You may have thought Gaby Hoffmann had grown up to be Demi Moore but no, she is in fact her own person and not her prenaturally wise character of Samantha from Now and Then. After a hiatus from acting with any regularity – during which time she did a normal thing and went to college – Hoffmann is doing the interview circuit to promote new work, prompting us to realize that we like her even more than we used to.
Though Hoffmann's popped up more and more over the past few years, largely in television, she's been decidedly low-profile compared to the early '90s when she was taking starring roles in movies like Field of Dreams or Sleepless in Seattle. An extensive New York Times Magazine interview with her about her new movie with Michael Cera called Crystal Fairy reveals that she's spent that time kicking it in the woods, trying to figure out if she wanted to act again. (There's also the added bonus of lots of details about her rare childhood as the daughter of an actress, growing up in the Chelsea Hotel. In Hoffmann's words, "We’d spend a summer at Gore Vidal’s house in Italy, but we were on and off welfare.")
It might have been her bohemian lifestyle as a kid, coupled with her break from Hollywood, that has led Hoffmann to a place where she doesn't act – or look – like a lot of other actresses. Writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner notes as much in her profile of Hoffmann:
"...she’s not, you might say, as image-conscious as most actresses her age. At one point she told me a story about something that happened to her at Sundance while she was there with Crystal Fairy. In the movie she plays a wandering hippie, and she spends a good portion of the movie naked. At a party following the film’s debut at Sundance, two women approached her to compliment her performance and then ask how she’d gotten the merkin — a pubic wig — to adhere. 'No,' she explained to the two women. 'That’s just me. I’m a human. I have hair.'"
"I'm a human" might just be the best thing to say to anyone ever.
In an interview with Vulture, Hoffmann and Cera also reveal that it doesn't matter whether you're a child star who never leaves stardom or one that finds their way back to it, you can still be totally unfamiliar with a drug nicknamed after your other best friend as a child:
"Cera: ...I got offered some molly at a party, and I was like, 'That's my sister's name. I can't find that sexy.'
Hoffmann: What is molly?
Cera: I think it's MDMA or something."
Hoffmann brings to mind Anna Chlumsky, who was for years best known for her work in My Girl, but now kicks ass on Veep. Maybe we should require every actor to start working as a child, leave for awhile and come back to the profession a normal person.
The Chelsea Hotel Had Its Own Eloise [NYTMag]
Images via Getty/New Line Cinema