Jamie Lee Curtis is living proof that even scream queens have a tender side.
Known for her role as terrorized teen Laurie Strode in the original 1978 horror film "Halloween," actress Jamie Lee Curtis wasn't the least bit frightening to Bookends patrons on Tuesday night as she promoted her latest children's book, "My Mommy Hung the Moon."
On the contrary–though she was dressed in black–Curtis was more like the pied piper as she sat in a plush chair at the back of the store with a crowd of children at her feet. She spoke candidly with them for several minutes, joking about text messaging and cell phones, even admitting her real age–51–when one child asked her how old she was. And when an outspoken 11-year-old told her that he'd seen "Halloween," she gasped, "What? You're 11! Where's your mother?!"
Of course, being a mother herself–of a teenage son and a daughter who recently graduated from college–Curtis does actually know a thing or two about parenting.
Before she read her book aloud to the children, Curtis quizzed them on what they thought a mommy's job was. Their eager responses included, "She takes care of you," "She feeds you," and, most importantly, "She loves you."
Curtis told the parents in the room that the bond of unconditional love between a mother and child was something that is "sadly lacking in the world today.
"I remember when I was very little, I used to think that my mother (actress Janet Leigh) was a fairy princess," Curtis said. "I used to think that she could do anything."
Such is the premise of "My Mommy Hung the Moon," the ninth children's book written by Curtis and illustrated by Laura Cornell. It's a love story celebrating the bond between a mother and her child. Written from the perspective of a little boy, the sweet, rhyming story demonstrates how his adoration for his mother allows him to believe that she really can do everything. From baking cookies to driving the carpool, to this child, his mother is a real-live superhero.
"Dads, you're awesome, but this is a shout-out to all the mommies here tonight," Curtis proclaimed, drawing laughter from the crowd.
After she'd finished reading, Curtis asked the adults if they had any questions. Some were typical fan questions, like which of her films was her favorite ("True Lies") and inquiries about her kids.
But others were eager to know which career she preferred most: acting or writing?
"Acting is really fun," Curtis said, "but (with acting) I am someone who is paid to interpret someone else's ideas—I pretend to be somebody else." On the other hand, she said, "When I write books, they come from my mind and my heart."
Later on, both Curtis and Cornell headed downstairs, where they autographed copies of their book and greeted fans. Both women–especially Curtis–were full of smiles and kind words for everyone.
Obviously, the feeling was mutual: If only they'd heard the reaction of two young brothers as they left the store with their dad after having their book signed: "That was awesome!"