Heather Graham: ‘I always wanted to be the pretty girl but I thought I wasn’t’

Heather Graham is 43 years old. If I knew nothing about her, I would guess she was about 30. Of course these images are heavily Photoshopped, but she looks just about this amazing in person too. In terms of how she stays this way, I thought she was vegetarian, but she’s not. She’s only said that she limits meat, and that as a rule she avoids sugar and flour. Whatever she’s doing, it’s working for her.

Graham covers the new Women’s Health UK. The photo spread is very nice, it’s a kind of comfortable sexy look that emphasizes her long legs. In the interview, Graham talks about sex and her thoughts on sexuality. It confused me a little, and I’ll get into that in a moment. I think the problem is that we have no context for these quotes yet. They sound a little put-on, like something Christina Aguilera would say.

She’s one of Hollywood’s leading sex symbols thanks to her screen siren role in the likes of Austin Powers, Boogie Nights and The Hangover.
But Heather Graham has revealed while it took her ‘a long time’ to feel good about sex, it has now finally become a part of who she is.

Opening up in an interview with the November/December issue of Women’s Health magazine, she explained: ‘It’s an aspect of my personality. Sex is a part of who I am and it took me a long time to feel good about it.

‘I wasn’t sure if it was good or bad to be a person who really enjoys sex.’

In spite of her views surrounding sex, the 43-year-old actress slammed Hollywood as a ‘sexist’ industry, and claimed that women don’t have the freedom to express themselves sexually in the US.

She added: ‘The industry is totally sexist. It’s run by men mostly. Look at the movies that are coming out. How many are about women? If you look at who the leads are, they’re probably 75 per cent men.

‘A woman being able to express her sexuality is the ultimate form of freedom. In American culture, I feel like women don’t have the safety to express themselves sexually.

‘There’s a lot of movies about men’s fantasies, but what about women? What would the world be like if women asked for everything they wanted?’

[From The Daily Mail]

I really liked what she said about how movies are geared toward men instead of women. I don’t know if it’s sexist particularly or just a numbers game. I guess those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. She was in The Hangover movies. Is she throwing some shade on that franchise or just speaking in general terms about how it’s disappointing that there aren’t more movies for women? We have romcoms of course, but they’re pretty bad usually.

As for her comments about being sexy and embracing it, it sounds strange to me. I don’t think she’s putting us on, but the first time I saw her was in Boogie Nights when she played a porn star. That’s always been her image, so it’s hard for me to understand that she needed to come to terms with that. She also said in the same interview that she never thought of herself as attractive. “I always wanted to be the pretty girl but I thought I wasn’t. When I started acting and getting pretty girl roles, I felt like I was just pretending, and nobody saw I was just this big nerd.” Doesn’t every actress say some version of this? Something like “I don’t think I’m pretty, but over time I learned to live with it and embrace it.” Is it false humility or does this particular knockout really remember feeling not worthy?

Photo credit: WENN.com and Women’s Health

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32 Responses to “Heather Graham: ‘I always wanted to be the pretty girl but I thought I wasn’t’”

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  1. Buckwild says:

    Thought it was Vanessa Paradis.

    • jane26 says:

      I can totally see it! I see some Michelle Pfeiffer in there as well (especially in the red dress picture).

  2. NerdMomma says:

    You know, I don’t think she’s “classically” pretty, so maybe she really didn’t feel comfortable as the pretty/sexy character. She was just acting, and now she’s coming to terms with her hotness. She really has gotten more beautiful with age, too. So I can see how she maybe didn’t really think she was the pretty girl- she has the body of a barbie doll, but her face is more interesting than one.

  3. SueSue says:

    She’s right! She’s not pretty and not a very good acrtress to boot!

    • Denise says:

      I agree with the second part, but she’s not pretty? She’s certainly not plain looking, so you think Heather Graham is ugly? Tough crowd.

  4. Anna says:

    Her face looks all kind of wrong in the first 2 photos. Not good. Kinda witchy/mad in the non-fun way. She’s so much prettier in candids and on the red carpet.

  5. sunny says:

    I think a lot of actors and actresses were the “theater geeks” the same way many musicians were the band/orchestra geeks and models were awkward tall girls. I think the industry is so able to emotionally affect (for better or worse) the talent because of self doubt and shaky self esteem. Many entertainers question their appeal, some endlessly and no matter how much success they achieve.

  6. Nicolette says:

    Never could stand her for some reason.

  7. Dusty says:


  8. Patricia says:

    She always looks in need of a bath to me. She and Elizabeth Hurley both have the same affect for me. Like, I can see that they are pretty but they look icky and unclean. that sounds mean but it’s just my reaction for some reason.

