Arts & Entertainment

Behind the scenes with Jamie Lee Curtis: Actress, author, entrepreneur, icon

July 27, 2022

Behind the scenes with Jamie Lee Curtis: Actress, author, entrepreneur, icon

Jamie Lee Curtis

Actress, Producer, Author, and Activist

Jamie Lee Curtis is an actress, producer, author, activist—and a Walker & Dunlop investor since…

Jamie Lee Curtis is an actress, producer, author, activist—and a Walker & Dunlop investor since 2010. On this episode of the Walker Webcast, she and Willy talk about everything from living up to her famous parents' legacy, the inside scoop about the leading men she's worked with, what she values most in life, and so much more.

For this episode of the Walker Webcast, Willy welcomes multihyphenate screen icon and friend Jamie Lee Curtis, and they have much to talk about.

The conversation starts off with Jamie talking about her family and their influence on her life and approach to living. Her mother was actress Janet Leigh, whose extensive career included movies like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Jamie talks about how her mother came from nothing to become both a glamorous star and an empathetic, people-centered voice for her husband’s business.

A less familiar name to listeners is Robert Brandt. This was Jamie’s stepfather and Leigh’s husband for 43 years. Jamie shares how Bob taught her the value of saving money, a good handshake, and keeping her word.

Over a decades-long career, Jamie has become a star in her own right. In light of her fame, Willy asks about her generosity toward others, something she’s become known for over the years. How did she develop this side of herself?

Jamie credits this aspect of her personality to Bob and Janet. They shaped her to care about people as people. By focusing on meaningful relationships, she says, she’s better able to handle the reality of fame, specifically that fame remains even after what makes a person famous goes away.

Her advice to the next generation? Be careful with social media. It’s poison to young people, she says. Her own approach to social media’s messy relational dynamic is to say her part and get out. No reading the comments!

Because no interview with a film star is complete without talking about movies, the conversation shifts to Jamie’s career, starting with the horror classic Halloween. This was her first big role and only came about because she was fired from another project, she says.

Since then, Jamie’s been in films alongside actors such as John Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Murphy, and Dan Aykroyd. (Willy mentions that he recently showed his sons Trading Places.) But the main leading man in her life has been her husband of 38 years Christopher Guest, known for comedies such as This Is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, and Waiting for Guffman. They couldn’t be more opposite in terms of temperament, Jamie says, but after what she calls a crazy start, their love has endured.

The conversation then turns to James Cameron: Why is he so good at what he does? Jamie walks through an example from True Lies: how the famous director made poor lighting during filming work in the final product. She also talks with Willy about the Emmy-nominated 1989-1992 sitcom Anything But Love and her recent role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. In the 2022 sci-fi action comedy, she plays an IRS agent thwarting Michelle Yeoh’s attempts to save her family’s laundromat and the multiverse.

As she approaches her 64th birthday this year, Jamie says she’s at a personal high point. She says she’s busier, more successful, more relevant, and more in her mind and spirit than ever before—and that this self-knowledge has led to Live Like You’re Dead and Die Alive. It’s not a new self-help book she’s on the webcast to plug, she explains to Willy, but rather a philosophy on living with a great title. And it all goes back to generosity. Generosity makes us feel alive. So why wait until you’re dead to give back to the ones you love? Live with generosity while you’re still here.

Read Transcript

Related Walker Webcasts

Role of a lifetime: A chat with Jeffrey Wright, award-winning actor

March 6, 2024

Arts & Entertainment

The future of the media and cable industries: A chat with David Faber

December 13, 2023

Government & Policy

Arts & Entertainment


Building Blumhouse: A chat with Jason Blum

October 18, 2023

Arts & Entertainment


Check out the latest relevant content from W&D

Learn more

News & Events

Find out what we're doing by regulary visiting our News & Events pages

Learn more