From Rollergirl to Wacky Aunts: Heather Graham Talks Long Career
By Nicki Gostin Posted Jun 20th 2011 09:11AM
"The subject of sexuality is definitely fascinating to me," she tells me. "I think also men like to write these characters in scripts. So if a man can write the part of a lesbian prostitute who's into porno, they're writing it in! Like, I want to do a movie about the survivors of the triangle shirtwaist factory fire and how they were empowered through their tragedy."
Are you an aunt in real life?
Not a biological one, but my best friend from high school has two kids and I love them so much. They call me Aunty Heather so I guess I am. They came to stay with me over New Year's and we all got in a big snowball fight and my friend, their mom, was like, 'Don't do that!' so I guess I am the misbehaving aunt.
This movie is based on a book. What were your favorite books growing up?
I really loved Pippi Longstocking. She was my idol. I wanted to be her. I dressed like her every Halloween for six years. I wore a red wig that had wires through the pigtails that made them stick out.
Were you bummed out that you weren't in 'Hangover 2?'
I guess I thought it would have been romantic if these two characters had ended up together, but that wasn't their way of thinking. I look at if from the positive that it really was fun to be in the first one.
Did you think it would be so huge?
He (Todd Phillips) is a very commercial film director so I thought maybe it would make money but I didn't think it would be like a comedy classic.
You've been in the business a long time. Do you ever feel like you get rediscovered?
I can't really see myself from the outside like what people are thinking but I do feel very grateful that I get paid to work and continue to do things for different audiences.
You get cast a lot as strippers or something with porno. Why do you think that is?
The subject of sexuality is definitely fascinating to me. I think also men like to write these characters in scripts so if a man can write the part of a lesbian prostitute who's into porno they're writing it in! Like I want to do a movie about the survivors of the triangle shirtwaist factory fire and how they were empowered through their tragedy.
Was it difficult being so emotionally and physically open in 'Boogie Nights?'
Sometimes it's easier to do things that are really well written. The better the writing the easier it is to do, to be really vulnerable.
Rollergirl made me sad.
Yeah it was sad, but at the same time these strange people kind of found this family with each other. They weren't alone, they had each other.
What do you do in your time off?
I really like yoga. I love food so I love cooking. I just started making lentil soup and I make a sea bass with a hazelnut crust and a broccoli salad.
Do you watch any cooking shows?
I watch 'Top Chef,' I got kind of addicted to that show. I weaned myself off other reality shows that I was embarrassed to be watching. I watched 'The Real Housewives of New York City,' and then I was like, 'You know what? I don't want to spend so much time watching this so instead I've been teaching myself Spanish with the Rosetta Stone program. It's really fun actually. It's kind of like a video game. It gives a happy noise if you get it right.
Are you fluent?
I started studying it and randomly I started dating this guy who's bilingual so I get to practice with him and he teaches me slang words you're not going to learn on Rosetta Stone.
He's taught me a lot actually but let's see what can go on AOL? The word for ass is culo but if you want to make it cuter you say culito.
You've done a lot of movies. Ever come across one on cable that you forgot you made?
No, but there are certain ones you feel really proud of and there's others you're like, 'That's okay,' and there's others you're just like, 'Eww.'
I remember seeing this weird one with you and Joseph Fiennes. ('Killing Me Softly.')
Yeah that was very weird.
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