Jamie Lee Curtis: Sobriety Changed Everything

By Bryan Le 10/22/18

The "Halloween" actress revealed in an interview that she would not be where she is now without sobriety.

Jamie Lee Curtis at the West Coast Premiere Reading of 8 Shows, Wilshire Ebell Theater, Los Angeles, CA 03-03-12
Curtis is thinking about the future and what she will leave behind.

Now coming up on her 60th birthday, movie star Jamie Lee Curtis is focused on her legacy.

“I want to die having said something,” she told USA Today.

Curtis stars in the newest Halloween film, re-assuming her debut role as Laurie Strode to once again face the masked murderer Michael Myers. Between that first starring role and this most recent redux, Curtis has played a wide range of characters in a variety of genres. But the road was not always easy, and it was during these times that Curtis used alcohol and opioids to deal with the stress.

She recalls the summer of 1987, trying to balance work and family while shooting A Fish Called Wanda.

“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,” she said. “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.”

Looking back, Curtis realized she was forgetting to take care of herself. “I think I was replicating my mom and really trying to just make everybody happy,” she reflected.

Curtis has been candid about her former substance use and her sobriety, now going on two decades. Of all the things she’s accomplished, Curtis once said she considers getting sober her number one accomplishment.

“As soon as I got sober, which is 20 years coming up in February, everything changed,” she said. “Because it was a big, big acknowledgment that I could not do all of the things I was trying to do.”

The secret, Curtis suggested, was in prioritizing what really matters.

“All I hear is the grading, the rank ordering in my industry. A-list. A-listers. I’m in B-movies. That’s how I’ve buttered my bread. And horror movies are like at the bottom end of the scale,” she said, referring to her legacy as a horror film scream queen. “And yet I have navigated 40 years. I sold yogurt that made you poop for five years because it was a gig that allowed me to stay home and be a mom the way I needed to be a mom.”

The newest Halloween, starring Curtis, Judy Greer and Andi Matichak, is now in theaters.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter