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Graham Follows in the Footsteps of Jenkins in 2017

She is best known for her risqué roles. However, Heather Graham, who has been part of show business since the 1980s, is now set to transition to working behind the camera. Much like Patty Jenkins, best known for her work in Wonder Woman, the actress is now set to produce a female-centred film with her directorial debut Half Magic, which she also wrote and will star in.

Heather Graham at TIFF

Graham said that she wrote the script for Half Magic after a breakup, adding that she wanted to find an outlet to laugh at her past relationships. She describes the film project as a sex comedy, where her character, Honey, and her friends, portrayed by Angela Kinsey and Stephanie Beatriz, make a pact to shake off their self-doubts so they can explore their identities, as well as their sexuality.

In the same way that playing risqué characters is nothing new to Graham, starring in comedies is also second nature to her, having starred in flicks such as Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and two of the Hangover films. She even told the Express that she took on the challenge of playing the furry mascot from Foxy Bingo in a series of video and print ads for the company because she liked the humour behind the project. She said, "They sent me the concept and I thought it was really funny. It's super absurd and I like absurd comedy."

Beyond the catharsis of writing about her own experiences in a funny light, however, is a deeper motivation for pushing this project. In an earlier interview with Esquire, she revealed that her motivation for working on the project stemmed from her desire to present female sexuality to the world. She said she wrote the screenplay because “you don’t see the kind of stories out there that represent you, [so] you have to make them yourself.”

Graham also admitted that the film project is her way of showing how difficult it is for women to break into what is considered as a male-dominated niche. She blasted Hollywood’s male bias when she talked with Daily Beast, pointing out that the industry continues to produce flicks from a man’s perspective. She said, "Hollywood, in general, is run mostly by men, and women’s roles are being told through the perspective of a man. There are some very exciting exceptions, but on the whole, most female parts are from the male point of view. As an audience member, I miss seeing things from the female perspective."

Female sexuality is not the only thing that is largely unexplored by Hollywood. She discussed with the Huffington Post that the film industry continues to provide limited opportunities for women, both behind and in front of the camera. Graham pointed out that women only comprise 7% of the directors in Hollywood, and there are also less leading roles offered to women compared to men.

Graham credits the likes of Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, and Lena Dunham for serving as inspirations for her film project.

Half Magic is slated for release in late 2017.

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