Laurie Lives On! Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween Through the Years – PEOPLE

Jamie Lee Curtis first stepped into the terrified shoes of Laurie Strode at 19 years old in 1978, playing the Halloween “final girl” with gusto.
“What was amazing to me was [it was] an acting part,” Curtis told Drew Barrymore at New York Comic Con in October 2022. “She didn’t look like me, she didn’t dress like me, she did’t think like me. I barely got out of high school. She was like the valedictorian of her class. There was a real opportunity for me to be an actor. I hadn’t had that opportunity before. For me, that was incredible.”
The movie made $47 million worldwide (off a $300,000 budget) and earned a permanent spot in pop culture history.
Curtis was back to face Michael Myers in the early '80s sequel, which didn't perform as well in theaters but kept the actress' star shining.
“I wouldn’t have anything in my life without Laurie Strode,” Curtis told Barrymore at Comic Con. “Nothing. I wouldn’t have a career. I would not have a family.”
Curtis took a break from the franchise for nearly 20 years, returning for the Kevin Williamson-penned sixth film alongside teen idols Josh Hartnett and Michelle Williams. The movie was a hit, earning more than $55 million at the box office.
In her October 2022 chat at Comic Con, Curtis said she wanted the series to end there, with Myers dying. However, studio execs disagreed. “I said, ‘I’m not going to do it, I’m not going to tease the audience again,” she said. “I came up with an idea to end it.”
That idea played out in the 2002 film, after H20 ended with Strode killing an innocent man and Resurrection began with her institutionalized.
"I said … you have to kill me in the first ten minutes of the movie because I've now killed an innocent man and I can't live with that," she said at Comic Con. So the filmmakers did.
But — much to the delight of theatergoers — Curtis couldn't stay away. She returned in 2018 in a film that picked up where the 1978 movie left off, effectively glossing over the previous sequels and kicking off a new trilogy.
“[Director David Gordon Green] sent me a script and said she spent 40 years hiding behind barbed wire, emotionally and physically,” Curtis explained of the character at Comic Con, per “At the expense of her daughter and granddaughter, she knows Michael Myers is coming back. It was this incredible film about Laurie and her trauma.”
She added: "It was this beautiful movie about a woman taking control of her life and it coincided with the women around the world standing up and taking control of their lives and saying 'Me Too, Me Too, Time Is Up and Me Too.' "
The immediate sequel followed Strode — now a grandmother — as she led a group of people affected by Myers’ killing streak to go after him. “Her life had great purpose, she was a fighter,” Curtis told Variety of Strode’s strengths in 2021.
So will Strode also end in what Curtis has called the absolute final film? Only moviegoers (and Peacock streamers) will know for sure, although costar Kyle Richards already declared she’s up for another one. “[It’s] the gift that keeps on giving,” she recently told PEOPLE.
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