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Jamie Lee Curtis is fighting Michael to the finish in "Halloween: H20"

Curtis, Leigh enjoying horrifying romp through 'H20'

Web posted on: Wednesday, August 05, 1998 4:16:08 PM

From Correspondent Sherri Sylvester

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- It only makes sense that Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis should star together in "Halloween: H20," the 20th-anniversary tribute to the original fright-fest classic. After all, the original "Halloween" was Curtis' first lead role, and Leigh -- Curtis' mother -- is, well, a horror icon.

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Leigh left hearts broken and horrified in "Psycho," when her character in the Alfred Hitchcock classic was stabbed to death in "the shower scene."

Now, the mother and daughter are starring in "H20," and although Curtis will not watch horror movies, and Leigh will not take showers, both are enjoying their place in horror film history.

Curtis works with her mother and fellow horror-flick-chick Janet Leigh in the film

Curtis 'very proud'

"Working with my mom and having this moment with her on the screen, where you take two screen icons from horror movies and kind of pair them -- the fact that they're mother and daughter is very special but I actually am very proud of the whole thing," Curtis says.

The original "Halloween," released in 1978, cost $300,000 to make -- far less than "Pyscho," released in 1960 at a cost of $800,000.

"Halloween" is regarded as the original low-budget slice-and-dice flick.

Curtis says she was paid $8,000 for her first fright film, and she was thankful for it.

"I got paid $2,000 a week, which is still a great salary, and at the time, when I was under contract at Universal, I think I was earning $235 a week," she says.

Watch the trailer for "Halloween: H2O"

Video: 2.7Mb QuickTime

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Earning her keep

Since then, Curtis has blossomed into a top Hollywood star, earning applause for her work in movies like "Trading Places" and "A Fish Called Wanda."

And now, 20 years removed from the first rampage by knife-wielding psycho Michael Meyers, Curtis has come full-circle, with mom entering the fray.

And Curtis is earning her keep.

"I do a stunt in the movie where I go over a banister ... and there was no stunt man," Curtis says. "A really big grip is standing below me on these stairs and another guy tied a rope around my left wrist, which you don't see, and he was holding my left wrist by the rope and the other guy was standing below to catch me. The purity of that experience was very important."

Both actresses are famous for horror movies: Curtis in "Halloween" (top) and Leigh in "Psycho" (bottom)

'You are a lucky actor'

Both Leigh and Curtis say they're proud of the fact that their early horror movies were high on imagination and low on gore.

"When we made 'Psycho' you couldn't show anything," Leigh says. "We couldn't show nudity or we couldn't show graphic violence, we couldn't show penetration with a weapon."

The ultimate goal, Leigh says, is to make something that is memorable.

"We are in the business to create images," Leigh says. "That's our business, and if you have been privileged to be in something that created that strong of an image, then indeed you are a lucky actor."

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