Jamie Lee Curtis calls getting sober ‘the single greatest accomplishment of my life’

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October 31 may be when the calendar says it’s Halloween, but for horror movie buffs like myself, it’s really today. The day has come for the Michael Myers/Laurie Strode face-off that we have been anxiously awaiting, as the “true sequel” to the classic 1978 John Carpenter-directed film is finally here.

I’ve devoted a lot of space here to the movie’s star, Jamie Lee Curtis, but she’s given us great interview. Honest and frank, she’s weighed in on everything from plastic surgery and overpriced skincare products to aging and sexual assault. One thing Jamie has always been outspoken about is her struggles with addiction. She has admitted on many occasions about her opiate addiction, going so far to admit that she was a “dope fiend” and has been free from opiates for almost 20 years.

In an interview with USA Today Jamie mentions her battle with alcohol and opioids that developed when she was stuck on a “hamster wheel” of work and family obligations. She admitted “I think I was replicating my mom [Janet Leigh] and really trying to just make everybody happy.” During that time, she was working on A Fish Called Wanda. That should have been a blast considering the cast (Kevin Kline, John Cleese and Michael Palin), but it was anything but. As she recalled,

”My memory of ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ is that I cried every day to and from work. Not that I laughed, not that it was super-fun, nothing. My memory of ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ was leaving my sleeping 6-month-old daughter, going to work an hour away and then working 12 hours, sometimes more, and then an hour back, often to a child asleep again. And that was like the beginning of it all for me.”

Jamie turned to alcohol and pills and, eventually, sought treatment. She recalled, “As soon as I got sober, which is 20 years coming up in February, everything changed, because it was a big, big acknowledgment that I could not do all of the things I was trying to do.”

The soon-to-be 60 actress accepts her lot in life, never being able to fully shake her reputation as Hollywood’s “scream queen.” She says that, despite having many respected friends in the film industry who have never hired her, “at some point you have to be OK with it. Because if not, it will make you crazy. I have accepted long ago to go where the love is. Be with people who love you, meaning be with people who want to work with you.” 

With roles in hit movies like Wanda and True Lies, her Halloween legacy and her happy family life with husband Christopher Guest, she says that triumphing over her own personal demons and accepting who she is now is “the single greatest accomplishment of my life.” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, she is great and inspires me more and more each day. Brava, Jamie.

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Halloween premiere in Los Angeles

Film Premiere of Halloween

Photos: Getty, WENN

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20 Responses to “Jamie Lee Curtis calls getting sober ‘the single greatest accomplishment of my life’”

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  1. Lindy says:

    That broke my heart a little to read about her leaving her sleeping daughter and going to work. My son is six months today and while I don’t work 12hr days, I hate hate hate going to work and leaving him (even though my husband is home with him and is a wonderful dad). I love JLC and enjoy her interviews.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, me too. I didn’t work 12 hour days when mine was that age…but my childless co-workers resented me for not staying late every night. I felt guilty about leaving my son when I was at work and guilty about leaving work when I was at home with my son. not an uncommon dilemma, I’d guess. No wonder people turn to substances to cope. I admit I fell into the “mommy needs wine” pattern for a while. Hang in there, I know how rough it is to miss your peanut. Enjoy every minute with him during these magical months/years.

      I love JLC, too, she’s really an amazing woman.

      • Lindy says:

        Thanks, Esmom! I love the CBers; I can always count on smart, kind, empathetic people here! It’s definitely hard and you totally nailed that feeling of being guilty either way. I honestly can’t imagine being an actress where you’re expected to become another character and be gone for days on end. I feel like I hear more often these days about mom actors bringing their babies on set with them (with nannies of course). I wonder if that would have made a difference for JLC?

  2. chrissyms says:

    She is so honest. I love her.20 years sobriety is a great accomplishment. Sounds like she stepped back and took control of her life, and lived it on her own terms. Also I wish I could rock a super short pixie like she does. My life would be so much easier.

  3. Lightpurple says:

    It is an accomplishment. And a daily struggle. More power to her. And seriously, Hollywood, give her more work.

  4. Smee says:

    At my age, I’m not looking for a role-model per-se, but I do appreciate seeing pics and reading interviews with JLC. She is presenting a real, positive example of how to navigate life after youth these days.

    And congrats on the sobriety!

  5. Jess says:

    I love her.

  6. skipper says:

    I’ve been struggling with my sobriety for about 17 years since I was twenty years old and took my first pill. Every day is torture. I have so much respect for her honesty and sobriety. I better stop writing now as my eyes are welling up with tears.

    • MaryContrary says:

      I’m wishing you health and happiness, skipper.

    • countryrds says:

      Skipper, Congrats on the 17 years. I have only taken pills 1 times in 16 years and that was after a hysterectomy. I only took them for 3 or 4 days and then flushed the rest because I didn’t want to go down that road again and I felt so free when I made that choice. My Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a few months ago. I feel empowered that I can have her pain pills filled, put them out in her pill box, and have absolutely no desire to take any, I couldn’t say that at one point of my life.

      I hope you can come to terms with your sobriety and embrace it and if you are still struggling, please seek help with your battle.

      • skipper says:

        Thank you, countryrds! I took my first xanax two days after I was raped for the second time when I was 20 years old and it made me feel so numb. That’s exactly how I wanted to feel. I was so anti-drug until that day. I took it b/c of the trauma and it was the worst choice of my life. I have a wonderful, supportive husband that helped me find an awesome therapist to help me with all my past traumas and addiction. I’m in a great place now! 🙂

  7. Sunnyjyl says:

    I have so much admiration for her. (Also, I now really, really want a breast lift.)

  8. Krysha says:


  9. Harryg says:

    Adore her! Looking forward to seeing her in movies and TV for many years, hope she goes on working.
    I have to add, Guest’s Mascots was so funny. The “dancing turd”-number was spectacular.

  10. DiegoInSF says:

    Love her, saw Halloween last night opening night and it was so fun! And it’s projected to have an amazing opening weekend in the box office. She was a delight on Scream Queens too!

  11. paddingtonjr says:

    Brava Jamie, indeed! I love her honesty about her struggles and insecurities. She has a lot to be proud of, especially in Hollywood: a successful 30-year+ marriage, 20+years sobriety, a great career legacy and two seemingly normal, well-adjusted kids. I hope Halloween does well (I can’t wait to see it!) and that we see more of her!

    P.S.: Am I the only one who wants Jamie Lee and Christopher to do a project together?!

  12. Nicole says:

    Love her love her love her! Huge fan! The movie was awesome—with one subplot that kinda blew. Hopefully we can discuss the movie too!