Jamie Lee Curtis on aging: ‘I want to make sure I leave on my own terms’

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Grants Banquet
Jamie Lee Curtis has a new interview in the print edition of People Magazine. Curtis, 56, is starring in Scream Queens and while she’s excellent as the gives-no-f*cks dean, it’s not a show I enjoy watching at all. Curtis’s interview is notable for the things she says about aging as a woman in Hollywood, which is a cause that’s close to her. She’s been open about the minor plastic surgery she’s had done and she famously posed in a bra and bike shorts with no makeup in 2002 for More Magazine. Curtis, with her short natural gray hair and minimal makeup, is a kind of icon for aging naturally in Hollywood. She’ll tell you about it too without sounding self righteous. Here’s more:

On what she was doing when she got approached by Ryan Murphy to star in Scream Queens
I was just hanging with my posse of menopause mamas… going to book group and trying to stave off the reality of the Divine Miss M[enopause]. He offered me the role and it sounded crazy and amazing. I left our meeting going ‘Wow.’

On her starring role in Halloween
No matter what I do, the lead line of my New York Times obit will mention Halloween.

On aging in Hollywood
It’s a very cruel business. It’s humiliating to see the media frenzy that occurs when somebody gets older and they don’t look the way they used to look. I want to make sure I leave on my own terms. I don’t want to be punished for the natural evolution of a human being.

On working with her young costars
They’ve taught me about social media. I sit on set and do needlepoint.

[From People Magazine, print edition, October 19, 2015]

The article concludes with a quote from Lea Michele, who says that she’s “been begging Jamie to watch Halloween” with her. Jamie keeps saying no, because she hates scary movies. Jamie is the daughter of late great Psycho star Janet Leigh and she starred in Halloween yet she can’t stand scary movies. She told People “I scare so easily. Isn’t that a lovely bit of irony.” I love it!

As for what she said about aging, I don’t think the media notices when celebrity women age so much as when they go to extreme measures to stave off aging and end up looking like a different person. She seemed to be alluding to this.

67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Red Carpet

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association Annual Grants Banquet in Beverly Hills

Comic-Con International 2015 - 'Scream Queens' Photo Op

photo credit: FameFlynet and WENN.com

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83 Responses to “Jamie Lee Curtis on aging: ‘I want to make sure I leave on my own terms’”

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  1. lisa2 says:

    I love her haircut.. Timeless on her.

    and she looks great..

  2. Suze says:

    Continue to kick ass, Jamie!

  3. sensible says:

    She has always had a fabulous set of boobs!. True story: My neighbour’s mutt is called Jamie, one day I asked him why he called a female dog Jamie…..he said it was for Jamie Lee Curtis, his all time favourite actor.

    • Nicolette says:

      Yes, her body in general was always incredible. When she does the bedroom dance for Arnold in True Lies she looked amazing. She still looks good, and it’s great to see a Hollywood actress not going down the road of extreme anti-aging procedures which result in the frozen cat woman face ala Courtney Cox to name one.

      • Elisa the I. says:

        That’s exactly the scene that came to my mind, too.
        And I loved her in all the Monty Python stuff! And she looks even better now!

  4. Lozface says:

    She is a stunner!!! There’s something about her eyes… She might possibly look better than she did when she was younger!

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Jamie!

    • lizzie says:

      i agree. she has never looked better! she had a small character arc a few years ago on NCIS (don’t judge my satruday afternoon binge of choice) and she was straight up sexy.

      • swack says:

        Her and Mark Harmon bring it on!!! They have such chemistry together! Love NCIS and just recently watched all 11 seasons on Netflix.

      • SusanneToo says:

        No judging – I watch it. Also, the NO spin-off.

    • doofus says:

      agree…she is aging beautifully…we should all be so lucky!

  5. susiecue says:

    I think she looks awesome! Have loved her ever since A Fish Called Wanda.

