More women are now taking the director’s seat in Hollywood. Heather Graham is the latest one to do so with her upcoming indie film, “Half Magic.” She’s also part of its main cast, alongside Angela Kinsey, Molly Shannon, and Jason Lewis. The Hollywood Reporter stated that Thomas Lennon, famous from “The Odd Couple,” as well as Stephanie Beatriz of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” joined the cast as they started production back in 2015. This will be Graham’s directorial debut in her career that spans all the way back to the 80s.
Graham herself wrote the script as a sex comedy. She plays Honey, whose goal is to find the perfect partner who can provide great sex. With her two best friends played by Kinsey and Beatriz, they plan to go on raunchy adventures in search for self-fulfillment. “With the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired in my two decades in this business, I’m ready to put my own voice forward on a project inspired by the comical liaisons that my girlfriends and I have found ourselves in with respect to love, friendship and womanhood,” she told THR.
Widely known as a box-office bombshell, Graham had to put her stage and screen acting career on hold to create the movie. Deadline reported back in 2014 that she gave up the lead role in Neil LaBute’s play “Money Shot.” As the play was about to premiere, all the preparations for “Half Magic” were in full gear. It would have been Graham’s first New York stage appearance since 2003. Her role was then given to Elizabeth Reaser, from hit shows like “True Detective” and “The Good Wife.”
Despite the risky move, Graham’s career is still going strong. She recently starred in “The Last Rampage,” a non-fiction drama based on Gary Tison’s prison escape back in 1978. She is also a recurring cast in the miniseries “Law and Order True Crime.” The show’s first season chronicles the widely-publicized case of the Menendez brothers, who were convicted of murdering their parents in 1996. In the UK, viewers are getting to witness her in a much different way. Graham features heavily in Foxy Television’s new TV commercials. The company chose her as the new alter ego of Foxy the company’s mascot, due to her natural charm among fans. Her reach across various age groups and flexibility as a thespian helps increase the following of her projects. And for “Half Magic,” she’s out to prove that she can do much more.
Although the premier date of “Half Magic” is yet to be announced, it shows that the entertainment industry is beginning to shift gears. Females can now effectively lead as well when it comes to film and storytelling.
Unfortunately, this shift didn’t happen sooner. It was expected after Kathryn Bigelow won the Academy Award for Best Director back in 2009. Her film “The Hurt Locker” also went on to win Best Picture.
Having grown up in a family long associated with the film industry, Sofia Coppola has been making her mark as a director as well. She often makes use of her own style, which is strongly and decisively feminine. Her films The “Virgin Suicides,” “Lost In Translation,” and “Marie Antoinette” have become cult classics in their own right. “I just feel like I have a feminine point of view and I’m happy to put that out there. We certainly have enough masculine ones,” she says in her interview with The Guardian. “I never felt like I had to fit into the majority view. Maybe growing up with so many strong men around me meant I felt, I don’t know, closely connected to being feminine,” the NYC-based director added.
With other women like Patty Jenkins and Ava DuVernay set to direct films with massive budgets, it looks like the new notion of “female director” may soon be a permanent fixture. Directors and actresses are slowly changing the role of women in the entertainment industry. Suffice to say, it won’t be long ‘till someone follows on Bigelow’s footsteps.