Jamie Lee Curtis — star of such movies as Halloween, True Lies, and Freaky Friday, to name a few — breaks out in You Again as the overzealous Gail, Marni’s mother and Ramona’s best “frenemy” from high school, who was the “popular girl” and “head cheerleader.” Curtis is fearless in the film, busting out hard-hitting cheers and wild, amusing dance moves. Curtis’s role as Gail demonstrates to audiences that sometimes high school individual experiences can be misunderstood, but friendships can always be revived.
Brittany Kyles: Why did you decide to do this movie?
Jamie Lee Curtis: It was shot in Los Angeles in the summer, and it was a comedy for Disney. When they first came to me, I said, “When is it being shot?” and they said September, but I said, “If you make it August, I can do it because September is too far into the school year.”
BK: So you are very serious about your family?
JLC: I am. That’s why I am not in many movies anymore, because most movies are not shot in Los Angeles.
BK: What Disney character would you be?
JLC: I am definitely a Mulan fan, but I think there would be a casting difficulty. [Laughs]
BK: Did you have a “Joana” in high school?
JLC: No, I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I think everyone has faced betrayal — when you express a vulnerability or an opening and then someone tells your secret or uses your weakness against you. But I didn’t have a “Joana.” I was a good girl. I was a cheerleader and a nice girl.
BK: Have your kids ever had to deal with bullies in school? And what advice do you give to your own kids?
JLC: I tell my son to stand up for himself, try to work it out as much as you can, or if all else fails, tell them you’re going to talk to an adult. But I feel nowadays there is a lot of tattling, so I’m trying to teach my son to stand up for himself. There has been nothing heinous, but there have been some instances for him and my daughter where they have had to face a sort of bully.
BK: What do you think about young celebrities today?
JLC: I think they feel tremendous pressure, and they have been conditioned to learn that, when they “fuck up,” that’s when they make the press and headlines. I just have compassion, but I know if the media was like what it is today when I was younger, things would be much more different for me. I feel empathy for these young celebrities.
BK: Was it hard for you to be young in the public eye?
JLC: I was an adult — I was 19. I will tell you, though, that if all these websites and cameras were following me running around, going out to bars or night clubs, I wouldn’t be married today if they chased me and my husband. He is far too private and wouldn’t be able to deal with it. I still have never had people chase me. I walk the alleys of Beverly Hills, not because they want me, but if I am in Beverly Hills, I don’t want to deal with it. I have friends who they want, and it’s obscene and horrible, and one day I think it may kill somebody and then I’m sure laws, as a result, will be passed. But I believe in your rights and freedom of the press, so that’s just a whole other conversation.
BK: How did you feel about the dance scenes?
JLC: I really enjoyed it. There was actually a choreographer, but they only used 1/20 of what we threw down — there was lots of footage.
BK: What would you think about doing Dancing with the Stars? What if they came knocking on your door after this movie?
JLC: They’ve knocked; no one was home. [Laughs] I actually did Circus of the Stars when I was younger, which was actors doing circus acts, and they needed an actor to go on the flying trapeze. It was when I was living at home, and I remember being at the house while the producer was there with my mother, and I raised my hand and said, “I will.” So I became a regular on the flying trapeze on Circus of the Stars. So basically I have already kind of been there and done that. [Laughs]
Touchstone Pictures' 'You Again' is released on September 24, 2010.