Before becoming one of the favorite blondes of moviegoers, Heather Graham had to overcome some obstacles.
The actress grew up in a strictly Catholic home and lived several residence transfers due to the profession of her father – an FBI agent who is an expert in the fight against terrorism – which in her childhood made her feel insecure.
From a young age, Graham had a passion for the world of acting. She never missed a school play and, already in high school, her classmates came to name her ‘The Most Talented’.
Despite her shyness and initial reluctance from her parents, Graham managed to get her mother to take her to some auditions in Hollywood. Shortly after, while still a teenager, the one from Milwaukee picked up her belongings and moved to the city of Los Angeles, where she got a representative and began shooting commercials for television.
The auditions then became part of his routine. After briefly appearing in 1987 on the sitcom The problems grow Graham had his first film experience thanks to the supporting role he was offered in the youth comedy Daddy cadillac (1988).
Shortly after, he passed a casting to be part of the cast of Drugstore Cowboy (1989), a drug film directed by the filmmaker Gus Van Sant which would earn her an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Everything seems to indicate that the parents of the actress began supporting their daughter’s career but that, at the same time, they made it clear that there were a series of red lines that she should not cross. The main, no sex scenes.
With all the pain in his soul, Graham turned down even the title role in the macabre black comedy. School of young killers (1989), because their parents considered that the language used by the characters was too risque.
Before long, Graham decided to start ignoring so much petty censorship (both external and self-imposed). Still, her career didn’t take off as quickly as she expected, leading her to enroll at the University of California, Los Angeles. It was while there that the actor James Woods He noticed Graham one day and ended up getting him a part in the tape. The perfect hit (1992).
Guided by her representative, Graham began to accept (practically) every offer that came to her hands. He signed a contract as a model for the brand Emanuel Ungaro And, already in the mid-nineties, she established herself as the new ‘it girl’ in Hollywood.
From repression to uncovering
In fact, Graham began to embody different highly sexualized characters in low-budget films such as Swingers (1996), whose role he obtained after Jon favreau I took her out one day to dance the swing when they both coincided working on an episode of the series Fallen angels.
Although the first hit of the eternal and always sensual Hollywood high school was Boogie Nights (1997), a film about the beginnings of X cinema in the United States where Graham played an angelic-looking porn actress who did not get off her four-wheeled skates or to have sex.
That tape directed by Paul Thomas Anderson She got several Oscar nominations and earned the American an MTV Movie & TV Awards for best new actress, but her conservative parents were not very happy, who permanently distanced themselves from their daughter when she began to shoot that film; although Graham avoids touching the subject (at least, publicly).
Co-star in a blockbuster like Austin Powers 2. The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) —where Graham played a lustful and intelligent CIA agent— and appear turned into an object of desire in the music video for the song American Woman, from Lenny Kravitz, They supposed her definitive consecration as one of the actresses of the moment.
Appreciation for comedy
Likewise, Graham once again exhibited his comic vis in Hangover in Las Vegas (2009), where she would play a sweet striptease artist; four years later, he would also act in the third installment of the popular saga.
Back in 2014, she stepped into the shoes of a dental hygienist to appear in the seventh and final season of the black comedy Californication, series that the actress acknowledged never having seen before being hired to be part of its cast.
“I think I started to appreciate comedy more as I got older. When I was younger, I thought ‘I want to be in the most depressing dramas and I don’t care about comedy.’ But I feel like now, I really admire comedians a lot. and I admire people who can make you laugh, “Graham would later comment in an interview.
Graham spent several years alternating commercial cinema and independent films, and also became accustomed to swarming through the list of the most wanted women. It was not uncommon to find posters of his image flooding the folders and bedroom walls with lots of kids (and not so kids).
The actress was flattered by this, but this did not stop her from being critical of the prevailing sexism in today’s society. “We get a lot of mixed messages from the culture. One of the messages says that all that matters is your appearance, and that you are judged for it (you are supposed to be sexy). On the other hand, your sexuality is judged negatively “, would point out on one occasion.
Direction and meditation
The actress, who back in 2000 had a brief affair with the late actor Heath Ledger, he has always been a restless ass and enjoys trying new things.
Perhaps because of this, she spent time searching for the necessary funding to put on her feet what would be her directorial debut: a charming romantic comedy about sexism in the film industry titled Half Magic (2018) that she herself would write and star in.
Graham defines herself as a great lover of books and has been practicing meditation since she David Lynch exposed her to this practice on the set of Twin Peaks in the early nineties.
In addition, she is quite committed to climate change and, although she is somewhat reserved, she has never been afraid to speak out. Not surprisingly, Graham was one of the first actresses to publicly denounce the film producer’s sexual behaviors Harvey Weinstein that sparked the Me Too movement.
Although Hollywood may never have given her the place she truly deserves, Graham is grateful that she remains in the limelight. After all, the one from Wisconsin has never stopped working, unlike many other actresses of her generation.
These days, without going any further, Movistar + premieres the last film in which Graham has a leading role, What’s left of us (2019), an intimate drama about four women – two mothers and two daughters – who strengthen relationships after the death of the person who connects them.
It is clear that the actress is an example of tenacity. As clear as that the hackneyed myth of the silly blonde has little to do with her.