    • Grant says:

      Perhaps the common denominator is the fact that they were both female leads in Austin Powers movies? I don’t really associate “unclean” with Elizabeth Hurley…

  9. janie says:

    Patricia.. I agree with you, they both have that affect on me. Something underlying? Can’t figure out just what it is?

  10. Andrea says:

    I don’t want to fall into the trap of focusing on her appearance rather than her work or insights, but she’s put her looks out there for us to comment on …. so, I will comment: that’s not a forehead, it’s a five head.
    Girl needs some bangs.

  11. rtms says:

    Unlike Kstew, she always looks clean and healthy on either candids or the red carpet.

    As for her sex hang up,I think it stems from her family life. She was raised very strictly catholic with her father a FBI. Both her parents rejected her career course and she hasn’t spoken to them or had anything to do with them for over 20 yrs now. I think it’s taken that long for her to feel that sex is not the bad thing her parents insisted it was. In a way the acting was a form to free her in her personal life.

  12. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Yeah she’s a total eyesore, guys.


    • mayamae says:

      I know. It’s amazing the poor homely thing can get out of bed in the morning. We should all be cursed with her ugly.

  13. embra says:

    I’ve always loved her! I do remember reading that she thought of herself as an ugly duckling and was teased about her looks as a teen. I think she is beautiful and quirky and looks better every year. As someone who was raised catholic- and I’m her age- they did mess with your head about sexuality. You do it to make a baby- that’s it.

  14. Lisa says:

    The photoshop makes her look like a weird alien, but she has great legs.

  15. Lauren says:

    I buy it. Remember what she looked like on Twin Peaks? Beautiful for sure, but a little dowdy and immature.

    She wasn’t styled up sexy back then, and it’s pretty amazing how hard it is for people to see past frizzy hair and sloppy clothes.

    • tealily says:

      Exactly! And wasn’t her character an ex-nun or something? I never saw Boogie Nights, so slap together Twin Peaks, Swingers, and Austin Powers and, yeah. Kinda quirky, kinda awkward.

      I’ve always felt like I really should probably like her, but I just… don’t.

  16. Emily C. says:

    Movies being geared toward men is sexist. It doesn’t have anything to do with real economics; instead, it’s to do with people in charge thinking the money of women and girls somehow does not count. In the 1930s, movies were geared largely toward women — that was economics. Hollywood today is basically a penis-measuring contest.

    42% of porn is bought by women, btw. The porn industry IS run by economics, and it has been changing very, very fast. James Deen, whose porn persona is sensitive and funny, was not made into a popular porn star by male viewers.

    • mayamae says:

      I’ve never heard of James Deen, so I did a quick google search. It’s a little disappointing to hear this “sensitive” guy is in opposition to an initiative to require condoms in pr0n. Of course, the women are more vulnerable so who cares.

    • Jessica says:

      I actually think it may have something to do with economics (I’m not saying Hollywood is not sexist, because it is, but there is economics at work there, too): women will buy tickets to a movie geared toward men, men will not buy tickets to a movie geared toward women, therefore more people are willing to and do buy tickets to movies geared toward men than women. So Hollywood makes those types of movies. Again, not saying Hollywood isn’t totally sexist, because they are, but it’s not like economics don’t play a role at all. If movies about and for women did Avengers numbers at the box office, we’d get more movies like that.

      • Alita says:

        I think you’re mixing genre and gender here. A movie can be an action flick – which I think you’re calling geared to males – but have a female lead. Obvious example: Alien franchise. There aren’t so many though. A movie about deep emotional growth or relationships (and I am on less personally known territiry here, I like my movies simple and actiony) can have male leads (umm … movies I never saw like …) a beautiful mind, or that one eith the divorcee guy reconnecting with his kids, and a billion others – known ad chick-flicks.

        People like different kinds of movies, but the leads don’t have to be one gender or the other based on the genre. The sexism comes in so clearly in this, because movie execs are (understandably) fearful of making a multimillion dollar mistake. So they play it safe – but when they do step outside and pop a femme lead in a traditionally male action flick, everyone lauds them for modernity, relevance, bravery, etc.

        Tl; dr: Bahh – sexism 🙂

  17. Asdfg says:

    I don’t recall seeing her in many movies… I’ve seen her in “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” but that’s about it. LOL. That movie…. 😀

    She has great (photoshopped) hair. She still goes down on my “People who have fuck*ng amazing hair i’d die to have” list. 🙂

  18. poppy says:

    her skin and body aren’t photoshopped (truly amazing irl).
    the poses though -terrible.