Pin It
Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza
Courtesy of Universal

Alana Haim on her Paul Thomas Anderson debut: ‘A huge growing experience’

The HAIM musician makes her first feature film appearance as the star of the 70s coming of age comedy Licorice Pizza

Alana Haim — of the LA-based rock band HAIM — has discussed breaking away from the group to star in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, and the “huge growing experience” that came with her debut feature film role.

In case you missed it, the musician-turned-actor stars across from Cooper Hoffman (the son of PTA fave Philip Seymour Hoffman) in the filmmaker’s coming-of-age comedy-drama Licorice Pizza. Set in the San Fernando Valley of the 1970s, Licorice Pizza “is the story of Alana Kane (Haim) and Gary Valentine (Hoffman) growing up, running around and falling in love,” according to the official synopsis. “The film tracks the treacherous navigation of first love.”

Speaking to PTA collaborator John C. Reilly for Interview Magazine, Haim notes that the interview is her first as a solo performer, without her sisters and bandmates, Este and Danielle. Similarly, she says that she “really was alone” while making Licorice Pizza, adding that the process “was a huge growing experience”.

“My two older siblings have carried me through life,” Haim goes on, “so it was jarring to be like, ‘Oh, they can’t get me out of this one.’ I also couldn’t blame them for anything, or be like, ‘Danielle did it, not me.’ I had to show up on set every day, know what I was doing, and hold my own.”

Despite HAIM’s relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson — the Phantom Thread director has worked with the band on several music videos, as well as the short film Valentine — Alana Haim adds: “I never in my life would have thought I would be in a movie.”

When the filmmaker finished shooting Licorice Pizza, she apparently told him: “You saw a side of me that I’d always hoped would come out one day — finding my independence, doing something on my own — and you brought it out of me years before I was ready to do it.”

Alongside Haim and Hoffman, Licorice Pizza stars Bradley Cooper, Tom Waits, Sean Penn, and Uncut Gems director Benny Safdie, and is set to premiere in the US later this year. Revisit the first trailer, soundtracked by David Bowie, here.