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Trying not to freak out

In the awards spotlight again, Jamie Lee Curtis faces her to-do list with a hard-won sense of calm.

January 24, 2004|Nancy Griffin | Special to The Times

That she does: Curtis emerges, statuesque, in a cream-colored confection that showcases her hourglass figure. Standing in front of the mirror, Curtis pushes and prods her flesh like Play-Doh. She's concerned that when she leans over she'll spill out of her top. "She has such divine bosoms," says Tyler. "Yeah," she replies, "but they need somewhere to sit." Tyler fusses with a chiffon sleeve; the dress was originally designed to be sleeveless, but Curtis doesn't want to bare her arms. She makes the flab underneath her bicep wiggle. "See, this is after going to the freaking gym!" she cries. At 4:30, Curtis finally heads back to Santa Monica. "My personal relationships are the absolute center of my life," she says. "And then the rest of all of this can swirl around, and I don't have to worry about it." She's eager to hear about 8-year-old Tom's day at school, find out how Annie's SAT tutoring is going and greet her husband, mockumentary mastermind Christopher Guest ("Best in Show," last year's "The Mighty Wind") after his golf game. She attributes the longevity of her marriage to "growth, hopefully. Parallel, mutual, intersecting growth." That doesn't mean we're likely to see a professional collaboration between Lord and Lady Haden-Guest (yes, he's titled). "He works in improvisational comedy," she says. "I wouldn't even for a second know how to do that."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday January 27, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 24 words Type of Material: Correction
Jil Sander -- Designer Jil Sander's first name was misspelled as Jill in an article in Saturday's Calendar section about actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

But give her a funny script and she'll run with it -- as long as it shoots in L.A.: She's no longer willing to leave her family to travel to location for more than a week at a time. In April she'll costar with Tim Allen in "Skipping Christmas," a comedy adaptation of a John Grisham novella, directed by Joe Roth. Curtis was Roth's first choice for the role. "Jamie is unique as a movie star/comedienne," he says. "She's at an age where not many of the comediennes do physical comedy. She is a trouper."

On Tuesday, Curtis phones in a bulletin: "We've completely rethunk the dress!" she says. "The arm thing got very difficult. You know, to take these fairylike dresses and add sleeves doesn't really work." Curtis sounds calm, but not having her ensemble nailed down challenges her inner control freak. "To be completely shifting gears this late is uncharted territory," she says. "So I'm being very in the moment. It's a good lesson."

Jamie Lee Curtis, living wisely.

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