannibal in Hannibal probably does not reflect his own daily life. That said, Curtis was more than happy to provide a nuanced response to the piece.
Speaking to USA Today, Curtis called the article "silly," particularly because it attempted to paint her on-screen gun use in a very specific way without digging deeper into her beliefs, which she acknowledged include both gun control and responsible gun use.
“I am vocal about common-sense gun safety and gun laws," she said. "For instance, I fully support an assault weapon ban, I fully support a bump stock ban."
But Curtis went on to say that she's not a supporter of banning guns altogether.
"I fully support the Bill of Rights. And fully support the Second Amendment. And have absolutely no problem with people owning firearms if they have been trained, licensed, a background check has been conducted, a pause button has been pushed to give time for that process to take place. And they have to renew their license just like we do with automobiles – which are weapons also."
Beyond the central point of gun control, which is a debate still raging in pop culture and in all culture, Curtis also further drove home the point that she's playing a character, and characters exist in stories that are driven by conflict. Whether or not popular films are too violent is a decision each individual has to make for themselves, but as Curtis notes, if she only played nice, nonconfrontational characters in Hollywood, she probably wouldn't work very much.
"I’m an actress who’s in slasher movies," she said. "I have to be responsible for my own personal choices in my own personal life. But I am an actor for hire. And honestly, if I had made my career as a pacifist actor, I would never have worked, ever.
"But I have always been proud to represent women who fight back and fight back with intelligence, cunning, and creativity, and who fight for their lives and their families’ lives."
Halloween is in theaters October 19.