There’s More To ‘The Hangover III’s’ Heather Graham Than Just Sex Appeal

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When you think of blonde bubbly actress Heather Graham, you think of ‘Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me’, ‘Boogie Nights’ or ‘The Hangover’.

She hit the big screen again recently for the third and last installment of ‘The Hangover’ trilogy, but Graham opened up to the press about who she really is vs what you see on screen. I mean, you don’t exactly see her as a permanent fixture on TMZ, or gracing any of the many ‘train wreck’ pages in magazines and on blogs. There’s a good reason for that.

She recently opened up to the Daily Mail in the UK about her career so far and want she wants her fans to really know about her.

She is one of two daughters who grew up with very strict catholic parents. Initially her racy roles in Hollywood were in defiance to her strict upbringing, but then it became more about who Heather was as a person, as opposed to what she thought she had to prove. Growing up in Hollywood can be a tough place, but she has managed to maintain a sense of normalcy despite all the pressures.

“As a kid I thought I just had to obey my father and mother and do what they said. Hardcore Catholics pretty much say if you have sex before marriage you will go to Hell. That is extreme. Acting wasn’t my parents’ first choice of career for me, but they did encourage me to be creative.”

Heather speaks of her sexual roles as a way to break down misconceptions of sex and women. ‘The issue of sexuality fascinates me because our culture sends out mixed messages to women about sex,’ says Heather, explaining why she has often been drawn to playing those racy roles.

“Are women supposed to be sexually alive people, or are we supposed to be “good” mothers who would never do those [sexual] things? To be honest, I think it’s all about the sexual repression of women. Women don’t have the same amount of freedom to express that side of themselves in films or in life.” While she is brave enough to tackle those types of characters on-screen, in real life she describes herself as the nerdy, shy girl who is not wild by any means.

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Despite being part of ‘The Hangover’ cast, she is not a big drinker and doesn’t seek to find satisfaction in liquid courage. “I don’t like hangovers and I rarely drink. For that one fun hour of being buzzed, you feel terrible for the next 12 hours and it’s just not worth it.”

She is a big advocate of being happy and whole. Being in a relationship is not her idea of success or happiness.  “I’d rather be single than in an unhappy relationship. It’s not a conscious choice not to marry, but I think that in lieu of finding that right match, I’m happier on my own.”

As women, having the freedom to be independent and make your own fortune is a blessing, says Graham. “It has only been since the 1960s or 70s, when women starting working more, that we have had more freedom and don’t have to depend on men economically. We can be independent and self-sufficient. As a woman, being able to say, ‘I don’t need to rely on anyone else to have a roof over my head and have food’ is nice.”

Aside from her views on relationships and career, she is a big believer in supporting and empowering women.
“I want to be a positive force in the lives of women. Women are dying in Cambodia because they don’t have 15 dollars to give birth in a hospital. There is a lot of human trafficking there and I work with the Cambodian Children’s Fund, which provides free education, clean water and healthcare for communities. They’re still recovering from the Khmer Rouge genocide and the idea is that we’re creating future leaders who will be able to help themselves.”

Heather is currently involved in writing a film which she describes as a screenplay about female friendships. The film is about how friends wish for each others’ dreams to come true.

“Sometimes a deep bond with friends strengthens you and helps you get the things you want in life because you are supporting each other. My screenplay is also about women finding a healthy attitude towards sexuality and feeling attractive no matter what age they are. I want to make a film that really inspires women.”
Heather Graham, the type of modern day woman who is confident, classy, talented and beautiful in her own unique way. Ladies take note, true satisfaction in life and happiness comes from embracing your journey and setting a great example for others. Be the type of woman you would want to see in the world and look up to.
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