Jamie Lee Curtis: When plastic surgery didn’t work ‘I felt ashamed and secretive’

Embed from Getty Images

The countdown is on to the release of the eagerly awaited sequel to Halloween, which means that we’re hearing a lot from the film’s star, Jamie Lee Curtis. This is definitely not a bad thing. The 59-year-old actress spoke with New York Magazine about the film and shared some unique insights about herself and her career.

In the interview, Jamie admits that while she holds a fascination with The Exorcist, she’s not a fan of being scared. However she is happy with her status as Hollywood’s legendary scream queen, stating, “If Halloween was my dish that I brought, I’m very proud of my dish. I make a great Halloween.” Here are some highlights from the interview:

On feeling “illegitimate”:
“I always felt illegitimate because my first success was in Halloween [and Prom Night and Terror Train and Halloween II] and I’m an untrained actor. I did not go to acting class. I did not go to film school. I did not study with great teachers. The illegitimacy that I felt as a young performer carried for a long time, and it probably has informed my whole life.”

On learning not to mess with nature:
“I tried to shift the natural course of my life through plastic surgery, and when it didn’t work, I felt ashamed and secretive.”

On posing without makeup and in her underwear for her photo shoot for More magazine:
“I didn’t know it would go viral,” she says, “but I knew there would be women who had looked at pictures of me in Perfect with my leotard, jumping around, and they would appreciate that I was struggling with the fact that I had gained some weight and that I was a kind of … I looked like I looked, which was fine, but I was not this hard-bodied person that they thought I was.”

On the emotional Halloween shoot:
“Every single scene I did, I had to hold back crying, every single scene. I was sitting on it all day, every day, alone, away from my family, away from my life, in Charleston, driving around. I didn’t know where the fuck I was, I was isolated like Laurie. I was a bit of a freak.”

What she’d say to Laurie, her Halloween character:
“It’s going to be okay, you’re going to be okay…because we’re here, and we’re going to take care of you.”

On what really frightens her:
I believe that there are some very damaged people, some very scary people, but I am much more frightened by people who lie, who obfuscate, who shape-shift, who make you think they’re one thing when they’re another.”

On legitimacy, part two:
“It breaks your heart. The irony is that in those movies I am smart, intellectual, brave, romantic, and chaste. But in order to become ‘legitimate,’ I’m a Playboy centerfold who’s murdered by her husband [in the 1981 TV movie Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story], or I’m topless in a big studio comedy [1983’s Trading Places, in which she plays a prostitute].”

[From New York Magazine/Vulture]

Jamie did try messing with nature and previously admitted, “I’ve done it all. I’ve had a little plastic surgery. I’ve had a little lipo. I’ve had a little Botox. And you know what? None of it works. None of it.” She had her eyes done at 35, because, as she recalled, “I always look like I haven’t slept, and that was my whole life.” After a cameraman said he couldn’t shoot her for a scene in the movie Perfect, she got surgery. After her surgery, she became addicted to Vicodin and has spoken openly about her struggles. She’s been sober since 1999 and wrote about her experiences in an essay for the Huffington Post in 2009.

After every story I write about Jamie, I am delighted to see so many positive comments. She is an awesome lady and I appreciate her honesty and candor. I think she’s as legitimate as they come, and I still can’t wait to see Halloween.

Embed from Getty Images

Opening night celebration of 'Halloween Horror Nights' - Arrivals

Hamburg Filmfest - 'Halloween' - Premiere

Photos: Getty, WENN

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

40 Responses to “Jamie Lee Curtis: When plastic surgery didn’t work ‘I felt ashamed and secretive’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Bp says:

    I love JLC!

    • Astrid says:

      Yup, me too. I’m hoping she can be my spirit animal.

      • Anna says:

        All due respect and love to JLC, but can people please stop using the term “spirit animal”? It is actually not respectful to Native American Peoples, Indigenous Peoples. It has been used in pop culture (as so many sacred elements) but this is a disrespectful usage. Just say you love her and you hope she can be your inspiration, or something to that effect.


      • Jaded says:

        @Anna – in no way was “spirit animal” used disparagingly or without respect. It was used to denote a wish to be as strong, honest and humble as Jamie Lee Curtis is. It was used to praise her and see her as a guiding spirit for women. Please don’t go on the defensive and suppose that using a common expression is insulting or appropriating another culture’s beliefs. If an expression from another culture resonates in a positive way there’s no harm in using it respectfully, in fact it enriches other cultures’ languages and way of expressing admiration.

      • Yasmina says:

        @Anna thanks for the pointing that out, this was new to me. I looked it up to better understand it and why it’s cultural appropriation and harmful. And to @Jaded, Anna is correct that it is wrong to use that term, which holds very sacred meaning for indigenous people. Please reflect on the following: Intention VS. Impact. Even if someone intends well, if the impact is harmful, then the person should stop doing what they’re doing. It’s really that simple. All it should really take is one person to call it out as harmful, and that’s usually enough for me to take a step back and change.

      • Haapa says:

        Thank you, Anna. Regardless of intent, it is cultural appropriation.

      • HEAVE HO says:

        I’m glad the intention vs impact was brought up. I made a (vague) piece of art once in college with a bunch of gorillas and my instructor took it as racist. I had zero intention of referencing race, but that was the impact. I reworked it to be more specific (about the iraq invasion) and later I could see how the teacher misread it. Be precise!

    • minx says:

      How can anyone not love her? She’s so open and honest, seems like she would be a great friend.

  2. Harryg says:

    I love her. Halloween was so frightening! And Trading Places is so funny.

  3. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    She’s unmatched.

  4. Renee says:

    I cannot wait to see Halloween. It’s nostalgic and I really want to see where they take the story to update the storyline.

