An oral history of 'Boogie Nights'

boogie-nights-grafic-grantland.jpgGrantland goes long form with an aggregation of comments and thoughts about Paul Thomas Anderson's 1997 film, "Boogie Nights." The premise is that Anderson's first big feature has risen from a story about the San Fernando Valley porn culture to be essentially a Hollywood classic filled with actors who became big stars and solid character players. The words are spoken by more than a dozen figures who were involved in the film, including Anderson, cast members such as Mark Wahlberg and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and studio execs such as Bob Shaye and Michael De Luca. Notably missing are key cast members such as Julianne Moore and Heather Graham. The story notes that some of the actresses considered for Graham's role as Roller Girl included Tatum O'Neal and Drew Barrymore.

Nearly 20 years later, Boogie Nights endures. For its beautiful portrait of nontraditional families; for Reynolds and Wahlberg, the surrogate father and son, who were never better; for Philip Seymour Hoffman, squeezing into character and breaking hearts; for its prodigy director sticking to his guns and nailing it; for John C. Reilly’s hot-tub poetry; for Roller Girl.

Anderson: "I saw the Valley the way David Lean saw the desert in 'Lawrence of Arabia'."

The whole thing | Grantland graphic

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