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Jamie Lee Curtis Slays Venice with “Halloween Kills”

Jamie Lee Curtis brought a dash of horror and Hollywood history to the 78th Venice International Film Festival. Not only did the two-time Golden Globe winner bring the latest installment of the Halloween film franchise to the Lido – with the David Gordon Green-directed Halloween Kills – but the actress, writer, producer and director was also in town to receive the Film’s Festival’s prestigious Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

The decision to honor the multihyphenate was made by the board of the Biennale Di Venezia and the festival’s director, Alberto Barbera – but Curtis remained as coy as ever when asked about the prestigious accolade at her official press conference. She explained: “It’s very hard for me to wrap my mind around this as some sort of achievement because that seems to be somewhat closed, whereas I am working more and feel more creative today than I have been since I was born. It’s odd for me. And yet, of course, I am incredibly honored.” 

When Curtis was asked to choose three films from her award-winning career that she would like to be regarded as her legacy, she replied: “I would say quite simply Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda and True Lies – and there are a couple of others in the middle.”

“And then there are a couple of pieces of shit that I did I would be happy to talk to you about,” she added, drawing laughter from the press room. “We could do a sidebar on that later.”

Halloween Kills is the 12th installment of the slasher horror film franchise, which began in 1978 with the John Carpenter-directed original that launched Jamie Lee Curtis’ career. The latest movie was shown out of competition at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival and acts as a sequel to 2018s Halloween, which also saw Curtis play the iconic role of Laurie Strode.


Reflecting on her long-term Halloween role, Curtis said: “I think the most exciting thing for being an actor in the same role for 43 years is that we all have changed. The beauty of human beings is we change. We are battered and bruised, but we emerge and we grow. Our bones heal, we move forward, and then we get battered and bruised again.”

“What I love about the humanness of Laurie is that we are seeing it large on the screen. The reason I think people identify and relate to Laurie is because you are wounded too, and you are fighting back against the demons in your life. We are all the same. We are all human. We are all battered and we are all bruised, but we are all still here and that’s important.”

During the press conference, it was revealed that the third movie in the latest Halloween trilogy will soon go into production, with Curtis on board to play Laurie Strode again. The upcoming film is titled Halloween Ends and Curtis confirmed the script is finished and ready to go. “I read the third one on the plane over here,” she explained. “I did not sleep on the flight, so if I fall asleep in the middle of the press conference, it’s because of [writer/director] David Gordon Green. It’s an extraordinary way to finish this trilogy and I am beyond excited about it.”

When asked about how she prepares for the role after 43 years, Curtis gave a rather frank response: “I scare easily. If you Google pictures of me as a child, I look terrified. I think the truth of the matter is I am an untrained actor. I have never been to acting class. I prepare emotionally, but that’s my job. I scare easily and I hate these movies. I loathe them because I do not like to be frightened, so I think that it is just a natural talent.”

“I think you are just watching that genuine emotional connection to being afraid happen in real life on screen,” she added. “There is no psychological preparation. It’s just because I have been traumatized, I’ve had sad things happen and I have had violent things happen. All these reactions are just natural manifestations of my own experience.”


The daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh accepted the Golden Lion to thunderous applause on the Lido. Speaking on social media after the event, she explained: “I accepted my Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement with these words, which I attempted to deliver in Italian. ‘Thank you again for this great honor. I dedicate it to the victims and survivors of violence. All types. Physical. Political. Spiritual. Sexual. Psychological. Cultural. Emotional, Domestic, and the violence and hatred of discrimination against ANY and ALL who dare to have their own ideas and minds. I proudly accept this tonight with a clear, sober mind of my own and with an open and incredibly grateful heart.’”