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Watch Alana Haim jump “head-first into the deep end” with debut acting gig in ‘Licorice Pizza’

Paul Thomas Anderson/© 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

After you’re done with your turkey this Thanksgiving, why not join Alana Haim for a slice of Licorice Pizza?

The youngest of the HAIM sisters makes her acting film debut in the new movie, directed by Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. In addition to following the love story of its two central characters, played by Haim and Cooper Hoffman, the son of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Licorice Pizza is a love letter to the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.

“It’s a Valley story,” Haim tells ABC Audio. “I mean, I’m a Valley girl through-and-through, I grew up in the Valley, born-and-raised in Valley Village.”

Being that her only previous acting gig was playing the Wicked Witch of the West in an art school production of Wizard of Oz — “That did not prepare me for this experience,” she quips — Haim felt she was jumping “head-first into the deep end” while “learning on the job.” Helping her do that was Anderson, who Haim calls “the most incredible director.”

“There were times where scenes weren’t working, and instead of just cutting them, moving on, Paul would ask me, ‘What would you do in this scene?'” Haim shares. “Or there would be times where I would tell him, ‘I have an idea,’ and he would get super excited and be, like, ‘Go, go, go, go, go! Go do your idea!'”

As for the movie itself, Haim assures that you’ll “feel happy” leaving the theater.

“That’s the best part of it,” she says. “I’m a Sagittarius, I like making people feel happy.”

Licorice Pizza opens in select theaters this Friday. It premieres wide Christmas Day.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.