Alana Haim on How She Built a Career in the Arts on Her Terms

Video Source: Youtube

The following audience Q&A for our on-camera series Backstage Live was compiled in part by Backstage readers just like you! Follow us on Twitter (@Backstage) and Instagram (@backstagecast) to stay in the loop on upcoming takeovers and to submit your questions.

Here to make her feature film debut, it’s Alana Haim! Best known as one of the three sisters that form the band HAIM, she’s now breaking into 2022 awards chatter thanks to her leading performance opposite Cooper Hoffman in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Licorice Pizza.” Reflecting on her unlikely journey to the big screen, the 29-year-old multihyphenate offers her hard-won advice for pursuing a life in the performing arts, no matter the medium. 

Acting used to scare her.
“I always wanted to try acting, because what a fun adventure that would be! But fear always held me back. I mean, Paul, when he offered me this movie—one of the first things I asked him was, ‘Are you sure? Because I have no acting experience.’ What a legacy of films he has; and I just wanted him to succeed with this project, because it was such a beautiful script. And he was like, ‘No, I got you. Don’t worry about it. You can do it.’ And to have someone say, ‘You can do it’ like Paul Thomas Anderson—it really did give me a lot of confidence.”

Forge your own path.
“I would be lying to you if I said that I was confident, even in music. Every day, you ask yourself: How is this happening? Can I do this? And really, I’m very lucky that I have my siblings with me 90% of the time—starting in this business and having a wolf pack behind me that cheered me on. And [we] were always there for each other. When I think about music, I think about me and my siblings, and us starting out as a band. The one thing we promised each other was: No matter what, we’re going to carve our own path. And I think a lot of people were trying to impose their opinions on how we should dress, what songs we should play. You know: ‘Oh, maybe you should do this! This is the right path.’ Me and my siblings never took any of that advice. We wanted to make sure that if we were going to succeed in this business, it was on our terms.”

Haim sees more movies in her future.
“The fact that I can even talk about maybe doing another project is a dream. I loved it so much; it was such an incredible experience. If I get to do this again, I would be so grateful and so excited. But if this was it, and it was just me and Paul and Cooper—again, it was the best experience of my life, and I’ll think about it until the day I die. But I’m crossing my fingers that I get to work again, because that would be great.”

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 30 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.

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