Just a few reasons why 'Scream Queens' star Jamie Lee Curtis is a queen IRL
When I heard there was going to be a new Ryan Murphy series called Scream Queens (premiering tomorrow!), I was interested, given what a trip American Horror Story is each season. But I became a counting down fan girl when I realized a key ingredient was one of Hollywood’s most amazing ladies: Jamie Lee Curtis. Of course Murphy is smart enough to recognize the importance of a show called Scream Queens including THE Scream Queen (hello, she was in Prom Night and Halloween). And it shows just how cool Curtis is that she signed on, although it doesn’t surprise me in the least. The silver hair, the humor, the obvious comfort with who she is–she just kills me with her awesomeness. Here are just some of the reasons I heart her to the moon and back.
She is ridiculously funny
As much as she has been associated with horror, Jamie Lee Curtis has taken rolls in a variety of genres. Turns out she can make us scream with laughter as much as we scream with fear, as evidenced by her work in everything from Trading Places to The New Girl. My personal favorite is A Fish Called Wanda, where her character Wanda charms and seduces a crew of low level thieves (and one lawyer). While Wanda could be categorized as a femme fatale, Curtis makes her likable without ever compromising her smarts and sexuality. Her feats of physical comedy are nothing short of genius–check out the scene where she goes from fake crying over a lost locket to writhing in ecstasy as John Cleese speaks Russian. Perfection.
Her writing talent is immense
Sometimes when you see a celebrity name attached to a book, it means a ghost writer or a bunch of fluff. However, Curtis’ debut children’s book, Today I Feel Silly, and Other Moods That Make My Day, is truly a great book that appeals to kids and doesn’t make adults feel numb after the hundredth reading. All of her books since have followed suit in looking at the world from a child’s perspective will still addressing real issues. As her blog for the Huffington Post shows, her writing skills for adults are just as sharp.
She really plays the guitar in Freaky Friday
Remember that scene when Lindsay Lohan, still the mother in the daughter’s body, has to fake playing the guitar onstage while the real Anna plays it in her mother’s body backstage? Well, Curtis is actually playing thanks to some coaching from Orgy front man Ryan Shuck. When I practice on my own little acoustic guitar, I sometimes picture myself as her, snaring rocker face and all.
Pretty much every second of True Lies
Pop culture is filled with cool moms, but Helen Trasker is at the top of the list. From a bored, slightly neglected housewife to a seductive spy, her transformation is fantastic, particularly because Helen doesn’t actually change–she is just allowed to become the woman she really is. When she goes from shy to scorching (to falling—more physical comedy greatness), she offers a master class in letting your inner lioness roar.
She wants the world to be a better place, for real
When not rocking a black dress or guitar, fleeing for her life from deranged killers, or making us cry with laughter, Curtis is actually a cool lady. She patented a diaper/wipe combo that was never produced because she refused to sell it until biodegradable diapers became part of the marketplace. Following the overturning of Prop 8 in 2012, Curtis starred alongside other high profile names in 8, a play about the trial which was broadcast on YouTube for the American Foundation on Equal Rights. Look into children’s and women’s charities and you will find her named as an activist for things like the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and Woman in Recovery. She’s also a huge advocate for adoption—her children, Annie and Thomas, are adopted.
Her friendship with Sigourney Weaver is the jam
Last February she interviewed her pal Sigourney Weaver for Interview and it was heaven. The interview is insightful, fun, playful, and knowing–these are two women who have lived and breathed Hollywood for decades, transcended genre tropes, and kept their integrity as well as their careers. Both women are strong and brilliant, but obviously don’t take themselves too seriously. I want them to come to Thanksgiving at my house this year.
She’s a lady who swears
On the set of My Girl, Macauley Culkin reported that the adults kept a swear jar where they had to pay $10 for the “f-word” and $5 for the “s-word.” Curtis reportedly ended up paying Culkin and co-star Anna Chlumsky $200. Each. In her interview with Weaver, she not only drops the f-bomb in print, she refers to herself as a Vulgarian from California. Just like me.
When Jamie Lee Curtis walks on the screen on September 22 for the debut of Scream Queens, I will be screaming and clapping with glee.
(Images via Columbia Pictures, Touchstone, Disney, Fox)