Jamie Lee Curtis is the O.G. Scream Queen!
During Sunday night's MTV Movie & TV Awards: Greatest of All Time broadcast, Scream actress Neve Campbell presented Curtis, 62, with the award for the reigning Scream Queen. Campbell, 47, harkened back to Curtis' memorable film debut in 1978's Halloween as Laurie Strode and the performance's impact on the horror genre.
Curtis shared the honor with her onscreen nemesis throughout the Halloween franchise, Michael Myers. The iconic movie villain approached the actress from a tree in the background as she assured him not to be shy.
"For me the greatest partnership and the only reason I'm standing here today, is my partnership with Michael, so I'd like to bring him out," Curtis said in accepting the award. "Don't be scared, they love you," she continued, motioning for Myers to approach her. "Everybody Michael Myers, my friend and often foe. Don't worry we both had COVID tests and he's wearing a mask — the greatest ever. We hope you enjoy the next two movies, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. Thank you guys, love you! He's so quiet!"
In 1995, Curtis was nominated at the MTV Movie & TV Awards for best female performance and best kiss (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) for True Lies. Campbell won in 1998 for best female performance for Scream 2, and she was also nominated for the first and third Screams.
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Curtis was 19 when the first Halloween made her a movie star, and she was paid only $8,000 for the low-budget thriller, which was directed by John Carpenter. The horror slasher was made for a total of $325,000, and she was given $200 to find her wardrobe herself, she previously told PEOPLE.
“All the sudden, I was going to JC Penney and buying Laurie’s wardrobe with $200,” she recalled in 2018, adding that instead of a film set full of trailers, the cast worked out of one Winnebago RV.
“There were cabinets in the Winnebago,” Curtis said. “Each girl got a drawer with her name on it to put her purse in. The makeup and the hair and the wardrobe were all in this one Winnebago that we all shared.”
Curtis — who reprised her role in the 2018 Halloween sequel and will return in next year's Halloween Kills — added: “I made $8,000. I made $2,000 a week, which at the time was a fortune.”
The crew was small: “Twenty people, maybe 15,” says Curtis. “The oldest person was 30. Every other person was under 30. It was magic. A friend of somebody cooked the food each day and we all ate on the ground together.”
The movie went on to make $47 million at the box office — and Curtis admitted to PEOPLE that she is afraid to watch her own scary movies. “I don’t understand why people like these movies,” she said. “I don’t like being scared! I’m the girl who watches movies under a blanket, and I cover my face.”
Curtis and Campbell reminisced together about their horror movie track records for a Variety conversation in October. During the chat, Curtis remembered how they had "nothing to lose" when making the original Halloween.
“We had nothing to lose; we didn’t know that we had anything to gain. We were just so happy to have this gig. The original Halloween was made in 17 days with like 12 people. … Everybody was young. There was magic happening and none of us, not one person — I would dare say even John Carpenter and [co-writer] Debra Hill — I don’t think anybody knew.”
The MTV Movie & TV Awards: Greatest of All Time aired on Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
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