  6. Lilacflowers says:

    Did her mom have a lot of plastic surgery? Whatever her mother went through would have been a learning experience for her. More power to Jamie. She’s funny, pretty much always working in some way or other, and has one of Hollywood’s longer marriages at 31 years.

  7. Dibba says:

    Love her!

  8. Alice too says:

    Two stories down there is a picture of Bieber. He needs to visit Jamie’s hairdresser, she does it sooooooo much better!

  9. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    She looks beautiful. I never thought of her as beautiful when she was younger – attractive, certainly, but I think she looks better than ever.

    Menopause is so hard. Or for me, the three years right before were terrible. Actual menopause just lasted a year for me, and then it was over, which has been like finally feeling good after you’ve had a bad flu. For four years. I appreciate feeling good so much!

    • Shambles says:

      So glad you’re feeling good, and it makes me happy to see that you’re so happy about it! Huzah!

      I think she looks absolutely stunning, too. And I love this:

      “I don’t want to be punished for the natural evolution of a human being.”


    • Crumpet says:

      Oh thank you for telling there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        There is and it feels so good. I was in a terrible mood for a year, I mean every single day I wanted to slap somebody. Then hot flashes. Ugh. Then it just went back to normal. I hope it happens soon for you, my Crumpet! ❤️

    • ncboudicca says:

      Ditto to what Crumpet says…it’s just starting for me and now I’m feeling positive about getting to the next stage. 🙂

      • MrsBPitt says:

        I’m 56 and have gone through menopause, and, yes, ladies, there is a light at the end of the hormone highway!!!!!!!!

    • zinjojo says:

      GNAT, glad you’ve made it through and are feeling better.

      I’ve recently gone though it too, and at first, it’s rough! For me, the bad part lasted about a year, and I just didn’t feel like myself. Now, no prob, an occasional hot flash, but they pass fairly quickly, and the good part is, no more periods. That, I definitely don”t miss!

      • Nicolette says:

        Was just going to comment on how I don’t miss the periods either. It’s kinda liberating to be done with it. Who would miss the bloating, cramping, and sore breasts anyway? Good bye and good riddance. I’m over most of the hurdle of menopause and feel good. Many of my friends are years younger than I and are in the process now. The hot flashes, the lack of sleep, crying and just being overly emotional. But I tell them it gets better, just hold on.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Do not miss the periods at all. My sister said it made her kind of sad. Not me. Not one little bit.

    • Little Darling says:

      I’m 39 and started perimenopause this past year. It has been undoubtedly one of the roughtest experiences ever. All of a sudden I had more acne on my chin than I EVER had in my life, dark, black nasty CHIN HAIR (ummm WTF) My periods are rough and wacky and I am just SO over it. Unfortunately, I still have quite a few years before it passes. (:

      I’ve never thought she was particularly striking at all, but in the past many years I really started appreciating her for what she represents to women, and the industry standards. She is AMAZING. I hope she continues to shed honesty and light on these topics.

    • Jen43 says:

      Thank you for sharing this. Nobody I know wants to talk about it. I find it Irritating that women will talk about pregnancy for hours like it was the highlight of their lives, and this seems to be taboo. I am in the middle of it. The night sweats are the worse. I feel like I’ll never get a decent nights sleep again.

    • antipodean says:

      The delights of no more periods cannot be over emphasised, however I have been stuck with ghastly over heating and hot flashes ever since. I am told they will never go away now. Fun!

  10. Jenns says:

    I think this is the best she has ever looked.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I agree…I never thought she was very attractive in her younger years…but now….WOW! She looks AMAZING! I am the same age as Jamie, and I wish I looked half that good!!!!

    • Jen43 says:

      I agree. Some women who were never great beauties become beauties as they age.

  11. INeedANap says:

    I’d love to have the number of her plastic surgeon because she looks amazing. Can’t tell at all. Whatever small touch-ups she’s had make her looks her age, but like a 56 y.o. woman who spends a lot of time reading, relaxing, and hanging out at a spa. Rock on.

