Q&A with Jamie Lee Curtis: Why letting your 5-year-old watch 'Halloween' is just wrong
Every Friday, national arts reporter Geoff Edgers hosts The Washington Post's first Instagram Live show from his barn in Concord, Mass. He has interviewed, among others, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, immunologist Anthony Fauci, actress Tracee Ellis Ross and comedian Gilbert Gottfried.
Recently, Edgers chatted with actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Here are excerpts from their conversation.
Q: I know it's not great to grumble because we are fortunate people, but it's a tough time. And to get to Friday and to know I'm going to talk to Jamie Lee Curtis on here and wear a tie. I'm grateful for that.
A: I'm grateful that every Friday I think of (young climate activist) Greta Thunberg. They should change it to TGIFG. Because it's too easy to get mired in the difficulties of everybody's privileged life, and obviously it's stressful. I have neighbors who have a kindergartner who is being required to do three hours of screen-time learning. A 5-year-old. The stresses on families, the stresses on mothers. Mothers have always been everything, and now they're everything because they're also the teacher.
Q: You're very present on Instagram.
A: Thank you. You know, I invented Instagram.
Q: You did, like Al Gore, for God's sakes. You know, it feels like a long time since Al Gore was part of any joke.
A: I'm not joking with you. Go to iphoneys.blogspot.com. I'm a photographer. And when the iPhone first came out, it was extraordinary because instead of having to walk around with my Leica, I could walk around with my iPhone and take beautiful images. And so I said to a bunch of photographer friends of mine, "I'm going to start a blog spot where we all upload our pictures, and we share them with each other so that we can see what we're seeing." We did that for five years. And then Instagram was started and we all dropped off of iPhoneys. But all of those images are still there.
Instagram is just a fantastic tool to share content with people that I hope is meaningful. As you know, you can get caught up in that. We're all just selling all day long. Selling, selling, selling, selling, selling. But there's also an opportunity to share poetry and to share beauty with the world with the click of a finger.
Q: I also listen to your podcast, "Letters From Camp," on Audible. You've done eight episodes.
A: We've done Season One. I'm hoping we're going to get seasons two and three. It's a scripted comedy story of a young investigative journalist. She goes to camp and it has all of the beautiful tropes of camp, all of the things we all nostalgically remember about camp. There's a lot of humor, very funny characters, and there's a little bit of a mystery and a little bit of a whodunit.
Q: So I showed your movie "Trading Places" to my 10-year-old son. Was that an error in judgment?
A: No, of course not. I mean, I was 22 years old.
Q: But there are naked people in it. Right?
A: Yes, but by the way, go to any great museum and you'll see naked people. Look at the great paintings of the world.
Q: Your argument was my argument to my wife post-viewing. I believe there are so many films that are rated even lower that are far more inappropriate.
A: Of course. But this is a conversation that has been had for a very long time in the arts, which is that gratuitous violence is deemed acceptable. And believe me, I've been in a few of those movies. I will be doing a book signing at a local bookshop, and a woman will come up with her 5-year-old and go, "Blabby loves 'Halloween.'" I look at her with incredulity like, "Are you out of your mind?" And I'm sure I have done terrible things to my children. It's the nature of the beast. Some of them conscious. Maybe many of them unconscious. We've made mistakes. But exposing a 5-year-old to a horror film is just wrong.