This was one of my most anticipated events of this year’s New York Comic Con panel schedule. It did not disappoint. Thousands of fans of the Halloween franchise piled into the standing room only Empire Room at Javits Center to pay tribute to Jamie Lee Curtis in recognition of her contribution to the horror genre with 45 years in the role of Laurie Strode.
The panel kicked off to uproarious cheers and chants of ‘Thank you Jamie,’ before launching the trailer for the upcoming Halloween Ends trailer.
One of the first questions offered by moderator Drew Barrymore was how Curtis felt about ending the 45 year franchise with the upcoming Halloween Ends. Curtis choked up for the first of many times during the course of the evening and responded, “Endings are a bitch. But so is Laurie Strode. So I’m ready to end it, but I’m going to miss you so much.”
That moment set the tone for the rest of the surprisingly emotional panel. Curtis loves her fans, and it comes through in all of her interactions with them. She repeatedly thanked the fans for her successes in acting and in life.
On what she thinks is the most important thing she brought to the character, Curtis said
“All John said was ‘I want her to be vulnerable.’ I was nineteen, and first of all, I couldn’t spell ‘vulnerable,’ and I thought that meant ‘weak.’ And I was sort of like, ‘Okay John,’ and we made the movie, and I went into a theater in Hollywood. A late night theater in Hollywood.
“It was a packed house, and I stood in the back. And the movie is going on, and you know, Laurie and her friends, and the teasing, and hey, speed kills… All of the setup. And then, the phone call from Linda, and Laurie looking out the window, checking on the kids, and then going across the street.
“Cutting from Laurie to the house, Laurie, the house… It’s a long walk. In a pin silent theater, a woman in the middle stood up and went ‘DON’T GO IN THERE. THERE’S A KILLER IN THAT HOUSE!!!’ And the theater… It was like the moment they were released to now go, ‘FUCK NO!!!’ and the whole theater started the audience participation that we now know as a horror movie experience.
“It was in that second that I went ‘Oh! That’s what he meant.’ He wanted (Laurie) to be vulnerable so that you cared about her and you didn’t want her to get hurt. And you guys haven’t wanted me to get hurt for forty four years.”
Later in the panel, Curtis said
“At this point, Jamie and Laurie have become woven together. There is no separation… I don’t have anything in my life without Laurie Strode. Nothing. I wouldn’t have a career, I wouldn’t have a family.”
At the end of the panel, Curtis asked the fans in attendance to hold up signs they were offered when filing into the Empire Room. One had a photo of Curtis’ face. The other depicted Michael Myers. When the fans held up their chosen sign, she took a photo, thanked the fans who took her side, and forgave the fans who ‘made the wrong decision.’
Halloween Ends debuts in theaters and on the Peacock streaming service on October 14, 2022.