    • JudyK says:

      Huh? I don’t think she’s had a single thing done. I like that she’s letting her lines show…so much more attractive than being botoxed to the point of looking like a wax figure. Not every one ages at the same rate. She’s a natural, and I agree that she looks better now than when she was younger.

      I will never let anyone touch my face with fillers, botox, or anything else.

      • INeedANap says:

        She has admitted herself she’s had some small things done. Probably not anything that changes the structure of her face like a nose or chin job, but likely a small lift and maybe a few chemical peels.

    • db says:

      She’s been judicious in whatever she’s had done, probably a little filler, possibly a brow lift at some point. and I don’t know any woman past 50ish who has not gone through menopause, so I guess Jamie is an outlier at 57? She looks great though.

      • justme says:

        You can still be going through perimenopause (the hard part before menopause) at 57. I know a woman who finally reached menopause at 60 (she thought she was never going to be through with all that!)

      • Nona says:

        I don’t know, I’m 56 and I’m still getting my period every month. Have a couple friends in the same boat. It’s interesting in that my one friend who started menopause really early (like late 30s) has the most wrinkles now. Those of us who are in our 50s and haven’t started yet tend to have the smoothest skin. I used to complain about not being done with the damn thing yet; now, I’m kind of glad it’s hanging around:)

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I didn’t go through menopause until I was 56. It was so annoying. Every time I went to the doctor they said “are you still having your period?” and when I said yes, they looked up really fast from their notepad and said “you ARE??” Step right up! Come one, come all, seeee the world’s oldest living menstruating woman!

      • wolfie says:

        HRT is really helpful – I hardly noticed menopause. I’m 60 with smooth skin and strong bones, due to it, as well as sunscreen, exercise, etc. I do know that getting way-wrinkly is in store for me – and dying. I just had a granddaughter, and I wonder how grown-up she’ll be, before I have to go. (tear-drop)

      • db says:

        Really interesting – obviously more common than I thought. I wonder if having children or number of children plays a role? I did have a relative who had a surprise (and how!) baby at 60, and she’d had a large-ish family.

  12. Astrid says:

    Team Jamie

  13. captain says:

    I think media notices very much with women who used to be stunningly beautiful and not much else, like Yasmin Bleeth. Jamie Lee Curtis was not some famous sex kitten – she is a good actress, tons of charisma, great comedic timing. And she didn’t put on weight, like Kirstie Alley, which is the biggest hugest sin ever, worse than aging.
    On the other hand, for a beautiful woman personally to age is probably so difficult, I don’t know how they manage it. That’s why so much surgery and nervous breakdowns, dating young men etc.. it’s not the media, they themselves can’t stand looking in the mirror.
    Perhaps the trick is to play middle-aged mom characters in your thirties, then as you yourself hit 50-60 nobody will be surprised to see a couple of wrinkles, as your age, as perceived by the public and media, is always middle aged.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Agree about the savage way famous women are treated if they gain a lot of weight. Remember Elizabeth Taylor? So mean.

      • antipodean says:

        I read somewhere the other day, that at the end of her life La Taylor said she wished she had eaten more, and worried about her weight less! Sober words from a fabulous legend, and probably one of the most beautiful women of all time. A lesson to us all.

    • justme says:

      @captain said “it’s not the media, they themselves can’t stand looking in the mirror.”

      That’s it in a nutshell. Sometimes for the real beauties, whose entire sense of themselves is bound up with their beauty and desirability, it is as if they are ceasing to exist because their beauty is fading. And unless you die beauty must fade away. You can be attractive, striking, quite lovely etc. as you get older, but you can only have fully ripe beauty for a short period.

