Jamie Lee Curtis paid homage to Janet Leigh’s iconic Psycho shower scene in Tuesday’s episode of horror comedy Scream Queens, People reports.
For those who aren’t aware, Janet Leigh is Jamie Lee Curtis’s mother, who played Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1960 horror film, Psycho. So it’s fair to say that the privilege of recreating the legendary scene is given to Jamie by birthright. Given how perfectly Curtis nailed the scene frame by frame, her mother Janet would have been proud.
Created by American Horror Story and Glee boss Ryan Murphy, Scream Queens tells the story of a sorority campus beset by a string of murders. Jamie Lee Curtis plays Cathy Munsch, the dean of the campus (Wallace University).
In September, Curtis teased her homage of the iconic shower scene through Instagram, where she captioned:
“Ryan Murphy and co. wrote it into a special episode and it felt right! Honoring the Royal legend that is/was/will always be, Janet Leigh. Thought all fans of the genre would love it!”
To call Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother the original “Scream Queen” wouldn’t be too far-fetched, even more so when one takes into account the impact her shower scene in Psycho made in the history of horror cinema. The scene has caught hold of the audience’s collective imagination in the intervening years since the film launched in 1960, so much so that it became bigger than the movie itself. Interestingly, the sequence itself took 7 days to shoot and required 70 camera setups to pull off the 45-second footage.
Anthony Perkins, who played the role of the deranged Norman Bates in Psycho, called the scene “chaste.”
“There is no violence in that scene, it’s all implied. It’s all good angles and clever music and very artful intercutting.”
Janet Leigh passed away from a heart attack at age 77 in October of 2004. Her iconic status in horror, however, is very much alive. And what better way to solidify her place in film history than to recreate the scene with of her own daughter?
The Scream Queens scene in question had a different twist at the end, which was entirely fitting, given how it referenced the legendary status of the classic scene. Norman Bates is nowhere in sight this time, of course. Who appeared behind the curtain was the show’s masked mystery killer, the Red Devil. The only sad thing about the twist is that we won’t get to know whether Jamie Lee can top her mother’s bloodcurdling scream in Psycho. Scream Queens decided to go meta instead. “I’ve seen that movie 50 times,” Dean Munsch says to the killer, as she kicks the crap out of him. Sweet.
What’s remarkable is that the Scream Queens scene was able to capture the scene from the original frame by frame, from the camera angles to Janet Leigh’s exact movements to the bathroom’s appearance. The director even shot the scene in black and white, giving the homage scene the menacing atmosphere of the original.
For comparison, here’s the original scene.
Jamie Lee Curtis has starred in several horror flicks herself, including Halloween, Halloween II, Prom Night and Terror Train. Jamie even appeared alongside her mother in The Fog andHalloween: H20. Right now, Curtis is having the time of her life playing the role of Dean Cathy Munsch, as proven in her interview with ET Online.
“I’ve seen already three very different ways that [my character] works people to her goal and it’s been fun,” the 56-year-old actress teased. “It’s been really fun. Maybe I’m evil beyond measure.”
[Image via Jamie Lee Curtis/Instagram]