Gaby Hoffmann

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Gaby Hoffmann
Born Gabriella Mary Hoffmann
(1982-01-08) January 8, 1982 (age 32)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Bard College
Occupation Actress
Years active 1989–present

Gabriella Mary "Gaby" Hoffmann (born January 8, 1982) is an American film and television actress. Born to actress Janet Hoffmann, an Andy Warhol superstar, Hoffmann rose to prominence as a child actor, debuting in Field of Dreams (1989) and having roles in Uncle Buck (1989) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993). She began transitioning into teenage and adult roles with the films Now and Then (1995), 200 Cigarettes (1999), and You Can Count on Me (2000). More recently, Hoffmann has starred alongside Michael Cera in Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus (2013), and has had guest appearances in the television series Louie and Girls.

Early life[edit]

Hoffmann was born in New York City. Her mother, Viva (aka Janet Susan Mary Hoffmann), is an actress and writer and appeared in many of Andy Warhol's movies during the 1960s. Her father is Anthony Herrera, a soap actor best known for his role as James Stenbeck from As The World Turns.[1][2] Hoffmann also has a half-sister, Alexandra (Alex) Auder, the daughter of director Michel Auder,[3] who is 10 years older. Gaby was raised by her mother. Her father did not have a significant presence in her life.[4][5] Her birth is documented in Brigid Berlin's The Andy Warhol Diaries. An entry dated January 10, 1982, two days after Hoffmann was born, says that a friend of Warhol’s telephoned Warhol and told him that they were going to the Chelsea Hotel to see Viva and her new baby.

Life at the Chelsea Hotel[edit]

Until 1993, Hoffmann lived in Manhattan's fabled, now landmarked, Hotel Chelsea, which Hoffmann later said she enjoyed. According to Hoffmann, she and her best friend Talya Shomron would roller-skate in the hallways, spy on the drug dealer across the hall, and persuade the bellman to go to the neighborhood deli at night and get them ice cream.[4] Hoffmann and her mother left the Chelsea Hotel in July 1993 after a dispute of long standing with the management, but the hotel ended up featuring prominently in Hoffmann’s future. The idea for the 1994 sitcom Someone Like Me originated after Gail Berman (former president of Viacom's Paramount Pictures), the show's producer, read a New York Times article about the Hotel which referred to a children's book which Viva and friend Jane Lancellotti wrote entitled Gaby at the Chelsea (a take on Kay Thompson’s 1950s classic Eloise books). After leaving the Chelsea, Hoffmann and her mother (and their two Eskimo dogs) moved to a two-bedroom rented house in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California which ended up being badly damaged in the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake. While regrouping their living situation, Gaby and her mother temporarily lived at The Oceana Suites Hotel in Santa Monica, not too distant from Malibu.

Career[edit]

Early acting career[edit]

Hoffmann began her acting career at the age of four to help pay the family bills by acting in commercials. However, she tired of the tough schedules and temporarily retired. Nevertheless, upon hearing that Macaulay Culkin was making a lot of money from his movies her "competitive spirit got the best of her," as she later put it, and she re-entered the profession. In 1989, she starred in her first movie, Field of Dreams, with Kevin Costner. She followed this up with 1989’s Uncle Buck with John Candy (as well as Macaulay Culkin) and then went on to star in This Is My Life (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) with Tom Hanks and The Man Without a Face with Mel Gibson. According to Hoffmann, it was the praise she received for her performance in This is My Life which encouraged her to pursue a full-time acting career in Hollywood as it gave her the confidence she needed to handle major roles.

Someone Like Me (1994)[edit]

In 1994, Hoffmann was given the starring role in her own sitcom Someone Like Me (on NBC) about a young girl, Gaby, and her dysfunctional family. Although generally well received, the show only lasted six episodes. Publicity work for the show included personal appearances by Hoffmann on late night talk shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Show with David Letterman.

Freaky Friday (1995)[edit]

After Someone Like Me, Hoffmann won the lead role in the TV film Freaky Friday, a remake of the 1976 film of the same name starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris.

Whose Daughter is She (1995)[edit]

In 1995, Hoffmann played Andrea Eagerton in the CBS TV film Whose Daughter Is She?

Now and Then (1995)[edit]

In the same year as Freaky Friday, Hoffmann starred in the coming-of-age comedy, Now and Then, with her older counterpart played by Demi Moore. She played as Young Samantha.

Later acting career and college: 1996–2003[edit]

Between 1996–2000, Hoffmann landed roles in several films including Everyone Says I Love You (1996), Volcano (1997), Snapped (1998), The Hairy Bird (1998), 200 Cigarettes (1999), Coming Soon (1999), Black & White (1999), You Can Count on Me (2000), and Perfume (2001).

In 1999, Hoffmann followed her half-sister's example and entered New York's Bard College to pursue a degree in literature. Starting in 2001, she put her acting career on hold to complete her studies. She graduated in 2003, and then spent much of her 20s drifting. She interned with a chef in Italy, and then trained to be a doula after helping deliver her sister Alex's children. For a time, Hoffmann and a boyfriend lived in an old trailer in the Catskills.[3]

Theatre work in New York: 2003–2007[edit]

Between 2003 and 2007, Hoffmann largely concentrated on a theatre career in New York. Roles included 24 Hour Plays (as Denise at the American Airlines Theatre), The Sugar Syndrome (Williamstown Theatre Festival - July/August 2005), and Third (Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater/Lincoln Center Theater - September - December 2005). In late 2005, she starred in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She also appeared in the Broadway play Suburbia, alongside Kieran Culkin and Jessica Capshaw at the Second Stage Theatre on 43rd Street in New York City, which ran from September to October 2006. Hoffmann then returned to the 24 Hours Plays where she acted alongside Jennifer Aniston.

