Next, we move on to Jamie. This is where it gets a little weird. Jamie seems more focused on talking about the people she's meeting than the actual movie, itself. There's this thing called the "cabal." It's a group of guys that pound on their laptops while doing these interviews. It annoys everyone, and no one wants to be in the same room with them. There's also this one dude that no one likes. Well, the "cabal" and this despised Chatty Kathy are all in the same room together on this particular day. And they just happen to be in the room Jamie is coming away from. She didn't like the experience, and she decides that our group of press whores is more to her liking?
JAMIE LEE CURTIS
JLC: It is so cold in there. I'm telling you...That room, right there (she points), there's a guy in there that no one likes. They're really annoyed...(She points at me, excited) You! You were in the elevator with me, and actually, when you left the elevator?
The rest of the people in the room cut her off and start introducing themselves in an excited manner. Jamie wants to know who everyone is?
OI: I'm from just down the street.
JLC: You have an apartment over here?
JLC: You just decided to walk over and see what was going on?
OI: Pretty much. Take a look around, always something going on over here at the Four Seasons.
JLC: Good. I want to tell you that it's very anfractuous over there (points in the direction of the other room)...I felt a lot of hostility towards people. A lot of interrupting. I'm not down with that.
OI: You were with the "cabal".
JLC: Okay. All I can say is that I really felt some hostility. There was typing, there was also that thing, like...(gives the room a glaring look), you know? Anyway?
OI: You were really funny again, in this movie.
JLC: Did you see Virus? I took a really long, and bad, vacation.
OI: This looks like a dream role. Do you have a teenage daughter?
JLC: I do, I have a sixteen and a half-year-old.
OI: Have you been trying to figure her out all this time, and now you get to play her?
JLC: Oh, no. I know who she is. But, clearly, the best part of this all was that it was completely unexpected. And, so, I had absolutely no time to think about it for a second. As soon as this dropped out of the sky into my very busy life, what occurred then was "the juggle"...For me, the whole week before working was about logistics. I had a book tour that I needed to continue doing. I had all these dates where I was supposed to be in Cincinnati. We were clearing dates so that it was all "here." For me, I didn't have a second until I walked on the set and put on the clothes. I was like, "Okay, now I'm in a movie where I play a little girl. Let's do this." It was that kind of effortless time. For me, there was great freedom. I really had no thought process. Very similar to the way I worked on the TV show I did, and on A Fish Called Wanda. On A Fish Called Wanda, I just showed up. I had no idea what was going on. It was loose. The things that are much more studied are dramas. People start doing a lot of research. And then they're like, "Yes, I did it." Then, you know, it starts becoming very cerebral. I'm not a cerebral type of person. As you can probably tell.
OI: You talk about "The Juggle." That's Tess, in this movie, with the cell phones and the pagers?
JLC: There's not a mom I know that doesn't do this. And, of course, this is a very light comedy. A very light version of it. But there's a lot of stuff that goes into it. School schedules, and Volleyball games, and book tours. Commitments to these people, and commitments to these other people. What it is is a lot of commitments to other people that you need to satisfy. It's challenging, yet a great privilege to be able to do it.
OI: How do you do it?
JLC: I'm awesome. I'm mind boggling awesome. First of all, I was raised by Janet Lee. Labelers were made for her. I think when Brother P. Touch designed it...You know how Marc Jacobs uses Sophia Coppola? The people at Brother used Janet Lee. They had her in their head when they were making it...So, I am that person. I'm a very organized person. I am, by nature, that way. I think God chose someone to juggle who was very good at keeping many things floating at the same time. By the way, I can juggle. I learned. I went to the renaissance pleasure fair in my teens, and walked around in some flirty peasant girl outfit and flirted with all the guys in the velvet pants with their codpieces. Going around saying, "Ahoy, Matey!" Or whatever it was you said to guys in those days. And, I actually took juggling lessons. I still can...I think I can do one, two...I think I can actually get three things in the air. I'm awesome.
OI: Do your kids think your cool?
JLC: I think my daughter thinks that she thinks that I think I'm cool. I don't think they think I'm cool. I think that every parent is gross. But, I think she understands that I'm cooler than other parents.
OI: Does she watch your old movies?
