Jamie Lee Curtis goes from Hillary Clinton surrogate to conservative vice president in 'The Pages' (exclusive first look)

Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter in ‘The Pages.’
Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter in ‘The Pages.’

As Jamie Lee Curtis gets older, she’s looking for more substance in the types of films she makes.

“I, like many people, am really trying to understand our place in history. I’m gonna be 60 this year, and not to be macabre, but it’s definitely a time of reflection,” Curtis told Yahoo Entertainment in an interview about her upcoming political thriller, The Pages, which you can get a first look at in the exclusive photos above and below. “It’s a time of really asking myself, ‘What do I stand for? Who am I?'”

Curtis, the veteran actress best known for movies like Halloween, A Fish Called Wanda, and True Lies, took a strong stand for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election — not only supporting the former first lady and secretary of state but traveling the nation to stump for her.

Politics have become more important to her, which no doubt helped pique her interest in The Pages, but it was a role that required the liberal Curtis to cross the figurative aisle. In the film, written and directed by Joe Chappelle, she plays the conservative Vice President Rachel Burke, who authored a doctrine declaring “total victory” in the U.S.’s war on terror. When her former advisor, Elizabeth (Southside by You‘s Tika Sumpter), begins chronicling the politician’s controversial command, Burke is desperate to keep her manuscript from release.

Tika Sumpter and Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘The Pages.’
Tika Sumpter and Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘The Pages.’

“For me, at this age in my life, things have to connect dots that mean something to me. It was certainly not a money-making gig. It was a way to participate in something,” Curtis said of the independently produced film, “even though I am representing the other part of the country that I feel so distanced from. And it was interesting to inhabit someone who thinks that way. Because I did try to listen and learn about why people think that way.”

Curtis pointed to a specific line of dialogue from Burke’s view on foreign policy that helped her understand her character’s motives and worldview: “The point of a deterrent is that our enemies need to know we are prepared to use it.”

As Curtis explained, “I could understand that mentality,” even if she didn’t agree with it.

Rachel Burke is the latest in a growing list of female presidents and vice presidents in film and television over the years, including the characters portrayed by Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep, Geena Davis in Commander in Chief, Joan Allen in The Contender, and Glenn Close in Air Force One.

Art, then, continues to be more progressive than reality.

“And that’s as it should be on some level,” Curtis said. “Art will be the leader. Art will expose things and tell truths that are seemingly impossible in a quotidian, day-in-day-out life. You can on some level create a reality that you do hope [to see].

“But it’s insane that we haven’t had a woman [as president or vice president]… It’s just shocking to me.”

Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘The Pages.’
Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘The Pages.’

Unlike her True Lies co-star and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Curtis has no interest in entering the arena of real-life politics, though.

“I can’t run for office, because I am a flawed human being,” she said. “For a myriad of reasons, it’s not possible that that would ever happen. I can support people, but I would not run for office. I don’t have any of the real experience you would need.”

Plus she has her arts.

“It’s not the way I can be effective. I’m a writer. I write books for children. I’m writing a screenplay that I’m going to try to direct…. I’m a photographer. I’m an actor.”

The Pages will hold a special screening at the Center for American Women in Politics on April 19.

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