Return to film work: 2007–present[edit]

Since 2007, Hoffmann has made a gradual return to film acting. In 2007, she starred in the film Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America. In 2008, she appeared in Guest of Cindy Sherman, a documentary on art-scene commentator Paul Hasegawa-Overacker's relationship with enigmatic photographer Cindy Sherman. Later in 2008, Hoffmann appeared in the documentary Chelsea on the Rocks, which is a tribute to the Chelsea Hotel where she grew up. Directed by Abel Ferrara, the documentary highlights the many personalities and artistic voices that have emerged from the legendary residence.

In 2009, Hoffmann had a supporting role in Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime, and the thriller 13 with Mickey Rourke (released in 2010).

While shooting the 2013 film Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus in Chile, Hoffmann and costar Michael Cera took mescaline for her performance in a climactic scene, besides not shaving her armpits.[6]

In 2013, she completed work on the lead role of a Web series entitled Lyle, created by Stewart Thorndike and Jill Soloway. It was shot in NYC. She subsequently acquired an apartment in Brooklyn's Fort Greene section.[3] In October 2013, she starred in the 1910s installment of Vanity Fair's The Decades Series, "The First March", directed by Gilly Barnes.[7]

In a 2013 interview, Hoffman discussed her full frontal nude scenes in a few of her recent projects including Crystal Fairy, Girls and the amazon.com web series, Transparent.[8] "People are obsessed with actresses being hairless, fatless Barbie dolls. They can’t imagine that people would want to be anything other than that. When they are, it's looked at as almost a political statement. Look at Lena Dunham. She is a gorgeous woman and people can’t stop talking about how brave she is to show herself naked, which I find totally condescending and ridiculous. If Angelina Jolie was naked onscreen no one would say she was brave. The implication is that Lena’s brave because she doesn’t look the way she’s supposed to look. I think that’s a shame." Hoffman said.[9]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Field of Dreams Karin Kinsella
1989 Uncle Buck Maizy Russell
1992 This Is My Life Opal Ingels
1993 Sleepless in Seattle Jessica
1993 Man Without a Face, TheThe Man Without a Face Megan Norstadt
1995 Now and Then Samantha "Sam" Albertson
1996 Everyone Says I Love You Lane Dandridge
1997 Volcano Kelly Roark
1998 Hairy Bird, TheThe Hairy Bird Odette Sinclair AKA All I Wanna Do and Strike!
1998 Snapped Tara
1999 200 Cigarettes Stephie
1999 Coming Soon Jenny Simon
1999 Black and White Raven
2000 You Can Count on Me Sheila Seidleman
2001 Perfume Gabrielle Mancini
2007 Severed Ways Orn's Wife
2009 Life During Wartime Wanda
2010 13 Clara Ferro
2011 Wolfe with an E Karen
2011 Confidante Sam Short film
2011 Surrogate Mary, TheThe Surrogate Mary Sally
2012 Nate & Margaret Darla
2013 Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus Crystal Fairy
2013 All That I Am Susan
2013 Goodbye World Laura
2014 Obvious Child Nellie
2014 Veronica Mars Ruby Jetson/Della Pugh Completed
2014 Manhattan Romance Emmy Post-production
2014 Wild Aimee Post-production
2014 Lyle Leah Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Someone Like Me Gaby Stepjak Main role (6 episodes)
1995 Freaky Friday Annabelle Andrews TV film
1995 Whose Daughter Is She? Andrea Eagerton TV film
2005 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Rachel Burnett Episode: "The Good Child"
2009 Eastmans, TheThe Eastmans Dr. Sally Eastman TV pilot
2010 Private Practice Emily Episode: "Just Lose It"
2011 Good Wife, TheThe Good Wife Rhonda Cerone Episode: "Killer Song"
2011 Homeland CNN Producer Episode: "Clean Skin"
2012 Louie April Episode: "Something Is Wrong"
2014 Girls Caroline Sackler Episode: "She Said OK"
Episode: "Dead Inside"
Episode: "Only Child"
Episode: "Two Plane Rides"
2014 Transparent Ali Amazon.com original series. Made its premiere on February 6, 2014 for free

Awards[edit]

Awards
Year Award Category Production Result
1990 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Field of Dreams Won
1993 Young Artist Award Best Young Actress Under Ten in a Motion Picture This Is My Life Nominated
1994 Young Artist Award Best Youth Actress Co-Starring in a Motion Picture Drama The Man Without a Face Nominated
1995 Young Artist Award Best Youth Comedienne in a TV Show Someone Like Me Nominated
1996 Young Artist Award Best Performance by a Young Ensemble - Feature Film or Video Now and Then Nominated
1997 YoungStar Award Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film Everyone Says I Love You Nominated
2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards Best Female Lead Crystal Fairy Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Anthony Herrera Obituary". San Antonio Express-News. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Anthony Herrera Obituary". Stone County Enterprise. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c BRODESSER-AKNER, Taffy (8 July 2013). "The Chelsea Hotel Had Its Own Eloise". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Kennedy, Dana (25 March 1994). "30 Minutes of Fame". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Caddell, Ian (5 March 1992). "Child actor Gaby Hoffman sounds off on directors, costars, and Madonna". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Julie Miller (2013-07-11). "Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffman on Crystal Fairy, Acting on Mescaline, and Trips with Strangers". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2014-01-13. 
  7. ^ "Watch The Decades Series | The 1910s, by Gilly Barnes | Vanity Fair Video | CNE". Video.vanityfair.com. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  8. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erin-whitney/transparent-pilot-best-new-pilot_b_4747263.html
  9. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/06/gaby-hoffman-body-hair-lena-dunham_n_3712319.html

External links[edit]