JLC: No. And I never watched my parents? old movies. It's just not...You know what, when you have a famous parent, there's already so much attention that you have to constantly deal with, the last thing you want to do is watch your parents? old movies. It's like the last thing you want to do; spend any more time attaching yourself to your parents. You want your own identity so desperately.
OI: What about when you got older, did you go back and watch your mom's movies?
OI: You've never seen any of them?
JLC: I've seen a few of them, but I haven't watched a lot of them.
OI: So, do you think the remake of Psycho was a great idea, and do you think the remake of Manchurian Candidate will be a good idea?
JLC: Not at all. I think it's a stupid idea. But it's irrelevant. I'm not making those. I'm just a chick from Santa Monica. I don't make any of those decisions. Talk to Nina Jacobson about that?
OI: Do you watch your own movies?
OI: Do you watch your husband's movies?
JLC: Well, yeah, but there happening now. If I have a movie out now, I'll go to that. My daughter saw Freaky Friday at the first sneak with a thousand people and loved it. So, that happens. But we don't go back through the filmography and sit around going, "It's Friday! Gather around, we're going to watch Chris' episode of All in the Family!" We don't watch each one. That's not our life. When you're a Parent, everything is fast forward.
OI: In your downtime, what do you do?
JLC: All I do is read. I have my book?
OI: What are you reading now?
JLC: I'm reading a biography on Marie-Antoinette that's fantastic.
OI: Antonia Frazier?
JLC: No, no, no, no...I like Antonia Frazier. I read her Mary Queen of Scotts when Chris was shooting The Princess Bride, and I was sitting in the hotel being the housewife. I read her then...This, now, is Stephan Zwieg.
OI: That's an old one.
JLC: Fantastic, though. So fabulous. And then, of course, I had to watch Affair of the Necklace, because I'd just read that section. And, boy...Oh, my God! They couldn't find a French actress? They couldn't make that woman go and study French? And speak with a French accent?
OI: You must be one of the only two or three people in the world that has actually seen that movie?
JLC: Well, I've only seen it because I have to see it. Because, I'm reading the history. To me, you have to do the whole thing.
OI: So, you're more into biographies?
JLC: I am a really quiet person. Even though you probably all laugh at that idea. I choose to spend my time reading quietly by myself. I'm pretty quiet. I'm tranquil. I listen to KSURF. 1260 AM. Predominately. Which is American Classics. I listen to Sinatra. In the meantime, I have Eminem in the CD player, along with Justin Timberlake.
OI: Fifty Cent?
JLC: Yes, Fifty Cent, excuse me. My daughter and I have these (she pulls off a gold loop bracelet). I got one for my daughter because, what it says is, "I love you like a fat kid loves cake."
OI: That's a Fifty Cent line.
JLC: It is. My daughter and I heard that song. If you need to, you can check (she passes the bracelet around the room so that everyone can read the inscription). It is engraved inside the bracelet. It's exactly how I feel about my kids.
OI: Can you tell us about the difference between your own daughter Annie, and working with Anna?
JLC: Could it get any freakier? I'm doing a movie where I'm going to be the mother of a boy and a girl, and her name is Anna. And we shot it a block from my house. Very freaky. I don't want to use Annie as interview fodder. She is a very different girl. Much more sophisticated. I quite frankly think that this is a younger interpretation. Where as, I think my daughter is a much older teenager than these teenagers. I think my daughter and her friends are much older, much more sophisticated. (She grabs her bracelet back from the guy sitting next to her) Quit looking at that! It actually says it! But...In that sense, it's tricky. I think I'm a little more adolescent in the movie than in reality. Our biggest fight has been about beauty magazines, and that kind of thing.
OI: Is that why you're so outspoken about it? As far as; this is not the real image of women?
