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Musician, actress (and now star) Alana Haim on "Licorice Pizza" and playing music with family

In her first-ever acting role, Alana Haim is getting a lot of attention.  The Hollywood Reporter called her performance in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Licorice Pizza" "one of the most exciting screen debuts in recent memory."

Correspondent Anthony Mason said, "You got incredible reviews."

"Oh, thank you!" Alana Haim laughed. "It's crazy. I don't really know how to take it."

Musician and actress Alana Haim.  CBS News

In Anderson's ode to L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, set in 1973, she plays 25-year-old Alana Kane. Cooper Hoffman (son of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman) plays her teenaged suitor:

Alana (Alana Haim): "Where are your parents?"
Gary (Cooper Hoffman): "My mom works for me."
Alana: "Oh, of course she does!"
Gary: "Yes, she does, in my public relations company."
Alana: "In your 'public relations company'? Because you have that?"
Gary: "Yes."
Alana: "And you're an actor?"
Gary: "Yes!"
Alana: "And you're a secret agent, too?"
Gary: " …?'

The director wrote the part for the 30-year-old Haim. But it was not their first collaboration:  "I'm lucky enough to have done so many music videos with Paul that we had such incredible trust," she said.

With her older sisters, Danielle and Este, Alana is in the Grammy-nominated band, HAIM. Anderson has directed eight of their videos, including this, for their song, "Summer Girl":

HAIM - Summer Girl by HaimVEVO on YouTube

Anderson also cast Alana's sisters, and their parents, as her family in the film. One scene, when Alana brings her atheist boyfriend to shabbat dinner, came from real life. Alana said, "I remember telling Paul that story. And then, it was in the script!"

"You knew how to play that scene," Mason said.

"Oh yeah, I knew how to play that scene. And my dad knew how to play that scene, especially!"

Licorice Pizza Movie Clip - Thinker (2021) | Movieclips Coming Soon by Movieclips Coming Soon on YouTube

Alana: "Why would you do that! Why would you do that! I feel like maybe he was gonna be my boyfriend."
Father: "Listen, young lady, you don't bring this idiot to shabbat dinner here."
Alana: "Listen, Dad, he's an atheist, and an actor. And he's famous."
Father: "But he's Jewish."
Alana: "He was gonna take me outta here. Este, don't you even look at me. Don't you even look at me. You're always looking at me!"

Mason asked the Haim sisters, "Did you guys like making a movie?"

"Loved!" said Este. "Loved, not liked. Loved. It was so much fun."

Filming reunited the usually inseparable sisters who'd been split up by COVID. "You all are not used to not seeing each other," Mason said.

"No!" they answered in unison.

Correspondent Anthony Mason with Danielle, Alana and Este Haim, at Canter's Deli in Los Angeles.  CBS News

For years, Canter's Deli in Los Angeles has been the family hangout. "I don't remember when we didn't come here," Este said.

They're behind the counter of Canter's on the cover of their latest album, "Women in Music, Pt. III," which was nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year. 

Columbia Records

And with their parents they made their musical debut here as kids in the family band, Rockinhaim.

Mason asked, "Who was in the crowd back here?"

"No one!" they laughed.

Alana said, "We were so nervous, even though there was no one here."

They were paid in matzoh ball soup, which is still a favorite. And while they each played with other bands for a time, they soon saw, as Alana said, "Nothing was as good as playing with our family."

Este said, "I had just graduated from college, Alana had just graduated from high school, Danielle wasn't touring anymore, and I think collectively we were, like, it's now or never."

"We gotta do this," Alana said.

In 2012, HAIM released their first EP, "Forever."

HAIM - Forever (Official Music Video) by HAIM on YouTube

Alana said, "Our first show right after we got signed, I walked out the door and there was a line of people, and I asked the first person, 'What is this line for?' And they're, like, 'To see you?'"

Their debut album, "Days Are Gone," went to #1 in the U.K., and #6 in the U.S., and caught the ear of Anderson, the director of "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia," and "Punch Drunk Love," who unknowingly already had a connection to the Haim sisters, through their mother:

"She was an art teacher," Danielle said.

"And he was actually her student?" Mason asked.

"Yes, when he was around eight years old," said Danielle. "But every time one of his movies would pop on the TV when we were growing up, my Mom would be, like, 'You know, I taught the director of this movie.' And we're, like, 'Really?' 'Yeah, I taught him when he was eight years old. I did finger-painting with him.' We're, like, 'Okay, Mom.'"

Then, through a mutual friend, they finally met: "And he was, like, 'You're Miss Rose's kids?'" Alana laughed. "And we were, like, 'Oh God!' He brought out a painting. And he said, 'I painted this with your Mom, and I've kept it all these years."

"And then we, like, Facetimed mom," said Este. "It was, like, a reunion. It just felt really familial."

Alana said, "This amazing friendship just started, and now we refuse to let him go!"

As the sisters were making their second album, Anderson made a short film in Valentine Recording Studios … when Mason met with the Haim sisters.

Alana said, "Even being in this space, it's bringing back so many memories. And it was really the first time that we had seen something where it felt, and looked, and sounded like us."

"Valentine" by HAIM, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson:

HAIM - Valentine by HaimVEVO on YouTube

Mason asked, "How would you describe that relationship artistically?"

"A lot of trust," Este replied. "We trust him implicitly."

It's all led to Haim's big moment in "Licorice Pizza," and Alana's starring role. 

Mason asked, "Last thing: How do you feel about what's happened to her?"

"Oh God …" Alana said.

"How do we feel about what's happened to her?" said Este. "Like, the fact that, like, our littlest sister is, like, this on-screen, like, gem? This star? Like, I always knew it was in you! You know, and I think you can see it in the music videos, too, like, Alana's always been just this, like, shiny …"

"Unpredictable!" Alana laughed.

HAIM (Este, Alana and Danielle Haim).  CBS News

"No, I was gonna say this, like, shining beacon of light. You really can't take your eyes off Alana."

"Oh my God. Thank you. Jesus!"

"No, it's true." Este said.

"It's also weird to get compliments from your siblings. It feels weird," Alana said.

"You're welcome, Alana."

"I appreciate it, I appreciate it!"

To watch a trailer for "Licorice Pizza" click on the video player below:

LICORICE PIZZA | Official Trailer | MGM Studios by MGM on YouTube

You can stream the HAIM album "Women in Music Pt. III" by clicking on the embed below (Free Spotify registration required to hear the tracks in full):

For more info:

Story produced by Sari Aviv. Editor: Mike Levine. 

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