The California native, 64, reflected on following in her parents’ footsteps while speaking with Us Weekly exclusively on the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 12. “I feel good,” Curtis told Us of her state of mind heading into the ceremony, where she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once.
The Freaky Friday star — who is the daughter of late movie stars Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh — got emotional as she discussed her ever-growing Hollywood family.
“The community of show business is a family,” Jamie Lee told Us. “I mean, even the Everything Everywhere All at Once group, we are a family together, and so my parents have just joined a now much bigger family for me because I’ve been doing this for such a long time.”
The Halloween actress went on to praise her loved ones while accepting her first-ever Oscar on Sunday night. “I know it looks like I’m standing up here by myself, but I am not. I am hundreds of people,” she gushed, giving a shout-out to directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (a.k.a. The Daniels). “To all the people who have supported the genre movies that I’ve made for these years … we just won an Oscar together!”
Jamie Lee celebrated costars Michelle Yeoh and Stephanie Hsu and husband Christopher Guest before looking up to the heavens. “And to my mother and my father, who were both nominated for Oscars in different categories — I just won an Oscar!” she concluded.
Before her death at age 77 in October 2004, Leigh earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. It was the sole Academy Award nod of her career. (She won a Golden Globe for the same role in 1960.)
Jamie Lee’s father, meanwhile, was up for Best Actor at the 1959 Oscars for The Defiant Ones, but he walked away empty-handed. The Midnight star died of cardiac arrest in September 2010. He was 85.
The Scream Queens alum has often been candid about her Hollywood pedigree, particularly amid the viral “nepo baby” debate. Following the December 2022 New York magazine article on the topic, Jamie Lee shared her impassioned take via social media.
“I have been a professional actress since I was 19 years old so that makes me an OG Nepo Baby,” she wrote in a lengthy Instagram caption. “I’ve never understood, nor will I, what qualities got me hired that day, but since my first two lines on Quincy as a contract player at Universal Studios to this last spectacular creative year some 44 years later, there’s not a day in my professional life that goes by without my being reminded that I am the daughter of movie stars.”
She continued: “The current conversation about nepo babies is just designed to try to diminish and denigrate and hurt. For the record I have navigated 44 years with the advantages my associated and reflected fame brought me, I don’t pretend there aren’t any, that try to tell me that I have no value on my own. … I have suited up and shown up for all different kinds of work with thousands of thousands of people and every day I’ve tried to bring integrity and professionalism and love and community and art to my work. I am not alone.”
The Emmy nominee asserted that she and other children of famous parents should be “proud of our lineage” and “strong in our belief in our right to exist.”
Jamie Lee and her Everything Everywhere All at Once costars swept the major categories at Sunday’s Oscars, collecting Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Actress (Yeoh), Best Supporting Actor (Ke Huy Quan) and Best Picture.
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With reporting by Hannah Kahn