JLC: No, that really connected up to self-esteem and me accepting who I am. Most people's expectations of me are based on what they've seen in the press and what they've read in magazines, predominately. Where it's all very lovely, blah, blah, blah...When I was promoting this book about self esteem for kids, I thought the way to access my own self esteem issues, and I believe the self esteem issues of many, many, many, many, many women, predominately women, was to do this thing and say, "Okay, this is what I look like naked. What do you look like naked?? Because, if you think I look like that, naked...This is what I actually look like. It was really more about accessing self-esteem. It didn't really have anything to do with charging the beauty industry; it wasn't political at all. It was personal. Then it became political because, of course, in the process, you then are charging. I said, "I'll do this, but you have to promise me you won't airbrush it, and you'll say how much it costs." In the process of that, when the little media storm blew in, that's what got swept up. A lot of that self-esteem issue got left behind. I could go, "Its about self esteem!" But it really became about; "Magazines do this!" And how they shouldn't do this. I mean, they've been doing this forever. I once was going to be the daughter-in-law...Granddaughter-in-law, of Marlene Dietrich. I was engaged to Michael Riva, who is the son of Maria Riva. And I lived...When I shot Trading Places...I lived in Marlene's apartment, which the family still owned. I needed an apartment to rent in New York, and it was an empty apartment. Someone said, "Why don't you live in Marlene's Apartment?" And I was like, "Yeah, great." So, I lived in Marlene Dietrich's apartment in New York City. It was very much like Sunset Boulevard. It was kind of decrepit. It has since been redone, and I know that it was in some architectural magazine. But, at the time, it was kind of fantastic. And I found some photographs of her in the closet. She and Betty Davis, they went through every photograph of themselves, and I mean, a hair...She would circle it and write, "Out! Lighten, darken, shade, cut!" It was this picture that was just scrawled all over. So it's not like this is only done with computers. This used to be hand-done on the negative. Now, obviously, they're doing it with computers. To me, the concern, though, is...She is a beautiful woman, and a lovely actress...Candice Bergen was in a movie recently, a Stewardess movie...And I saw the poster for this movie. And they did it; like they do for most movies now days, where they line up the people in a little diagonal line going from biggest to smallest, as if that's some ingenious way...They couldn't come up with a better picture for a stewardess movie than that? And, she's like, fifth in line. I literally saw a picture of this movie, and I said, "Who is that?" Someone said, "It's Candy Bergen." I said, "Get out of here! That's not Candy Bergen. This girl's twenty years old. Look at that girl." They had just erased any sense of her age. Erased it. And that, to me, has just gotten ridiculous. Enough!
OI: How do you feel about seeing this young woman rise in the business with Lindsay Lohan? She seems really phenomenal.
JLC: She is phenomenal. I shared in the other room...I feel like I'm in an AA meeting. I'm not in an AA meeting. Don't say that, because that's not cool. Okay? Promise, promise? Everybody here, if anybody says that, we got the thing, and we can all call you and go, "That was really bad! She asked you not too!" You know, when I saw The Parent trap, I thought they were two girls. I thought they were twins. When they told me I was doing a movie with this girl, I said, "Which one" Did she play the English girl or the American girl?? I actually thought it was two girls. So, I think she's incredible. She was great fun. It was great fun. We got thrown together, and it's one of those things where you either have an instant bond, or you don't.
OI: You guys had great chemistry.
JLC: We did. And we had it from the moment we met.
OI: How do you describe that chemistry?
JLC: You can't describe that chemistry. My favorite time with Lindsay was when we were sitting in the car, doing the French Fry driving scene, which was shot on green screen, so we were stuck in the car for about six hours together on stage. We were locked in there. Unless we wanted to use the restroom, then we had to climb out a window. We were listening to the Justin Timberlake CD, trying to learn the rap. We literally had a pad. We'd go back and forth until we both knew, and then we'd say it to each other really fast. The way you do with a girlfriend. (Jamie starts rapping in a whisper that's hard to make out; she does this for a long time) I could go on like that.
OI: How do you rate everything?
JLC: You know what? First of all, you just can't. When I take my last breath in the world, the only thing that will matter is how I responded to other people. So, human beings and my children, and my husband...That's like, everything. Charity falls into that. Charity begins at home. It's so easy to feel like you have to force yourself outside of your home for the greater good. But there is no greater good than your children. There's nothing more important than the way you raise your kids. So, for me, it's got to be that nucleus of a family. It has to be there. Again, we're talking about the juggling. I couldn't do this movie unless I could get to my daughter's Volleyball games. They have to know, and here are the dates! I'm going to be out on the 2nd, the 4th, and the 6th by four, and that's the way it's got to be. The idea that the movie business is more important than anything else, the idea that the show must always go on...My husband, the very talented and funny Chris Guest, said, "I think the great thing!" But don't quote him as saying it; because someone else said it, and he would look like an idiot...But he said, "The last thing that has to go on is the show." Truly, the last, least most important thing that has to go on is the show. You know? Who cares?
