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The Real Reason Jamie Lee Curtis Was Cast In Halloween

She's morally superior to everyone else, she doesn't drink or party or have sex, and she's usually a brunette with a gender-neutral name, like Sidney or Chris. She manages to defeat the killer, or she's rescued just in time. She's the Final Girl. This horror character trope was defined by film theorist Carol J. Clover in her 1992 book "Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film."

One of the most notable examples of a Final Girl is Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) from the "Halloween" franchise. The wholesome high school student differs from her rebellious peers, something many fans believe spared her from the wrath of Michael Myers (Nick Castle). While director John Carpenter dismisses the idea that the 1978 slasher film is a cautionary tale about morality, Laurie's Final Girl legacy is undeniable.

Curtis' iconic portrayal of the shy, book-smart teenager has withstood the test of time, and it's hard to imagine anyone else in that role. However, she wasn't the first choice for the character.

So, why was Jamie Lee Curtis cast in "Halloween"?

Continuing the family legacy

Before she was the era's reigning Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis was known for her TV work. Unfortunately for her, Carpenter didn't watch much TV. He wanted Anne Lockhart to portray Laurie, but producer Debra Hill pushed for Curtis' casting upon discovering that her mother was a horror icon: Janet Leigh.

"I knew casting Jamie Lee would be great publicity for the film because her mother was in 'Psycho,'" said Hill. Leigh's portrayal of Marion Crane in the Alfred Hitchcock film is best remembered for her terrifying shower scene, which Curtis later recreated in "Scream Queens."

Beyond the casting of Curtis, Carpenter named another "Halloween" main character, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), after Leigh's love interest in "Psycho." The 11-film franchise has taken various turns since the original "Halloween," but one thing has remained the same: Laurie Strode is the ultimate Final Girl.

In an interview with ET, Curtis expressed how proud she is to be her mother's daughter and to have followed in her legendary footsteps in the horror genre. "It's just a cool thing that these movies live on all these years later," she said.