Licorice Pizza Cast: Where you’ve already seen the cast
There’s a lot to be said about Paul Thomas Anderson’s films, but one of the most cohesive parts of each of his films is the incredible talent he selects to bring his characters to life. The same can be said of Licorice Pizza and the group of actors who take to the screen in Anderson’s love letter to 1970s Los Angeles.
This charming, humorous and at times heartbreaking drama about the coming of age of two young Southern Californians trying to navigate life and love during one of the most confusing times of their lives is brilliantly recounted by newcomers Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim, as well as Hollywood heavyweights like Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn and several others. Let’s dive where we saw the exceptional Licorice Pizza to throw.
Alana Haim (Alana Kane)
The start of things is Alana Haim, who made her film debut with her portrayal of Alana Kane in Licorice Pizza. Since 2007, Haim and his two sisters – Este and Danielle – run the pop rock group Critically acclaimed Haim selling tons of records and touring with everyone from The Killers to Taylor Swift during this time. Haim previously appeared in a 2015 episode of Documentary now! (playing herself) and The Lonely Island’s 2019 Netflix variety show titled The unauthorized experiment of the Bash brothers.
Licorice Pizza is actually not the first time that Alana Haim and Paul Thomas Anderson have worked together on a project, as the acclaimed filmmaker has directed several music videos for her band and a documentary on the making of the 2017 album, Something to tell you.
Cooper Hoffman (Gary Valentine)
Then there’s Cooper Hoffman, who made his film debut with a towering portrayal of Gary Valentine, the young child actor at the center of Licorice Pizza. If Cooper’s name and face sound familiar, it’s because he’s the son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who appeared in a total of five Paul Thomas Anderson films before his death in February 2014.
Sean Penn (Jack Holden)
Two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn plays Jack Holden, a fictional version of Hollywood legend William Holden, in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest offering. One of the most prolific names in the Licorice Pizza cast, Penn has done quite a bit throughout his career, which dates back to a 1974 episode of Little house in the meadow.
Over the years, Penn has played iconic stoners like Jeff Spicoli in Quick times at Ridgemont High, emotionally damaged gangsters like Jimmy Markum in the mystical river, and historical figures like Harvey Milk in Milk. Penn has also served in the director’s chair several times over the years on films like Indian runner, The sergeant, and especially, In nature.
Tom waits (Rex Blau)
Legendary musician-turned-actor Tom Waits stars as director Rex Blau in Licorice Pizza, the latest in a long line of critically acclaimed films, albeit his first starring Paul Thomas Anderson. Over the years, Waits has released groundbreaking jazz-infused folk albums, including The heart of Saturday night, Nighthawks at Diner, Rain dogs, and Mullet variations, win two Grammys and be nominated seven times in total. Contributions to Waits’ films include The foreigners, King fisherman, Mystery men, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The dead don’t die, and dozens of others.
Bradley Cooper (Jon Peters)
Golden Globe and Oscar nominated actor, director and producer Bradley Cooper plays Hollywood hairstylist turned producer Jon Peters in Licorice Pizza, marking the first time he has worked with Paul Thomas Anderson. Over the years, Cooper has appeared in successful franchises like guardians of the galaxy and The hangover, as well as Oscar nominated images like Silver Linings Playbook and A star is born. Throughout his career, Cooper worked extensively with David O. Russell, Todd Phillips and Clint Eastwood, becoming one of the greatest actors of his time.
Benny Safdie (Joel Wachs)
Benny Safdie, half of the director duo behind Uncut gems, walks in front of the camera as former Los Angeles City Councilor Joel Wachs in Licorice Pizza. Safdie made waves in 2017 crime thriller Good time with his portrayal of Nick Nikas, a film he also directed alongside his brother Josh. Safdie also gave impressive performances in Pieces of a woman, Unity, and Person to person, to only cite a few. Safdie is also set to appear in the upcoming Disney + TV show. Obi wan kenobi.
Christine Ebersole (Lucille Doolittle)
Veteran film, television and theater actress Christine Ebersole stars as Lucille Doolittle (modeled after Lucille Ball) in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza. The two-time Tony Award winner has been into a bit of everything over the years, including Tootsie, Saturday Night Live, and theatrical productions of Gray gardens. Others may remember Ebersole for his appearances on royal pains, Sullivan and son, and its current issue, Bob Hearts Abishola. Others may remember Ebersole for his portrayal of Macaulay Culkin’s onscreen mother in the film’s 1994 adaptation. Richie rich Comic.
Skyler Gisondo (Lance)
Skyler Gisondo, who has been one of Hollywood’s hardest-working young actors lately, shows up in Licorice Pizza as Lance, the boy who finds himself in the middle of Alana and Gary’s romance.
After a series of one-off appearances on TV shows like Everyone loves Raymond, Monk, and Case closed, Gisondo turned to feature films in the early 2000s, first with Halloween and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, before landing roles in The Amazing Spider-Man (and its sequel) and Night at the Museum: Secret du Tombeau. Here recently, Gisondo has appeared in films like Booksmart, show as The right gems, and even documentaries, including the one from Netflix The social dilemma in 2020.
It only scratches the surface of the Licorice Pizza cast, as there are several actors who make cameo appearances, including Maya Rudolph and John C. Reilly. If you want to know what else is coming to theaters in the final weeks of the year, check out CinemaBlend’s recap of all the new 2021 movie releases.