      • wolfie says:

        Do you think the dilemma might possibly be based on the cultural message that a woman must be sexy more than any other marker? – or the natural wish of young women to have perpetual sex appeal once they get in on the fun? Older women lose their sex appeal to most people, even if there will always be dirty old men who are equally unappealing. There are also men of all ages who troll thinking that they are some sort of gift to all women, and who want to prove it. Quite frankly, I don’t believe that men actually grow up until they are in their 50’s, and by then they are less able to manage what a 19 year old can do. I’m not saying that a woman can’t have it all – but in my life, there are actually both good and lean years of great love. Fully ripe beauty has its place – but there are so many other factors for loving, which in the main is the emotional readiness of both partners. Fully ripe beauty seems to be a publication norm, rather than whole living, which is then surreptitiously sold in a one dimensional photograph, encompassing only one moment in artificial time.

  14. Lindy says:

    She gives me hope that aging naturally and well is possible!

  15. prissa says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jamie Lee Curtis!!! I’m so glad she chose to age gracefully. She looks awesome and I really enjoy her in Scream Queens.

    Also, I love how Abigail Breslin has a more curvy body type and she rocks it too!

  16. Christin says:

    She looks great and seems very content, which is a great thing in itself.

    She had such gorgeous parents. It’s amazing how grounded she seems, and how realistic she is about aging gracefully and on one’s own terms.

    • SusanneToo says:

      She looks more like her mother every year. JL was a beautiful woman who starred in three of the greatest movies ever in a four year period – Touch of Evil(1958), Psycho(1960) and The Manchurian Candidate(1962).

  17. Crumpet says:

    Jamie Lee is very intelligent and grounded, and I think that has saved her. You have to keep what really matters firmly in sight and not get caught up the distractions of looks and materialism.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      She is active in my neighborhood and so I see her out and about quite a bit. She has been very kind to some people close to me, and actually went out of her way in one case to prevent a friend from being abused by a third party. 🙂

      • Kitten says:

        That’s great to hear! See? It is possible for some celebs to not disappoint 🙂

      • Tiffany :) says:

        There are some really wonderful people out there that happen to be celebs. It can be very frustrating not to be able to sing their praises from the rooftops, especially if public perception is different from reality. I have found through my experiences that celebs are a mixed bag like the general population: some are ok, some are amazing, and some are just jerks. But you’ll find the same mix in small towns, big cities, famous or not famous.

      • Becks says:

        I saw her once when I was working out at the Santa Monica stairs. She looks great!

  18. Bishg says:

    Wonderful woman!

  19. Christin says:

    She actually SMILES instead of doing some duck face look, too!

  20. Barrett says:

    So so awesome to see a real, attractive women!

    Can’t say enough, no joker face, no wonky eyes! Go Jamie!

  21. Alex says:

    She will always be sexy because she has natural charisma, is as funny as hell and has her stuff together. There’s a reason a man as awesome as Christopher Guest is married to her. Rock on Jaime.

  22. Josefa says:

    I love Jamie. She always gives fun interviews and doesn’t seem to take herself too seriously – a trait you don’t find usually.

  23. Nancy says:

    One natural in a sea of fake. I love her attitude and she looks healthy and happy. But, sorry Jamie, Halloween is what put you on the map, that and being the daughter of Janet and Tony. Of course it will be in her obit, just as Psycho was in her moms.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I really don’t think she was complaining about that….I think she was just stating it as a fact! I’ve read articles where she acknowledges and appreciates that Halloween made her a star. Why would she have starred in H20, twenty years after the original, if she didn’t want to be associated with it….

  24. Cinderella says:

    She has great genes from both sides.

    Lea Michele isn’t worthy of being in the same room with her, much less watching Halloween together.

  25. Nicolette says:

    I’ve watched the first few episodes of Scream Queens and she’s great as Dean Munsch, but the show itself is so-so. And Emma Roberts just seems to be copying Rose McGowan’s character from Jawbreaker.

  26. Beckysuz says:

    She looks amazing…and not to be crass but she really does have great breasts. I hope I age with grace and dignity like that. My mom is 63 and still looks fantastic with nothing more than a good moisturizer! I plan on following her example

  27. smcollins says:

    Love her! I’ve always seen her as such a badass. She seems to have it all…brains, beauty, confidence, sense of humor, groundedness, common sense. We should all be so lucky. Rock on, Jamie!

