Did you ever think that you’d see scream queens Laurie Strode and Sidney Prescott on the same screen?
Well, it happened when “Halloween” star Jamie Lee Curtis and “Scream” actress Neve Campbell joined Variety via Zoom to talk about their iconic slasher films.
While the leading ladies admitted they aren’t horror-film fans, they said they were thankful for the genre as it kick-started their careers, according to the outlet.
“Two really grateful scream queens here,” Curtis explained.
When the films were being made in 1987 and 1996, neither Campbell or Curtis had any idea how popular the franchise’s would become.
“[On] the first [film], none of us were anybody,” Campbell explained. “Courteney Cox was in the first year of ‘Friends.’ I was in the first year of ‘Party of Five.’ Matthew Lillard, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, Rose McGowan. All of us got these careers afterward. We were just young and innocent. I remember sitting around a bonfire and thinking, ‘Do you think if people see this movie that there might be a Halloween costume? Nah!’”
As for Curtis, she said everything about the original “Halloween” film was chill because they had “nothing to lose,” adding, “We didn’t know that we had anything to gain.
“There was magic happening and none of us, not one person — I would dare say even John Carpenter and Debra Hill — I don’t think anybody knew,” she said.
In addition to “doing great things” for their careers, they’ve both been blessed to return to the characters.
Curtis is set to star in the upcoming "Halloween Kills" and "Halloween Ends." The premiere date for the first film was postponed from October 16, 2020 to October 15, 2021 due to COVID.
Campbell will return in the highly-anticipated “Scream 5.”
She admitted that while she was hesitant to return to the franchise without Wes Craven, however, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett sent her a touching letter to get her on-board.
"They are directors because of Wes Craven and they’re really so excited to be a part of these films and what an honor it is to do them, and that they really want to do justice to Wes and honor his legacy," she said of the letter.
"That meant a lot. That letter meant a lot to me. Then I went and watched one of their films and it’s brilliant and in keeping in tone. So I thought, 'You know what, I can do this.' I think this could be a lot of fun and a good idea. These are people who are doing it for the love of these films. So that meant something," she explained.
But despite how fond their memories are, they discussed something scarier than serial killers: sexism when it comes to compensation.
Despite both franchises generating more than $600 million at the box office, the two leading women, who were second only to Ghostface and Michael Myers, didn’t see that success reflected in their paychecks.
“The truth of the matter is, I didn’t really make much money off of the horror movies,” Curtis revealed.
“Look, we’re actors, so we already make more money based on the little work we do. It’s hard to ever say, ‘I didn’t make a lot of money.’ Tell that to a teacher or nurse. But as a young actress, I did not. I did not have ownership in the movies. There was no profit participation. There was no back end," she said.
"There was no large amount of money made,” she explained, adding, “Obviously someone was making a lot of money — it was not me,” referring to the lucrative franchise.
Campbell echoed Curtis’ statements saying, “there’s always the promise of back end. And then, of course, it’s drowned in publicity and costs and all the reasons they say, ‘Oh, actually no, we didn’t make the amount of money that we’re claiming we made in all the press, so that we don’t have to give you that,’ unfortunately. It was the Weinsteins.”
Both ladies said the lack of equal compensation for women is a larger issue in Hollywood.
“The industry has no problem when a man makes millions of dollars on something that’s a franchise,” Curtis said. “We as a society go, ‘Good on ya!’ But then if a woman says, ‘Well, I would like that same piece of the pie,’ I think people would think you’re being greedy, or you’re not being grateful. As if somehow we as women have to be just grateful for the opportunity. Which we already explained we are!”
Campbell agreed that women “would like to make equal.”