Jamie Lee Curtis and her role as Laurie Strode in the Halloween franchise are almost as iconic as Michael Myers himself these days, but the actor was not John Carpenter’s first choice to play the character in the original horror movie from 1978.
With the Halloween Ends release date upon us, Curtis may well have played the final girl for the final time, as the new Halloween movie potentially puts an end to the slasher movie franchise once and for all. She may be synonymous with all things Haddonfield now, but Curtis very nearly wasn’t a part of the franchise at all.
Turns out, Carpenter had other ideas when it came to the casting process, as revealed in this interview with Fangoria (via WebArchive).
“Jamie Lee wasn’t the first choice for Laurie. I had no idea who she was. She was 19 and in a TV show at the time, but I didn’t watch TV,” Carpenter said.
Apparently, Carpenter’s first choice was Annie Lockhart, the daughter of June Lockhart from the family movie Lassie. But producer Debra Hill had other ideas: “I knew casting Jamie Lee would be great publicity for the film because her mother was in Psycho,” she said.
The rest, as they say, is history. Curtis ultimately proved to be a fantastic choice for the role, and the work she has done in not only acting in the franchise but being its key face for marketing throughout the years has been pivotal to the longevity of the series.