Monday, July 8, 2013


Gaby Hoffmann's Crystal Fairy

Gaby Hoffmann, who you will remember dearly from movies like Sleepless in Seattle, Field of Dreams and, of course, Now & Then, is starring in a new movie alongside Michael Cera. It's called Crystal Fairy, and it's about a group effort to track down the hallucinogenic product in Chile's San Pedro cactus. Hoffmann plays that girl who was always spinning in circles on your college quad (or some version of her). She's also due for a turn in Girls next season.

Add all this together and you get a New York Times Magazine profile, naturally—one that's about as nostalgic for the Manhattan of Hoffmann's youth (she grew up in the Chelsea Hotel) as you probably feel for her Uncle Buck character. There's also some interesting meta-commentary (remember Mara Wilson?) from Hoffmann and Claire Danes, child stars who are no longer children. From Taffy Brodesser-Akner's story:

Hoffmann doesn’t think it’s fair to compare her with the typical modern child star, or the modern survivor of child stardom either. “I was never as famous as all these kids,” she said. “There was no social media. We weren’t celebrity-obsessed as a culture. I feel like these kids are under a crazy microscope; they’re basically brands. And they eventually implode and act out. They need a break, and they’re not getting one.” For all that her family depended on her talent and skill, Hoffmann never felt that she couldn’t walk away from acting; she never felt that she was less important than what she could help provide.

Claire Danes, with whom Hoffmann became good friends as a teenager, suggests, counterintuitively, that it was actually the permissiveness of the environment that saved both of them. “Growing up in downtown New York City in the ’80s, we were ensconced in art and progressive thinking,” she says. “Our parents all experimented with raising us in a fairly loose, unorthodox way. A huge emphasis was placed on creativity, and our artistic efforts were never dismissed as childish. There was a sense that we — kids and grown-ups — all had the potential to make something of value. Our drawings were not simply destined for the refrigerator. We never felt patronized.”

And Sebastian Silva, Hoffmann's director in Crystal Fairy, delivers the best indirect compliment I've seen in a while: "She could be wearing a Cinderella dress," he says of his star, "and she would still be a mess."

Crystal Fairy is in theaters this Friday.

15 Comments / Post A Comment


Hoffmann plays that girl who was always spinning in circles on your college quad (or some version of her). She's also due for a turn in Girls next season.

Is it totally dated of me to point out this pair of sentences and say "best line all day"? Because there's the pun, and then there's the Girls thing.


Speaking of Girls, "Taffy Brodesser-Akner" is Tally Schifrin, right?



Regina Phalange

"She could be wearing a Cinderella dress," he says of his star, "and she would still be a mess."

Ha, I've said (almost verbatim) the same thing about myself. Much as it pains me to admit it, I don't think I'll ever look sleek and polished; there's just something vaguely unfinished-looking about me. Even when I've had my hair and makeup professionally done, something screams "adult impostor" about me.

fondue with cheddar

@Regina Phalange Me too! That's part of why I stopped trying to be girly. The older I get, the more I look like a lesbian. And I'm fine with that.


Thus is why I like him so much.@n


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im not a fan of cera or quirky indie movies but this looks so light and fun and visually interesting. perfect for a hot summer afternoon. i wish i wasnt pregnant so i could get high before. ill have to settle for some popcorn


Kind of too bad that so much of the press leading up to this excellent-looking movie starring such a cool-seeming lady is about her pubes. She's the first on-screen woman who actually looks like someone I'd hang out with in real life that I've seen... maybe ever.

fondue with cheddar

@KJZ There should be a tag on the Hairpin for all the ladies we legit want to be friends with.


"We weren’t celebrity-obsessed as a culture."

Oh, come on, Gaby. Be serious.


@meetapossum Yeah I read that and screamed for AHP.

fondue with cheddar

@meetapossum The only difference is that back then we were obsessed with REAL celebrities (as opposed to "reality" celebrities).


Loved her in Louie! Also, does anyone else think this might be one of the few movies that might accurately depict what it feels like to be high?

fondue with cheddar

@rathermarvelous It seems like it might be. That would be...um...rather marvelous. :)

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