On Monday, the Scream Queens star and children’s book author celebrated the release of her new book, This is Me in New York City, which hits stores on Sept. 20.
The book is about a teacher who tells her class about her great-grandmother’s journey from her home to a new country with nothing but a small suitcase to bring along. The book asks young readers, “What would you pack? What are the things you love best? What says, ‘This is me!’?”
Naturally, we had to know what Curtis would pack.
“There’s not a Golden Globe in that suitcase,” Curtis said during a Q&A at the event hosted by The Moms. “I don’t even know where they are, and I’m not being facetious.”
“I have saved every hair off my children’s head…there is nothing ‘show-business’ in my suitcase. Not a Golden Globe … not any of it,” the two-time winner added to prove her point that there are more important things in life than work.
Curtis, who was recently nominated for a Globe for her role on Scream Queens, said she’d pack a family photo and a gold box her late father Tony Curtis gave her mother Janet Leigh when they were still together.
“I was raised in a family of 11 divorces and a lot of anger and a lot of hard feelings and yet this little box that my mother kept all those years is a physical representation of the fact that they actually liked each other,” she told PEOPLE. And now, Curtis uses that box. “In it I have my grandmother’s wedding ring, my mother’s wedding ring, my wedding ring, a pin my daughter gave me and a ring my son gave me.”
The family photo is important to Curtis, 58, because it was taken the only time in her life her entire family was together in one room.
“When I got married, the only gift that I asked for from my father is that my entire family and all my siblings would be in one room,” she revealed to PEOPLE. “And I have a photograph from my wedding of my entire family.”
While her family might not have always gotten along, she learned some important lessons from her famous parents.
“Public attention was very important to my parents,” she told PEOPLE last year. By watching them, she discovered that was not the way she wanted to live. “When I’m out in the world I don’t walk around like my father used to,” she said. “He’d walk into a restaurant and preen and pose and say, ‘Hello, you fine people. I’m Tony.’ … That’s not me.”
Even though Curtis’ trophies aren’t a huge priority for her, her costars on Scream Queen‘s are: “Every one of these girls is an accomplished writer, thinker, performer, crafter, brander, designer, artist. They all have albums they have books.”
“They are a wildly talented bunch of young women who put this whole idea that millennials are somehow slackers way out of the discussion – every one of these girls from Lea Michele to Emma Roberts to Abby Breslin to Keke Palmer, all of them,” she added.
But, if they ever do need her advice, Curtis will be there.
“The good news is that they feel safe with me,” she expressed, describing the polar opposite of her character on the show. “And I would hope that if there is ever a moment when they needed me, they would know that I was safe for them to call.”
This is Me hits shelves Sept. 20 and Scream Queens returns Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.