Jamie Lee Curtis’s secret to getting more screen time: hang around the set

I didn’t realize Jamie Lee Curtis’ supporting nomination for Everything Everywhere All at Once was the first Oscar nomination of her career. She’s been recognized by the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes, but never the Academy. It surprises me is because Jamie’s been so casual throughout her campaign. I’m sure she doesn’t think she’ll get it, but I also don’t think she cares that much. Because despite how long she’s been a working actress, despite being one of the most successful and respected Nepo Babies, and despite having an actual English title to fall back on, for Jamie it’s all about the work. Like when she attended the Santa Barbara Film Festival and told reporters her secret to getting more screen time was to hang out on set. She said that while filming Knives Out, she never went back to her trailer. And by always being present, Rian Johnson ended up putting her in many scenes she hadn’t been written in.

Jamie Lee Curtis has a secret to getting more on-screen time in movies, even in busy ensemble films like 2019’s “Knives Out.”

“Here’s the deal,” Curtis told Insider at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Saturday. “It’s my secret sauce. Don’t go back to your trailers. Trailers are not your friend. Jonathan Wang, our producer of ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once,’ will tell you I never left the set. I don’t believe in it.”

When director Rian Johnson filmed 2019’s “Knives Out,” for instance, he incorporated Curtis into more scenes than he had originally planned, simply because she was hanging around on set all the time.

“He once called me his MVP on ‘Knives Out,’ and when he was asked why, he said, ‘Because she was always on set,'” Curtis said, “‘She never left the set.’ He ended up using me in shots he wasn’t going to use me in because I was on set.”

[From Insider]

I’m getting PTSD from my school yard days reading this. Reason number 342 why I wouldn’t make it as an actress: I’d be so insecure that no one would talk to me, I’d run back to my trailer the minute they yelled cut. But I am not Jamie Lee Curtis, who is not at a wont for attention or friends. I love her for this. I love that she is who she is and still hustling. She’s also setting a good example for newer members of the cast and crew. I’m sure Jamie made herself available for them if they needed it. It’s also solid advice. If an actor is visible but not getting in the way, a director would be likely to send them in when a scene needed an extra body. Not to mention they’d be the first thought for any additional lines because being ever present means always being on the director’s mind.

Going back to Jamie’s Oscar campaign, which is for EEAaO, as I said, she’s pretty relaxed about it. When asked about her historic achievement of finally getting the nomination, Jamie responded, “I’m the only Oscar nominee who has ever sold yogurt that makes you sh*t.” This is my new favorite Oscar fact and I hope they use it when announcing Jamie during the ceremony. And I hope she takes a big ol’ swig of Activia as they do it.

Photo credit: Cover Images and PAP and Xavier Collin/Avalon

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

16 Responses to “Jamie Lee Curtis’s secret to getting more screen time: hang around the set”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Tulipworthy says:

    She is such a classy woman.

  2. Liz Version 700 is says:

    She is so awesome. I hope she wins.

  3. one of the marys says:

    Those suits really flatter her however I do not like the cross legged pose.
    I love hearing insider knowledge from these old pros. I remember when Michael Cain was nominated for an Oscar in a group of heavy hitters. In his acceptance speech he said for him it came down to working, he just wanted to keep working. Sounds like Jamie has the same philosophy

  4. K.Tate says:

    I love her in anything!! She makes me want short hair again too. I use that pose in pant suits. Looks way less frumpy in pics. I’m not sure why. Also, I’m over 50 and I cross my legs like that a LOT now… 🙁

  5. HeyKay says:

    She looks terrific in every one of these outfits. Successful, comfortable and stylish.

  6. Julia K says:

    Activa did nothing for me. Saw her commercials and gave it a try. Nada.

  7. Lurker25 says:

    Khhate has a similar body type and would look so good in this kind of “grown up tomboy” style!

    A short above the shoulder chop, cute chunky glasses, softer makeup,looser relaxed fits in lighter weight fabrics with interesting/unusual detailing like the clasp on that white jacket…
    It would actually make her look younger.

    Oh well.

  8. Emmy Rae says:

    It reminds me of one of the actresses from Little Women saying Meryl Streep shows up prepared and sits for her own lighting, so everyone else feels the pressure to be ready and be about their business. Being hardworking and professional actually pays off!! Amazing!

    I love all of Jamie’s pantsuits and I want to wear that last one to all of my winter events.

  9. Olvidada says:

    As someone who works on set… we prefer if they go back to their trailers when we’re not actively working with them.

  10. The Voice says:

    I’m sure always being on set helps but Rian probably wanted to use her more because she sounds like she’s likeable, positive, and collaborative. I’ve liked her from the moment I saw her in True Lies. She played that role so well! Her striptease for Arnold was awesome. Not many actresses can pull off sexy and funny at the same time.

  11. Nicegirl says:

    🔥 💕

  12. blue says:

    The favorite standing pose for most females celebs is with the leg crossed, which always looks to me as if a little girl needs to pee. I hate it.
    I do love JLC and she dresses well.

  13. BeanieBean says:

    I can see how this approach might get you more film time, but not necessarily more screen time. A lot of that depends on the editing. Love each & every one of her looks here.

  14. Noo says:

    As they say in football, the best ability is availability…