Alana Haim on ‘Licorice Pizza’, her first surprising film

Anderson said he knew Haim would be good but “I didn’t know she was going to be this Well. I worked with the same guys for about 20 years, and I kept looking at them to verify. Like, you have to slap me on my shoulder to make sure I see what I see. Don’t let me pretend. And everyone on set saw what I saw – her talent and the way you can photograph her. “

It helped that her co-star, the effortlessly charismatic Cooper Hoffman (son of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was a frequent contributor to Anderson) had never been in a movie before. Anderson chose him late in the process, after auditioning a number of young actors who felt too mannered and formally trained to match Haim’s naturalistic style. Hoffman and Haim had briefly met via Anderson five years before, never thinking their paths would cross again, but as soon as they read together, Haim recalled, “It was like, oh, we’re a team. We can face the world together.

Despite the characters’ relatively chaste relationship, the age gap between them has sparked some controversy. In real life, Haim, who turns 30 this month, is 12 years older than Hoffman (they bonded so much during filming that she still calls him “one of my best friends”), although in the film his age is a bit ambiguous. . At one point, the character says she’s 25, but there’s a pause between the two numbers that suggests she might be rounding up. “There was never really a conversation between me and Paul about Alana’s age,” she said. “Somewhere in my early twenties. I say a few ages in the movie, but you don’t really believe Alana. Doesn’t she even know how old she really is? It is very secret. But really, it’s about her and Gary’s friendship more than anything.

When we spoke one afternoon in late November, Haim was battling a sinus infection she blamed on the Santa Ana winds. As a Southern California breeze tickled the curtains of her open living room window, she occasionally interrupted our conversation to blow her nose with humorous theatricality. (“Oh, that was a parcel!”) She was wearing a white T-shirt, jeans and, around her neck, her most precious possession, a“ Sisters of the Moon ”pendant donated by one of her idols, Stevie Nicks. In conversation, Haim is chatty and rambunctious, sometimes cutting off the ends of his sentences in a excited hurry to move on to the next thought.

While filming, Anderson discovered that the actor Haim reminded him the most was Joaquin Phoenix, whom Anderson performed in “The Master” (2012) and “Inherent Vice” (2014).

“She can get into something, kind of like Joaquin,” Anderson said. “You can’t tell if they’re completely out of control, or if they’re so inside their body that they’re able to give the impression that they’re out of control. They’re very similar. That is. strange. They’re both wild, you know? You’re not really sure what’s next.


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