  28. Kristy McColl says:

    She looks great! Shows how much 1. being happy and 2. liking yourself contributes to your attractiveness.

  29. Penelope says:

    Love. Her.

  30. iheartgossip says:

    Saw her on James Cordon the other night and her contempt for Sharon Osborne was obvious.

    • antipodean says:

      Sharon didn’t behave very well on JC in my view. She took her shoes off and sat cross legged on the couch, and then mauled at Elyes Gabel, and Jamie Lee. It was quite an unseemly display. I have a lot of time for Sharon, but I do think she let herself down. James Corden should have managed it all a little better, but I guess he is still finding his Late Night feet.

  31. Fancyamazon says:

    I love Jamie Lee Curtis. That’s all I’ve got. She’s wonderful.

  32. analee says:

    I don’t agree that the media is fanatically hypercritical of a once-beautiful actress’s physical aging ONLY AFTER she has ventured into extreme, obvious plastic surgery to try to hide it. No, aging *itself*, even before cosmetic surgery is routinely embarked on, is hugely noticed in a formerly beautiful woman, and that goes double, or triple, for a beautiful actress in Hollywood. Her “fading looks” are cruelly commented on, and made derogatory comments about in general in the media, sometimes even mocked, all while her potential as a working actress plummets drastically. Many once-beautiful women *do* lose their sense of self, for beauty is a form of identity, and an extraordinary one at that: it is like a first class ticket to the world at large, and to lose it must begin to feel like one special, sacred door after another, formerly welcomingly ajar, is now relentlessly shutting in one’s face. Losing one’s looks, indeed, becomes a kind of banishment from the height of one’s former existence, a fall from one’s former sense of personal power and potential, as steep as any other fall from grace. Add to that a whole career built upon–or at least attained through–that rare beauty, as certain actresses’ lives are, and the exile from self must feel, as well, like an eviction from the world at large.

    The thing about great beauty, at its peak, is that it appears to be transcendent of ordinary facts and forces, gravity defying, almost immortalizing, and so when it proves transient, and perishable, it is as if a huge, central part of that woman somehow perishes as well. Of course, then, such women, especially celebrities, live in dread of aging and the subsequent loss of their former and familiar lives, as well as the added fear of widespread criticism of their looks. Thus, of course most of them convert to the desperate, unfulfilling worship of cosmetic surgery. But there’s no winning on these grounds: Once surgery begins to make a woman look, inevitably, different–“strange”, “unlike herself”–she is blamed for her profound vanity, as well–for daring to try to maintain something she is already not forgivable for losing.

    • Elodie says:

      Long time devoted reader, first time commenter.

      I just had to say how brilliantly insightful and clever Annalee’s comment is. Brava! She wins all the stars!

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Amazing post!

    • Emily C. says:

      Great beauty is also a draw for predators. If a woman wants to make a living from something other than her looks, having extreme beauty is a drawback, not a plus, and the “loss” with age is often whole-heartedly embraced. Extreme beauty might open doors in Hollywood or the fashion world, but extremely beautiful women are discounted as being pretty faces and nothing more in the real world, as well as being in danger from

      I have a couple very beautiful friends. One in particular is drop-dead, heart-attack, men and women both stammer when they first meet her gorgeous. She used to try to look as UNbeautiful as possible, in order to try to get people to take her seriously. Also in order to stop the sexual attention she got which she did not consent to. Her history in that area is harrowing.

      For myself, I will not dye my hair or try to hide wrinkles. Thank God for aging. It’s awesome to be regarded more for what I say than how I look. My husband will always find me beautiful. Anyone else? No thanks, I would like to leave that part of my life behind, and am very glad it’s happening.

      Look up “Thank God I’m Pretty” by Emilie Autumn. Having beauty is most definitely not experienced as something positive by all beautiful women.