OI: Has your conviction towards your family grown deeper as you've grown older?
JLC: Sure, absolutely. When people ask me about my movies, all I remember is the stress on my family life. That's all I remember. When you say, "A Fish called Wanda" to me, the only thing I remember is that I had to drive an hour...It sounds like I'm having chemotherapy, but it's not...I got to drive an hour to work, then work all day, twelve hours, and then drive an hour home. But I had a four-month-old baby. And all I felt was guilt. When I left in the morning, when my husband and baby where asleep, all I felt was guilt. All I felt, all day long while I was working, was, "I shouldn't be here." Then, during that hour to work, all I had to do was think, "Oh, my God. What am I doing? This is so crazy." Then when I got home, I did everything I could to try and make up for that with my kids. That has been my experience. I have not had an easy time with mothering and working. I'm lucky, because I don't have to do it all the time. I know there are a lot of women out there who work all their children's lives. From the moment that child is born, till the moment that child moves out of the home, that woman has worked her whole life to support her children. Quite frankly, at the time, I was the main breadwinner in my family, and I felt that it was my job to go out and work. I was replicating what my mom did. Then I made some adjustments to that. Now, financially, I don't have to go to work quite as often. Now, I can focus primarily on my children. Then, I write books, which is a lovely thing to do. All of it is subterfuge. All of it is something else. I'm lucky...(She points at the guy across from her) You look like you have a headache, or you hate me. You know how you see thought bubbles coming out of people's heads? Let's just think what this thought bubble, with this look on your face, might have been?
OI: No, a copy of your last book landed on my desk, and I was thinking, there were four people clamoring around my desk to get their hands on it.
JLC: Yeah, it's a beautiful book. Far out. I write beautiful books. There's no question. I love them. I think they're fabulous. They're the best thing outside my kids. They're the only things that I'll know, when I'm dying, that I wrote something that has a life that's longer...Acting? Acting will come very close...(She looks at me) You've got that bad look on your face.
JLC: It's okay. You just look mean.
OI: That's just my face.
JLC: That's my face too. I get that look a lot, too. It's that idea of, having...Being an actress is a great privilege and it's a lot of fun. And I love it. I'm a ham. But writing these books has been a great thing. Trying to use it for a better purpose in the world is a great thing. But mostly, it's about being connected to these kids and my husband...It's the whole "can't take it with you" thing. It's really prevalent, now more than ever, when you're really not new. There are those of us that are not twelve. We are all starting to really wonder why we're all here.
OI: You can do the writing at home?
JLC: Oh, I can do it in five minutes. I can do it in the car. I can do it at home.
OI: Do you have another book coming out?
JLC: I do. It's about self-control.
OI: What have you learned about your own family from doing this movie?
JLC: I'm a judgmental person. You could have "nice woman," then underneath it, "judgmental bitch." I have a very heavy judgment gene. My initial is J. You know? I have to really be careful, because it is a defense mechanism that is really hostile. To immediately judge someone and assume something about them. And assume it with a pejorative slant. The truth of the matter is, the biggest thing the movie says, and what I try to do with my daughter is, really try to see who someone is, and not judge. That they don't do it the way I do it. That people don't walk through the world the way I walk through the world. And because they don't do it the way I do it, there is something wrong with them. That's just something that is a challenge for me, and something I have to overcome on a daily basis. Because, it's just an easier slot to slide into. It's a much harder world to be open and accepting. I need to give them a lot of the benefit of the doubt. I need to really investigate. I have that opportunity when I have a teenager. There are a lot of people around. It's easier to go, "Bad girl, bad girl, bad girl!" I do that a little bit. And, boy, have I been proven wrong. The bad girls can be great friends. And the girls that are really smiley, and really nice, are not good friends at all.
Next comes some business about how she wishes she were me. I guess she liked the way I was dressed or something. Though, we were the last room to have Jamie, and no one asked her who she'd like to switch places with in real life. Can you believe, that if faced with a real body-switch situation, she'd want to escape into my chumped-up husk? That's a little "freaky" in and of itself. I don't really have any desire to be Jamie Lee Curtis...
Anyway, go see this movie. It's well worth the nine or ten bucks. That's the J. David Orange promise!
Dont't forget to also check out: Freaky Friday