With an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once, Jamie Lee Curtis took home another statue on Saturday night: the Maltin Modern Master Award from Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Charming the packed Arlington Theatre with the greeting, “Don’t ever give an actress a microphone. You people are so fucked right now,” Curtis immediately set the tone for a laugh-filled evening full of warmth and a straight-shooting sincerity that has successfully fueled her career for the past 45 years. 

Walking through a résumé that spans from the first Halloween movie in 1978 to her roles in True Lies, Trading Places, Freaky Friday, A Fish Called Wanda, Knives Out, and Everything Everywhere All at Once, among others, she discussed her intuitive understanding of acting, her “nepo kid” (as in nepotism) background as the child of two movie stars, greeting her godfather — Studio Head Lew Wasserman — with a sassy strut through the commissary at Universal Studios, the directors and actors she’s worked with, and even the serendipitous connections between the Halloween franchise films and meeting her husband of 38 years, Christopher Guest.  

Guest, the director (Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind) and actor (This is Spinal Tap), who is also a baron known as Lord Haden-Guest (seriously!), presented the award in a hilariously dry style, stating, “This is a master’s award … and she deserves it.” 

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