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"I'm going to have to pretend I haven't heard it." In black slacks, sweater, and high-heeled boots, and wearing a wedding band of tiny diamonds, Curtis is a picture of understated elegance.
In Hollywood, where middle-aged actresses are expected to resort to extreme measures to look younger, her short, naturally silver hair is subversive.
“I’ve been an inconsistent parent at times, and it’s my greatest regret. I feel badly for her that she didn't have any of the support I have.
At the end of her life she was miserable, miserable.
We would do Italy, we would do the Netherlands, we would do Russia.
We would study Nazi Germany, then watch Schindler's List and The Diary of Anne Frank, then see my girlfriend Deborah Oppenheimer's documentary, Into the Arms of Strangers, and hear about stories of the Kindertransport, then read four or five historical fiction books and then travel there.
She scaled down her acting career to raise her kids. "If I can challenge old ideas about aging, I will feel more and more invigorated. I want to be a new version of the 70-year-old woman. I think that the older I get, the more yoga I"m going to do. I got home and I went on a scale and I was 161 pounds. "Now, I get up at five o'clock in the morning every day, filled with energy. I'm never going to be an athlete, never going to be running triathlons — I'm not that person.
Self-searching led to transformation, as she deepened her commitment to what meant most to her. And my blood pressure had risen a lot, and my cholesterol was crazy. Over the course of a year, I dropped about 20 pounds."I remember visiting her when Annie was little, and they were making heart-shaped pancakes with Annie's initial in jam, and I thought, 'I don't do this for my kids.' She sets a very high bar for herself as a mother, a wife, and a friend, and she's totally sincere about it." In 1993 Curtis began to publish children's books, including Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day (Harper Collins Children's Books, 1998), a New York Times bestseller. Gone." Jamie Lee Curtis — growing older, becoming new again. I actually think there's an incredible amount of self-knowledge that comes with getting older. I'm stronger, I'm smarter in every way, I'm so much less crazy than I was then. "That was a moment of truth and a big shift, taking care of my physiological life.While Curtis costars with a dog this fall in a comedy called Beverly Hills Chihuahua, she is limiting her acting to roles that don't require long hours. "Years ago my husband and I were at the Golden Globes. "My biggest concern is that I will calcify as I get older. "The one benefit of being around fame my whole life is I've seen the façade of it.I am the spokesperson for two children's charities — the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and Starlight Starbright, which does wish-granting for ill children. There's a lot of personal satisfaction in being of service to other people. "If I get the chance, I would like to evolve as a public voice, to find a way to talk about making better choices. I don't know why doctors don't say, 'Oh, you smoke? It's clear that you're not interested in being alive.' "I'm going to give myself a breakfast birthday party.It is very difficult to talk about people's personal choices, and the addiction to having what we want when we want it. I'll serve my favorite meal of the day: cereal and waffles and bacon and pancakes and scrambled-egg-white omelets and protein shakes and cappuccinos. The little children can get their hands dipped in wax, and they can watch the wonderfully talented candy carver swirl the liquid candy into dragons, and they can leave with a dragon lollipop.Upstairs, electric-guitar sounds throb as husband Christopher Guest, the "mockumentary" film director (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind), helps daughter Annie, 21, sing and record a song as a gift for her mother."It's a surprise," says Curtis, carrying the tea tray into the living room.Fame came at 20, when she starred in a spate of horror movies, including Halloween.Later she came to be known as "the body," displaying her voluptuous figure in such fare as Perfect.She has a new gig as a spokesperson for Dannon Activia yogurt, she volunteers at her son's school and for several children's charities, and this September she will publish her eighth book — Big Words for Little People. I was wearing some borrowed dress that wasn't me, my hair was done in a way that I never wear my hair, and I had earrings on. She was sitting at a table wearing a cream-colored silk-shantung pantsuit. Every year I buy three or four black dresses that I just keep in rotation. I've given away all my jewelry, because I don't wear it. I am a creature of habit: I wear the same clothes; I eat the same food; I am very regular in all of my activities. Decalcification means constant evolution, where I'm constantly trying to shed skins and shed ideas. If a relationship is really negative on an ongoing basis, what am I doing in it? Am I protecting someone from the hurt and sting of losing me? I know what people look like before they get all duded up. They take your picture when you don’t want them to, and then they show it to you.’ My daughter showed me pictures, aspects of myself that I didn’t like.An accomplished photographer, Curtis collaborated conceptually with the photos on these pages, asking that they represent her quest to "shed skin," to jettison what no longer serves her. Nothing extraneous." A few days after the photo shoot, Curtis e-mails an eerie photo she took of a pet reptile's discarded skin. Oh, and another thing — remember those black boots she was wearing on the day of the interview? And my husband said, 'You know who is the most beautiful woman in the room? Single strand of pearls, short white hair, a little lipstick — nothing else. "The same way that midcentury modern architecture was in the '50s, I want to be as a human being. I see these people duded up and they're talking differently, as if they're titled aristocracy. It was Annie who went, ‘Hello, this isn’t working.’ And I made adjustments, and then she did it again, and I made more adjustments. She had two kids, and then naturally life took over, and there was a lot of alcohol, and other things took their toll.On a chilly afternoon in a rustic canyon in Los Angeles, Jamie Lee Curtis's house buzzes with activity.As she makes a pot of tea in the kitchen, 12-year-old son Tommy whizzes by."As we get older, we say goodbye to a lot of people. Giving up something that makes us feel good in order to keep us alive as a species.We say goodbye to our friends, to our family, and discover our capacity to love and communicate and have intimacy — real intimacy, not the superficial intimacy we had in our youth. Ask yourself these two questions: Did I learn to live wisely? "Service is another way to get out of the calcification of your life. We need a surgeon general who challenges the way people eat.