It’s a big day for cinephiles: the trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming film Licorice Pizza just dropped. Anderson likes to keep an air of mystery when it comes to his films. Even with a coming-of-age love story like this one, we’re not supposed to know exactly what we’ll get, which sparks plenty of intrigue.
Cooper Hoffman, who is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son, makes his acting debut as Gary Valentine, a high school kid who becomes a child actor. Besides crossing paths with people like real-life film producer Jon Peters (played by Bradley Cooper), he falls in love with Alana, played by Alana Haim. This is Haim’s first film role, too. Besides HAIM’s music videos (many of which were directed by Anderson), her only previous acting credits were playing herself in Documentary Now! and Rostam’s “From The Back Of A Cab” music video. But from the glimpse we get of Haim’s acting skills, it’s clear she was cast by Anderson for a reason. She’s got plenty of spunk, and nails the teen angst. With five Grammys under her belt under HAIM, it wouldn’t be surprising if this role propelled her into getting an Oscar nomination, making her one step closer to getting an EGOT.
The rest of the cast is pretty great, too. There’s a glimpse of Mary Elizabeth Ellis as Alana’s mom, Benny Safdie as politician Joel Wachs, and Sean Penn and Tom Waits as undisclosed characters. Maya Rudolph also gets to have her first role in one of her husband’s movies since 2014's Inherent Vice. Ben Stiller, John C. Reilly, Christopher Walken, and Skyler Gisondo also have roles in the film.
Philip Seymour Hoffman died in 2014, but he appeared in many of Anderson’s films before his death; he had roles in Boogie Nights, Punch-Drunk-Love, Magnolia, and The Master.