  5. Sutcliffe says:

    She has always been one of the few actresses I could stand (and what’s more, I love her). She is so direct and real. Doesn’t hurt that she is stably married to one of the funniest, most talented weirdos on the planet. I have been on a Christopher Guest binge for weeks now. Shows they both have excellent taste.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      This Is Spinal Tap is one of my all time favourite movies – I could quote that all day long.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Best in Show leaves me in stitches. Jane Lynch kind of reminds me of JLC. Hilarious, smart beautiful women.

  6. Q T Hush says:

    I’ve always admired JLC. She is Hollywood royalty by birth but somehow has remained grounded.

    • Jamie says:

      Hollywood royalty by birth, British aristocracy by marriage, but still keeping it real. I like her.

    • Mel M says:

      Yes, and her face is so fascinating to me that she can look so much like both of her parents at the same time.

  7. DragonWise says:

    Not even a big fan of slasher movies, but she is The One And Only OG Final Girl and a superlative human, so I’m here fir it!

  8. Deanne says:

    I freaking LOVE her. She’s always been my favourite and she’s never disappointed me. Her honesty is so refreshing. I can’t wait for the new Halloween.

  9. Nancy says:

    Has she discussed her cosmetic surgery in the past. I thought she always loved every wrinkle she earned. She looks okay. Not a fan of hair that short, but she does seem to be a minimalist. She didn’t need acting training, since her parents Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis already made her famous. I loved her mother in Psycho, although I don’t know how much I’d like to be remembered for making people afraid to take showers 🔪 Mother, look what you made me do. Ha! *in a city of phonies, she does seem authentic*

    • Gigi La Moore says:

      I think she looks great and the hair is great. Very flattering. What makes her beautiful to me is that she accepts herself. Confidence is so attractive.

      • Nancy says:

        She was a force back in the day I understand. A Fish Called Wanda. She had the body. I just know her from yogurt commercials. The hair is her choice as well, I’m just not a fan of very short hair.

      • Linda says:

        I loved her haircut so much I have gotten the same cut for years and have let my hair go natural for years also. I am 64 .

  10. Other Renee says:

    Love her. I don’t understand what she means by “It didn’t work” when referring to plastic surgery.

    • skipper says:

      Maybe she meant that she thought it would improve her self-esteem but it only made her feel worse somehow. That’s all I could make of that statement and it makes sense to me.

  11. notasugarhere says:

    On what really frightens her:
    I believe that there are some very damaged people, some very scary people, but I am much more frightened by people who lie, who obfuscate, who shape-shift, who make you think they’re one thing when they’re another.”

    Wise words.

  12. Steff says:

    Out of all the movies that are coming out this month, Halloween is what I’m anticipating the most. I’m ready for Laurie to kick some mfing ass!

  13. skipper says:

    She had her eyes done at 35? Wow. I’m 37 and I can’t imagine having my eyes done at my age. Maybe she felt pressured to do so. She still looks amazing to me though. I adore her! I did get botox a few months ago and have no regrets at all.

  14. Kristic says:

    Love her. I’m just a regular gal from Seattle and struggle with aging at 50. I can’t imagine aging as a celebrity. I have done Botox. I did it last year and shelled out over $600 and I swear I couldn’t tell a difference so I decided I’m just done! I appreciate her honesty and hope it catches on so people know what real faces look like!

  15. lucy2 says:

    She seems like an awesome lady, and surprisingly grounded given who her parents are and growing up in Hollywood. I’m not a horror movie fan so I won’t be seeing this, but I’m glad to see her still out there kicking butt.

    • Nancy says:

      I don’t like scary movies, but my husband does. This time of the year, I will watch a couple, but only through my fingers!! It’s ironic bc I loved Bates Motel on tv. Just hate seeing all that slashing and killing. The world is violent enough without watching it more for entertainment. Doesn’t make sense really.

  16. smcollins says:

    I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: JLC is an American treasure

  17. D says:

    I generally as a rule don’t watch horror movies slasher type films, mostly because I cut my teeth on prom night and Halloween and everything else paled in comparison after that. Except Elm Street except Elm Street. But I have a pact to see all Jamie Lee Curtis movies so I’ll be going to this one and I’m going to be scared out of my mind LOL not my favorite place to be either but I really love and respect her work and person

  18. Laura says:

    I truly appreciate people like JLC because thay are honest about an issue that is sensitive for many of us, which is what we look like/dealing with the effects of aging. As someone who has struggled with numerous and large scars stemming from repeated surgeries as a premature infant and horrendous teenage acne, I have always had insecurities with how I look. Now I am six months away from turning 4o and struggling with the onset of wrinkles, grey hair and extra weight gain around my gut, thighs and butt. It might seem stupid and vain to worry about these changes and what I look like but its hard not to care when all the media portrays is youthful, “perfect” women as the ideal. I do what I can to look my best and have considered getting a little bit of help by way of Botox and a new exercise regime, but it is nice to know that even famous women like JLC struggle with the same issues – that I am not alone in feeling inferior to those who look better than me. I am working on feeling more confident in my appearance and accepting myself, flaws and all.

  19. Debutante says:

    OOooohhh !! Can’t wait to see this movie !!
    Love this lady ! She is so real and grounded….and seems so normal and cool.

  20. cupcake says:

    I love her, her strength, her humor and her visibility.
    I’ve loved her since I was a kid and I will always love her AND her dad Tony Curtis.

  21. bears says:

    Man, I just freaking love her. She’s amazing.

  22. Deeanna says:

    I don’t understand what eye surgery would get rid of dark circles. Anyone?

  23. Yes Doubtful says:

    I think she has aged beautifully. She was known for her body and slasher films, but her comedic performances were underrated.