Re-Meet Alana Haim, the Knock Down Drag-Out Star of “Licorice Pizza”

PHaim was preparing to headline the Coachella set in 2018, when the Academy Award-winning artist, aul Thomas Anderson, assisted. Director of Boogie Nights, There will be blood, And Phantom ThreadWith a thought, I turned to Alana Haim, guitarist-singer. “He said, ‘I’m going to put you in a movie,’ ”Alana, the youngest Haim sister, says so. “I was like, ‘OK. All right. I’ll be fine walking in the background of a movie.’”

Anderson had more in store than a brief cameo. The movie that was. Licorice Pizza(Out Now) was still He knew that the idea was already in his head, but it would be about a 15-year-old boy living in Los Angeles in the early Seventies who was precocious. Anderson falls for a young, sharp-tongued woman ten years his senior. Anderson is a highly regarded director. Hollywood was open to any actress, so he chose Alana, an absolute novice in acting, as his lead.

“Alana has a ferocious and intimidating side to her,”Anderson. “She will come out swinging against anyone that threatens anything that she loves and holds dear. That is a very admirable quality, and I felt that if she could push that onto the screen, it would be dramatic, comedic, heartwarming, and definitely worth watching.”

This was after the director, 51, spent countless hours with Alana (30), and Este (31). Danielle’s relationship with the Haims has changed over the past decade. However, his relationship back to his childhood in early Eighties actually dates back to that time. Donna Rose, their mother, was the teacher of his elementary-school art class. He didn’t make that connection when he heard Haim’s 2012 Single debut “Forever,”on the radio, and I became an instant fan. “I loved the way they sounded, and I loved the way that they made music, and I loved the way that they looked,”He said. “It felt like love at first sight.”

Anderson was eager to meet the band but they were all still in their early twenties so he was worried about a sudden request from a. It is possible to appear older than you are. “creepy,”He says. Instead, he offered his services to direct their music videos. “I was trying to put myself up for a job.”

He did not know that Este had given the award to him. Boogie NightsBoth Danielle and Alana’s 16th birthday soundtrack “bible for the rest of your life,”It was clear that Alana was obsessed about the movie. Asa, Electric Guest frontman, came across them through a mutual friend. Anderson tried to find them, but they were dumbfounded by Taccone. “Obviously, my mom had met Paul,”Alana. “It felt cosmic. We were always supposed to meet, but we were kind of orbiting and our worlds hadn’t collided yet. But we’d always wanted it to happen.”

They arranged to meet at Anderson’s house, which he shares with his longtime partner, Maya Rudolph, and their four children. “I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous in my life,”Alana. “When we got there, we didn’t want to tell Paul that my mom had taught him. Finally, Este was like, ‘My mom taught you! Her name is Miss Rose!’ That was when our relationship really started.”

Anderson continued to be busy over the next few years, creating movies like Inherent ViceAnd Phantom Thread,But he took the time to essentially become Haim’s unofficial creative director. He directed six music videos for Haim, including the 2017 documentary. Valentine, More Making their LP Here’s Something To Tell You,They used their cover photo for 2020 Pt. III Album, and even helped out Their stage designs. “Having a friendship with three musicians and a collaboration that doesn’t have distinct walls is very nice,” Anderson. “It’s so exciting to watch them play. They’re so accomplished.”

By this point, they’ve grown so close that Alana and Anderson finish each other’s sentences as they sit side by side in a swanky New York hotel. He gently teases his client over her throwback Seventies clothing, scatterbrained memory and her gentle smile. He’s also made keen Haim’s pecking order. “I initially thought I’d be most afraid of Este,”He said. “She’s the tallest, the leader, and she’s sort of in charge. But when you figure out the dynamic and really get to know them, you realize that the one to be afraid of is Alana.”

It was during the creation of the 2017 Haim Video “Little of Your Love”Anderson introduced Cooper Hoffman to Anderson’s sisters. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s teenage son. Anderson asked them to observe Hoffman for a while as he dealt in a difficult situation. Problem that has popped up in Phantom ThreadHe was in the editing room and was taken to a nearby restaurant for some time. “Almost immediately, he was working the room, asking me and my sisters questions,”Alana. “I think he was 13 or 14, and it was almost like someone that I went to high school with. There was no, ‘I’m babysitting a kid.’ It was, ‘I’m having dinner with a dude.’ It was crazy. I was like, ‘I wish I was like this kid when I was his age.’ ”

The rapport between Alana and Cooper stayed in Anderson’s mind as he worked on the screenplay for Licorice Pizza,This was largely inspired by wild stories that the film producer Gary Goetzman told him about his teenage years in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, where he earned his living selling water beds and performing odd roles. He made it a fictionalized story by having the baby, whom he named Gary Valentine, fall madly in love with a 25-year-old woman named Alana he meets when she’s assisting a photographer at his school.

