Here’s how plastic surgery damaged Jamie Lee Curtis’ career

Jamie Lee Curtis has shown a lot of range throughout her dextrous career, from appearing in Disney films like Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan, to consistently proving she’s a scream queen in classic horror movies like Halloween and its sequels. Curtis is also somewhat of an open book, and isn’t afraid to talk about her personal life. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the actress has discussed trying and disregarding plastic surgery and Botox.

Born in 1958, Curtis is the daughter of Psycho star Janet Leigh and legendary actor Tony Curtis. Basically, she was born into Hollywood. Discussing her fame with The New Yorker in 2019, Curtis said, “I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, and I’ve been successful at it since I was nineteen. There’s not a day I don’t walk down the street and somebody goes, ‘Hey, I love you. You’re fantastic.’ And I appreciate it.” While the star of A Fish Called Wanda has worked steadily since the late ’70s, and become a veritable horror icon, Curtis has discussed her ups and downs in the movie business at length. Here’s how plastic surgery affected Jamie Lee Curtis’ career, according to the actress herself.

James Lee Curtis felt puffy, not perfect

In an interview with More (via the Daily Mail), in 2002, the Scream Queens star revealed that she had undergone several cosmetic procedures, including Botox and liposuction. However, Jamie Lee Curtis wasn’t impressed with the results. As for her worst experience with plastic surgery, Curtis told More, “Ten years ago, before anybody did that, I had fat taken from underneath my eyes because I was on a movie and I was puffy. … And I can remember the cameraman saying, ‘I can’t shoot her.'” The traumatic event led the actress to getting plastic surgery. “I remember being mortified,” she explained.

Speaking to The New Yorker, Curtis revealed that it was while filming the 1985’s Perfect opposite John Travolta that she was shamed for her appearance and, as a result, had plastic surgery. “I underwent an eye job when I was thirty-five years old because, one day, I was on the movie Perfect, and Gordon Willis, the great cameraman, looked at me and said, ‘Yeah, I’m not shooting her today.’ I was puffy that day, for whatever reason.” It’s undeniable that there’s serious pressure on women to look a certain way, especially in the entertainment industry, but going under the knife, or having a needle injected into your face, is a huge decision to make that doesn’t always work for everyone. As Curtis told More, “Nobody tells you that if you take fat from your body in one place, it comes back in another place.”

Jame Lee Curtis is over Hollywood's impossible beauty standards

As well as revealing that having fat taken out from under her eyes hadn’t made her feel more confident, Jamie Lee Curtis got candid about having plastic surgery. She told More (via the Daily Mail), “I’ve had a little lipo(suction), I’ve had a little Botox … And you know what? None of it works.” She also addressed the fact that having plastic surgery was encouraged. “And there is this illusion that once you do it then you’ll be fine,” she told More. “And that’s just horse****. I looked worse. Worse.” While Curtis has never looked anything but stunning as far as we are concerned, it seems that she was less than impressed with the effects of the cosmetic procedures she underwent. During the interview, Curtis also addressed the idea that she had helped to perpetuate a lie to “the unsuspecting 40-year-old women of the world.” 

“I don’t have great thighs,” she told More. “I have very big breasts and a soft, fatty little tummy. And I’ve got back fat. … People assume I’m walking around in little spaghetti strap dresses. … There’s a reality to the way I look without my clothes on.” Basically, the Knives Out star began to realize that she didn’t want to keep up with the unrealistic beauty standards of Hollywood, especially as they didn’t mesh with her own reality. Confidence comes from within, and being at ease with your body — flaws and all — is what’s important. 

For Jamie Lee Curtis, plastic surgery led to addiction

During her interview with The New Yorker in 2019, Jamie Lee Curtis elaborated on her decision to open up about plastic surgery. “I knew I was going to do the cover of More. I said, here’s the deal: I will take a picture in my underwear, with no makeup, no hair, no fancy lights, with my body the way it is, if you promise you will print that, head to toe, on a separate page, and then print the picture of me fully glammed-out on the next page,” she explained. “That was my deal with them, in order to talk about the reality of self-esteem, and about the fact that I had undergone plastic surgery, which is where I first found Vicodin.” 

In fact, Curtis attributes her negative experience filming Perfect, and the subsequent plastic surgery she underwent on her eyes to reduce puffiness, with her developing an addiction to painkillers. “Right after that movie I went and had an eye job,” she said of the 1985 film. “That’s when I found Vicodin, and the cycle of addiction began with that.”

In 2019, Curtis revealed that February 2020 would mark the 21st anniversary of her sobriety, after getting clean in 1999. While Curtis’ experiences with plastic surgery and addiction are likely to have impacted upon her movie career, the actress’s honesty is invaluable and sure to help a lot of people who are dealing with the same issues.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA’s 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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