How Being the Daughter of Famous Parents Shaped Jamie Lee Curtis’ Career Choices

Today, Jamie Lee Curtis boasts quite a diverse career portfolio. From True Lies and Freaky Friday to Halloween, Scream Queens, and Knives Out, she’s flexed her acting muscles across the gamut of genres. From the fearful-turned-emboldened Laurie Strode to the comedic mother who can’t understand her daughter, Curtis boasts range. She can, in one take, be a sexy and fiery manipulator, and in another, talk about the benefits of Activia yogurt. 

Curtis wasn’t always on the path to becoming the A-lister she is today. During an interview with BlairWitch.De, Curtis explained how having parents in showbusiness impacted her career trajectory positively. 

Jamie Lee Curtis attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Jamie Lee Curtis attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015, in Los Angeles, California |

Curtis knew she had to walk away from the horror landscape 

When talking about Halloween, Curtis discussed the film’s appeal. She explained that the collision between “pure innocence” and “pure evil” makes the movie unparalleled in the horror landscape. Yet, following Halloween and a few other horror movies, Curtis made a promise to herself that she would not continue starring in scream queen-type roles. She shared:

“I got out of it [horror] because I knew if I didn’t, I never could do anything else. Even though I had no discernable talent, I somehow knew… I think, really, the greatest gift of being the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh was that I knew, just from being around show business, in the little I was around it…I knew, that If I continued to do them, that I would never, ever, ever be cast in anything but them…”

Curtis | BlairWitch.De

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Curtis explained that, though her parents were actors, she wasn’t consistently hanging out in their circles. However, the exposure to showbiz she did have — the bits of conversation she caught — was enough to guide her toward role diversification.

Curtis’ mother was Janet Leigh — one of the first scream queens ever, for she is the woman in the shower in Psycho. Leigh is also known for Touch of Evil and The Vikings. As for Tony Curtis, he’s well known for Some Like It Hot, The Persuader, and Operation Petticoat. Curtis had two Hollywood stars for parents — two individuals who figured out the secrets to success in cinema, and she gleaned what she needed to from them.

When Jamie Lee Curtis said to herself, ‘I will never make another horror film’

Early in her career, Curtis realized she couldn’t keep making horror movies. She shared:

“I had done Halloween, then I did The Fog, then…a couple horror films in Canada. I did a movie in Australia, and when I came back for Halloween 2, I said, ‘I will never make another horror film…’ I was probably 21 years old saying that because I knew.” 

Curtis | BlairWitch.DE

RELATED: Jamie Lee Curtis’ Parents Forbade Her From Starring In a Famous Horror Movie

Curtis explained that soon after she made that promise to herself, she was cast in a TV movie about Dorothy Stratten titled Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story. And, from that point on, she snagged non-horror role after non-horror role. Yet, luckily for fans, she returned to fight off against Michael Myers four decades following the original 1978 film.