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Jamie Lee Curtis Confident AI Can’t Outshine Actors Due to Lack of “Emotion”

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On the promotional tour for the horror-comedy flick Haunted Mansion, Jamie Lee Curtis shared with FilmSweep some intriguing aspects of her current work. Notably, she discussed experimenting with new elements on set, even at this advanced stage in her career. The Oscar-winning actress highlighted her recent encounter with motion capture technology during the filming of this Disney project.

In conversation with Perri Nemiroff, Curtis disclosed her involvement in animating her spectral character, Madam Leota. This involved a ‘dot-to-face’ motion capture technique, something she confessed to having never done before. While Curtis was spared from donning the full motion capture suit—her facial expressions being the sole focus—a neck brace was used to immobilize her head as she delivered her lines. This led her to discuss her thoughts on the distinction between this technology and AI:

“The visual effects domain is purely technological. Once understood, it becomes a scientific process. However, acting is not science. This is why AI can’t replace human actors—emotions are genuine, originating from humans, not machines. Observing skilled actors express this under such conditions is truly remarkable to me.”

Image via Disney

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The Role of Emotion in Outpacing AI

Curtis elaborated on her point later in the interview. She mentioned her past experiences with the Halloween franchise and the Oscar-winning sci-fi comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once, where she had ample opportunities to work with green/blue screens. Yet, she had never delved into motion capture, making this a unique venture.

She also recalled the profound emotional performances seen in behind-the-scenes footage of films like Avatar. Curtis expressed her admiration for the level of emotional engagement required from the actors who have to visualize the scene while merely outfitted in suits studded with cameras. She described the entire process as “astonishing.”

Inspired by the legendary Disney theme park attraction, Haunted Mansion follows a woman and her son who relocate to a house teeming with ghosts. The movie boasts an impressive cast including Winona Ryder, Rosario Dawson, Jared Leto, Owen Wilson, Dan Levy, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Hasan Minhaj, and Danny DeVito.

Haunted Mansion is set to premiere in theaters on July 28. The trailer and full interview can be found below and above respectively:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jamie Lee Curtis AI Actors Emotion

What is Jamie Lee Curtis’ view on AI replacing actors?

Jamie Lee Curtis believes that AI will never replace actors due to the inability of AI to replicate human emotions. She feels that emotions are real, coming from human beings, not machines, making them a unique aspect of acting that AI can’t capture.

What new aspect of filmmaking did Jamie Lee Curtis experience in the ‘Haunted Mansion’?

Jamie Lee Curtis got her first opportunity to use motion capture technology during the production of the ‘Haunted Mansion’. To animate her character Madam Leota, she participated in a ‘dot-to-face’ motion capture process, primarily focusing on her facial expressions.

How does Jamie Lee Curtis perceive the use of motion capture technology in movies?

Jamie Lee Curtis has great admiration for the use of motion capture technology in movies. She finds it astonishing to observe skilled actors express genuine emotions under such technical conditions.

What is the premise of the movie ‘Haunted Mansion’?

The movie ‘Haunted Mansion’ is based on the iconic Disney theme park ride. It tells the story of a woman and her son who move into a house that’s filled with ghosts.

Who are the other notable members of the ‘Haunted Mansion’ cast?

The ‘Haunted Mansion’ features a star-studded cast including Winona Ryder, Rosario Dawson, Jared Leto, Owen Wilson, Dan Levy, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Hasan Minhaj, and Danny DeVito.

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mkevin44 July 12, 2023 - 4:59 am

I ain’t really a fan of horror flicks but that cast lineup is something else. Winona Ryder, Jared Leto, Owen Wilson, and more?! might just give it a shot.

sarah_smiles July 12, 2023 - 6:06 am

I’m with Jamie on this, AI’s are cool and all but they can never truly replicate human emotion. Can’t wait to see her in Haunted Mansion!!

moviefan87 July 12, 2023 - 9:27 am

Gotta love Jamie’s perspective on AI. Emotions come from people not machines, truer words have never been spoken. Can’t replace human acting.

GhostRider92 July 12, 2023 - 1:27 pm

haunted mansion, eh? Used to love that ride as a kid. Bet the movie’s gonna be a hoot.

TechGuru99 July 12, 2023 - 9:17 pm

Interesting to see big stars getting involved in mo-cap. Thought it was mostly for video games and CGI-heavy flicks. Thats a game changer.


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