Licorice Pizza's director had personal connection to its first-time actors

Alana Haim (left) and Cooper Hoffman star in Licorice Pizza, a coming-of-age romantic comedy set in the 1970s. PHOTO: UIP
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NEW YORK - Licorice Pizza - a coming-of-age romantic comedy set in the 1970s and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson - has received warm reviews despite the fact that its two stars had never acted before.

But Anderson decided to cast pop singer Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman - son of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman - because he already knew them and had a special connection to two of their parents.

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