The photo that inspired Jamie Lee Curtis’ look in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’
(Credit: A24)

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The photo that inspired Jamie Lee Curtis' look in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once'

In the whimsical and deeply philosophical world of Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All at Once, Jamie Lee Curtis took on a transformative journey to embody the character that led her to win the Best Supporting Actress award at the 95th Academy Awards.

It might surprise you to know that the inspiration for her look, and on some level, even the vibe of her character, came from a stock photo of all places!

In EEAAO, Curtis plays the role of Deirdre Beaubeirdra, an IRS inspector with a name as unique as the film itself. But it wasn’t just the name that drew Curtis to the role; it was her desire to shed the expectations that society often imposes on women, especially on-screen.

Curtis, known for her versatile acting career, wanted to adorn Deirdre with outfits and hairstyles as “real” as they get, her body appearing just as it is, no roll hidden or tucked away. 

Scheinert recalled Curtis’s enthusiastic approach, sharing with EW, “Immediately after signing up, she would text us photos of weird outfits and weird hairdos.”

Eventually, it was Kwan who hit the bullseye and found the stock photo that would become the template for Curtis’ look in EEAAO. Scheinert remembered, “There was one photo of an IRS auditor that Dan Kwan had found online—I mean, maybe she worked in a DMV, I don’t know—but this one photo, Jamie was like, ‘That’s incredible, please let me be her—please, please, please, please.’ And that photo became the reference for the hairdo and the outfit.”

Curtis’s commitment went beyond simply replicating the image. She insisted on portraying her character as authentically as possible. Rather than relying on prosthetics or Hollywood magic, she chose to embrace her real body, even allowing her stomach to chill out in the open just as it was. Kwan emphasised, “Everyone assumes that her belly in the movie is a prosthetic, but it’s actually her real belly. She was grateful that she was allowed to just let it out.”

Curtis’s motivation for this choice stems from her rejection of an industry obsessed with concealing imperfections. In her own words, she explained, “In the world, there is an industry — a billion-dollar, trillion-dollar industry — about hiding things. Concealers. Body-shapers. Fillers. Procedures. Clothing. Hair accessories. Hair products. Everything to conceal the reality of who we are.”

Jamie Lee Curtis continued, “And my instruction to everybody was: I want there to be no concealing of anything. I’ve been sucking my stomach in since I was 11, when you start being conscious of boys and bodies, and the jeans are super tight. I very specifically decided to relinquish and release every muscle I had that I used to clench to hide the reality. That was my goal.”