Alana Haim Praised For Her Debut Acting Role In 'Licorice Pizza'

By Emily Lee

November 8, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

Alana Haim, of the band Haim, has her sights set on Hollywood with a starring role in the new film Licorice Pizza. Though the 29-year-old is known for being a pianist, guitarist, and vocalist in her band, which also consists of her two older sisters Este Haim and Danielle Haim, she's now receiving praise for her acting chops.

Directed by critically acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson, an early screening of Licorice Pizza has garnered a ton of positive buzz. While there are multiple big-name stars in this film, including Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn, much of the praise focused on Alana's performance, as well her co-star, Cooper Hoffman, who is also making his feature film debut in Licorice Pizza. For those who may not know, Cooper is the son of the late Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

“I had high expectations going into Licorice Pizza and somehow it was even better than I could’ve hoped. Another masterpiece by PTA,” Anderson's fellow director William Kirkley tweeted. “Truly incredible debut performances. There’s little better than going to a PTA movie," JJ Abrams, another famed director, gushed.

John C. Reilly, who stars alongside Alana in the film, recently raved about her peformance while the pair chatted for Interview Magazine. “You know the phrase, ‘You can’t take your eyes off her?’ I’ve experienced that feeling before, watching a fireplace or a baby, but rarely with adults," the Step Brothers actor said. "When I visited the set, I remember sitting there and being glued to the monitor, even between takes. I turned to Paul, and I was like, ‘You can’t take your f—king eyes off her.’ He looked at me like, ‘Right?’

“The only other actor who makes me feel that way is Joaquin Phoenix. Watching him is like watching a raccoon rummage through garbage cans. What is he gonna do now? Why look at anything else, while this is going on? It’s hard to keep that energy on camera, Alana. Take it from an old clown like me," he added.

Here's the official synopsis of the film per Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer:

"Licorice Pizza is the story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973. The film tracks the treacherous navigation of first love."

Licorice Pizza will be available for limited on November 26, 2021, with a wider release the following month. Will you be checking out Alana's debut performance on the big screen?

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