Fun Facts About 'Licorice Pizza' 's Breakout Star Alana Haim

Between truck driving school and her tight friendship with Taylor Swift, here's everything you need to know about Licorice Pizza star Alana Haim

Alana Haim
Photo: Getty

From singer-songwriter to movie star.

It's not an often occurrence that an actor's first film is the title that earns them an award nomination, but for multi-hyphenate Alana Haim, that incredible feat has been achieved.

Scoring a Critics Choice Award nomination for best actress for her role in Licorice Pizza, Haim stars alongside Cooper Hoffman, Bradley Cooper, and George DiCaprio in the Paul Thomas Anderson film.

Licorice Pizza, which is also up for three awards at the Academy Awards (including Best Picture), follows Haim's character, Alana, and her journey of self-discovery and new love in California's San Fernando Valley set in the 1970s.

Paul Thomas Anderson/Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Inc

While Haim is new to the silver screen, she is no stranger to acclaimed filmmaker Anderson — as he's become a close friend of the actress, having worked with her and her sisters' Grammy-nominated band, Haim, on music videos over the years.

Making up one-third of the pop-rock band, Haim is joined by her two older sisters, Este and Danielle in the musical group. Since forming the band in 2007, they've gone on to collaborate with some of the music industry's biggest names, been featured on major film soundtracks, and were nominated for album of the year at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

From Haim's famous friends to her time in truck driving school, keep scrolling for more interesting facts about the self-described "Valley Girl."

Alana Haim comes from a musical family.

Alana Haim
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Seeing that their father and mother have musical backgrounds, the California-based sister's decision to form a musical group made total sense — but prior to the band's breakout, they had a family band called Rockinhaim.

Formed by mother Donna and father Mordechai "Moti" Haim, they led their three girls in playing '50, '60s, and '70s cover songs — and at the time, Haim was only four and her sisters barely played instruments!

Posing no problem for Moti, "The next day he went out and bought the girls instruments and we started working on songs," Donna told LA Weekly.

Donna is a singer in her own right. She competed and won The Gong Show in the 1970s singing a Bonnie Raitt song. As for Moti, he is a former Israeli footballer, actor, and drummer.

Alana Haim and her sisters were signed by JAY-Z.

Haim. Frazer Harrison/Getty

Haim and her sisters were signed by Roc Nation in 2012, a label founded by JAY-Z in 2008. Though they are now represented by Full Stop Management as of 2017, working with the hip-hop icon was still a dream for the sisters.

"To be able to say that Jay-Z is my boss makes me want to throw up," Haim excitedly admitted during a 2013 interview with Fuse. "We are obsessed with Jay-Z and we're just really excited that he wants us to be in his personal space."

The band released their debut album, Days Are Gone, in 2013, followed by Something to Tell You in 2017, and Women in Music Pt. III in 2020. They've collaborated with megastars including Taylor Swift and Lorde, and have performed alongside artists such as Stevie Nicks and the Foo Fighters.

Alana Haim is friends with Taylor Swift.

alana haim and taylor swift
Christopher Polk/WireImage

The Haim sisters collaborated with Swift on 2021's "Gasoline," but their friendship dates back even further. While the girls initially met at a dinner and instantly hit it off, their online friendship began when the band tweeted their love of Swift's "This Love" — and to their surprise, she tweeted back!

Since then, they've vacationed together, performed together, and even celebrated birthdays together.

Alana Haim had zero professional acting experience prior to Licorice Pizza.

Alana Haim

Haim revealed in an interview with The New York Times that she received the Licorice Pizza script via email, opened it up, read her name on it, and was in complete shock at the opportunity, given that she had zero acting experience prior.

"What if I'm just terrible? I was like, 'I don't even know where to look. What if I look at the camera?'" she said of her initial concerns. Fears aside, she was a natural — critics raved, and David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter called it "one of the most exciting screen debuts in recent memory."

Alana Haim attended truck driving school.

licorice pizza
GM / Courtesy Everett Collection

There are a few scenes in Licorice Pizza that show Haim driving a stick-shift moving van from the 1970s, but with a lack of van-driving experience prior to filming, she had to go to truck school to learn.

"I'm a terrible driver, I'm terrible," Haim admitted on The Tonight Show. "I didn't tell anybody that I was a bad driver, but then it came the day that I had to do it." Not to mention, she had costar Cooper in the passenger seat (no pressure there!).

Alana Haim has a unique relationship with Paul Thomas Anderson.

Alana Haim

What eventually blossomed into an incredible working relationship between the Haim sisters and Anderson — having collaborated on seven music videos, one live song performance, and a short film — coincidentally began thanks to their good friend Asa Taccone, who overheard the director talking about the girls at a party.

"Hey, PTA [Paul Thomas Anderson] wants me to give you his email. Can you email PTA?" recalled Haim of Taccone when speaking with Vanity Fair. "I think it took us five days to muster up the courage," she continued. "Half of our thought process was, 'This is probably a hoax.' And so we finally sent him an email. And then we started emailing each other."

But that's not even the unique part as the girls later found out that their mother, Donna, was Anderson's art teacher in grade school! "I loved your mom," Haim quoted him when chatting with the outlet. "I can't believe you're Miss Rose's daughters."

Alana Haim has a Bat Mitzvah dream to this day.

Alana Haim

The Jewish sisters reminisced to GQ about the bar and bat mitzvahs they attended when they were younger and highlighted the teen antics that often took place, ranging from prepubescent boy banter to first kiss drama that unfolded.

"To this day, all I want is a dude to make out with me at a bat mitzvah and it just never happened," Haim admittedly told the outlet. "The only person that I wanted to make out with was this guy Harell Dahari. I was like, it's my moment, it needs to happen. And he was like, No. Hell no. I got shut down."

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