Alana Haim, from the Grammys to make her film debut with Paul Thomas Anderson | Pleasures | S Fashion EL PAÍS

Last March the Californian trio Haim made history at the Grammys by becoming the first all-female band to be nominated for the grand prize of the night, album of the year, for their latest work, Women In Music Pt. III. And now Alana Haim, the youngest of this group created in 2007 by three sisters from the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, is going to have a resounding debut as an actress: about to turn 30 (she will do it next December) she will be the protagonist of Licorice Pizza, the new feature film by cult director Paul Thomas Anderson, scheduled to release in the United States at the end of November.

I hate being in front of the camera. Getting on stage is great, but when I have to shoot a music video I always think, will I cross my eyes? “, He assured last year in a interview with Interview Magazine Alana Haim. Now that fear seems overcome; on Licorice Pizza he’s going to rub shoulders with veterans like Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper or Maya Rudolph. Of course, to embody its protagonists the director of Magnolia, The invisible thread or The master He wanted to bet on two debutantes with pedigree: Haim and Cooper Hoffman, the son of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, with whom the filmmaker worked on several occasions. For Alana it will not be the first experience with the director, who has already directed several videos for songs of his band, such as Summer girl, Night so long or Right Now.

Seventies airs

The self-confidence that Alana Haim shows in the interviews – she is usually the one who talks the most of the three and the one who is most open to addressing personal issues, such as the death of her best friend Sammi Kane Kraft in a traffic accident, which inspired one of her themes — may have helped her tackle this first acting role. On Licorice Pizza plays Alana Kane, a young woman in 1970s Los Angeles who meets aspiring director Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman). The action takes place precisely in the San Fernando Valley, where the Haim sisters originate from, and the aesthetics and the time are again the same as in Boogie Nights, the second film by the filmmaker, with which he was nominated for the Oscar for the first time (for best original screenplay, in this case).

The peculiar title (Liquorize pizza means ‘liquorice pizza’) is a nostalgic nod to 1970s California: that’s what a chain of record stores in the area, in which artists such as Patti Smith or Blondie performed. The musical references, precisely, are a constant in what is known about the film at the moment: the trailer is presented to the rhythm of Life on Mars David Bowie, Tom Waits himself is one of the actors, and the character played by Bradley Cooper is John Peters, the expeller-turned-producer who launched Barbra Streisand’s career and became the fifth husband by Pamela Anderson when we have the information.

Haim’s guitarist and vocalist, during one of the band’s performances. Photo: Getty

A family business

Alana Haim knows the Los Angeles music scene well: she and her sisters have always said that their biggest influences when it comes to writing are the bands from the 70s they grew up listening to at home. And, furthermore, his first live performance took place in a legendary West Hollywood venue, the Kibitz Room by Canters, through whose stage Frank Zappa, The Doors or Joni Mitchell passed. «It was a family activity. Our parents love music, but they are also practical: they made us play instruments so that we would get tired and not bother too much, “Alana explained to S Fashion in 2014.

Because for the Haim music is such a familiar affair that for their group they chose their last name, which in Hebrew means life. Since they were little, they all learned to play various instruments (in their live shows they usually alternate between guitars, keyboards and drums) and when they were still little girls, their parents, Mordechai – a former Israeli soccer player who moved to the United States to play in the eighties – and Donna, created a cover band called Rockinhaim, with which they performed at charity and local events. “We played a lot of silly songs, a lot of Santana,” Alana recalled in a recent interview from the BBC. The youngest of the family soon decided to create their own formation and before Haim they played in The Valli Girls and Danielle participated as a guitarist in Jenny Lewis and Julian Casablancas live shows. But as soon as they created their own line-up – their first LP, Days are gone, came out in 2013 and in 2015 they got their first Grammy nomination – the Haim sisters redefined a guitar-making musical bet and folk and they also became references of style: it is common to see them in front rows from fashion weeks or the Met Gala; Dior, Rodarte or Valentino are not lacking in their coordinated outfits, in the last Grammys they appeared together with Prada and now they star in the fall campaign by The North Face.

Alana haim

Este, Alana and Danielle Haim dressed as Valentino before the brand’s show at Paris Fashion Week in 2019. Photo: Getty

Women in music

When in June 2020 they published their third study paper, Women in Music Pt. III, the artists – who have played at Glastonbury or Coachella – wanted to make it clear how tired they were of not being respected within the music scene. A few years earlier, in 2017, they had fired their hiring agent when they discovered that at a festival they charged 10 times less than a male artist. “I feel that because sometimes we joke and do choreography in our videos the rock community does not take us seriously,” said Danielle when presenting her latest album. Precisely, one of the songs that make it up, Man from a Magazine, relates a real event, when an interviewer made fun of the faces that Este made when playing bass and asked them if they were the same ones that he put on the bed. Hey man, what kind of question is that? What do you want me to tell you? », They say in the song, which continues« I don’t want to hear that this is what there is (…) You don’t know what it feels like ». In a Article from The New Yorker, Rachel Syme summed up what the album distilled: ‘There is anger and exasperation throughout the album, as if these women have grown weary of the contortions required to perpetuate their own girl mythology. cool ».

Alana haim

The poster for the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson movie. Photo: MGM / CORDON PRESS

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Alana Haim, from the Grammys to make her film debut with Paul Thomas Anderson | Pleasures | S Fashion EL PAÍS

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