Re-Meet Alana Haim, the Knock Down Drag-Out Star of "Licorice Pizza"

P.T. Anderson (right) with Colin Anderson, the cameraman on the set ‘Licorice Pizza.’


Alana was shocked when the script arrived. She was one of two main characters. When she found out, she was even more stunned. Cooper Hoffman, a fellow actor who had never before appeared in a film, would serve as her costar. There’s a significant age gap between them that makes it highly implausible that their characters would couple up, but that only fueled Anderson’s creativity when figuring out their arc. “He’s amazingly emotionally mature, and she is not,”Anderson. “That makes a very good story since he’s not of age, so this is an insurmountable obstacle, period. There’s a line in the sand. Now what happens? The friendship they have deepens, it grows.”

Anderson cast Este and Danielle as part of the cast. parents, Mordechai and Donna, to play Alana’s family in bit roles. It was a surreal day in Alana’s life when her entire family was present on the set for a Shabbat dinner scene in which her character’s boyfriend, citing his atheism, refuses to say a blessing over the bread, and gets It was taken out of the house. (It was inspired by a true-life Haim family story they’d told Anderson about.)

“That was the first time [in a while] my whole family was together, because we were shooting during Covid and there were protocols,”Alana. “Sitting at the Shabbat table was actually very heartwarming, but I was terrified my parents were going to tell some embarrassing story, as parents do. But it was great. We were crying with laughter every time my dad said anything to me or my sisters. It was how we grew up.”

For the vast majority of the shoot, however, her family wasn’t around, and Alana had to find her way creatively without them. “My sisters and I have always been a unit, since birth,”She said. “Not having that security blanket of two other human beings was terrifying, but it also felt so great, since I’d always wanted to see if I could even do something on my own.”

Anderson was her first choice when she was unsure. “I’m sure he got annoyed with me saying ‘I don’t know if I can do this’ constantly,”She said. “At the beginning, he was like, ‘Of course you can do this!’ At the end, he was like, ‘Alana, just do the job!’ ”

“I was a little bit annoyed at the beginning, since fear is absolutely an understandable emotion,”Anderson. “But there comes a certain point where you know someone and you go, ‘I’ve given all my trust to you. And now you gotta go. We’re on.’ It was exciting when she dropped those insecurities and just started attacking. That’s when her ferociousness came out.”

This ferociousness required learning how to drive a large vehicle.Rig truck for an amazing sequence in that Alana and Gary run out on gas. Delivering a waterbed to Jon Peters’ house (played by Bradley Cooper in a wonderfully deranged manner) It is then pushed backwards on a hill, in neutral. She spent months prepping for the scene, since she’d never used a stick Shift before, and is a naturally skittish driving style. “In the beginning I was shaking,”She said. “And by the end of filming the segment, I had my own walkie and was like, ‘Copy, we’re in first gear. You guys ready for action?’ I fully got super into it.”

Like most of Anderson’s films, Licorice Pizzawas entirely shot in the Valley. It’s home to both Anderson and the Haim sisters, and they’re tired of seeing it denigrated as a low-rent alternative to beachfront communities Malibu and Santa Monica. “It was this wondrous dream place in the Forties, where everyone was celebrating this beautiful suburban area that had just emerged out of the dust,”Anderson. “But some time in the Sixties, it started to be uncool to have this Leave It to Beaver life. But fuck ’em. They’re wrong.”

Alana is in agreement. “It was shocking to me, growing up and hearing people say they didn’t like it,”She said. “I had no idea. We have [the Mexican restaurant] Casa Vega. We got Art’s Deli. We got Ventura Boulevard. What more do you need in life? I think when people started hating it, it made me proud of it. I felt defensive. It’s something I love.”

The shoot happened to line up with Haim’s forced break from the road due to the pandemic, but they’ve played a handful of gigs in recent months, and they’re planning to return to the road next year. Alana plans to return to her former role as the Head of Marketing. Even though she is now a movie star, her sister was a child in the group. (“The baby of the family is the baby of the family,”Notes Anderson.)

As for Anderson, he’s already thinking about his next movie. “It’s impossible not to have a nagging desire to do it again,”He said. He can’t help but wonder if he could see Alana being in the film, or perhaps in a future movie. “If the question is, ‘Would I like to work with Alana again?’ the answer is yes,”He said. “More than that, I look forward to it.”

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