Newly minted Academy Award nominee Jamie Lee Curtis has spent her entire life in Hollywood. Even though she’s just now getting the recognition she deserves thanks to her role in Everything Everywhere All At One, Curtis has been steadily working in the film industry for the better part of five decades.
In that time, Curtis has served up performances in iconic films like Trading Places, True Lies, A Fish Called Wanda, and Knives Out. Comfortable working in comedy, drama, or (especially) a mix of the two, Curtis has carved out one of the most unique and accomplished filmographies of any actress in recent memory. With all those roles, it only seems logical that Curtis has some funny stories to tell.
In a recent appearance on Entertainment Weekly’s YouTube show Role Call, Curtis shared some of her favourite memories from across her career. During the chat, Curtis provides insight into the working relationship she had with Lindsay Lohan on Freaky Friday and how the trials of being a new mother soured the experience of working on A Fish Called Wanda.
Curtis also shared some surprising facts about her first and perhaps most well-known role. During the production of 1978’s Halloween, Curtis was still a teenager. While she talks positively about working with director John Carpenter, she saved her major enthusiasm for being on a young set. Other than Carpenter, most of the actors and individuals involved in Halloween were incredibly young.
“It was my first movie. I remember how much I loved being part of that group of young filmmakers,” Curtis explained. “I had previously been in television, where it was all older Union crew. And this was… I know the oldest person on the crew was John Carpenter and he was 30. So it was a bunch of young dudes and me.”
Curtis also shared a bit of musical history that connected with her role. “They were playing ‘Hey Nineteen’ by Steely Dan, and I was 19, you know what I mean?” Curtis said. “In that sense, it was beautiful. It was youth and community and that’s what I remember.”
Curtis’ timeline is a little off there: Halloween was shot mostly in May of 1978, while Steely Dan’s Gaucho wasn’t released until November of 1980. Still, the sentiment is the same: Curtis was unbelievably young when she was filming Halloween, and a little bit of Steely Dan would have been the perfect counter to Curtis’ early forays into film.