Hot Actress: Grace Van Patten
Grace Van Patten's dad will soon be seeing her boobs. "That's what's going on in my mind," she says, staring out at the Manhattan skyline from the rooftop bar of a Brooklyn hotel, pursing her very pursable lips. "Grandma. Cousins. Uncles. They're all gonna see my boobs!"
That's because, a few days after our interview, Noah Baumbach's latest feature, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), will be screened at the New York Film Festival. It's Van Patten's fifth film since the 20-year-old New Yorker graduated from LaGuardia High School (the school that inspired Fame), and the one likely to be her big breakout. Not because of the scenes in which her boobs are on display – framed as college freshman performance art that she shamelessly, charmingly shares with her onscreen family – but because she holds her own opposite Adam Sandler, who plays her dad ("He did remind me a lot of my dad"), and Dustin Hoffman, who plays her grandfather. "We were at a reading, and [Hoffman] walked in, and I said, 'Hey, Grandpa!' " she recalls. "I was like, 'Why did I say that? He's gonna think I'm calling him old!'"
Van Patten's own family might catch Baumbach's eye. Her mom was a model and "biker chick" whose father owned one of the world's largest Harley-Davidson dealerships. Her dad was a director on The Sopranos, where an eight-year-old Van Patten landed her first role ("I had a couple of lines") before defecting to less artistic endeavors: "I was a tomboy, super into sports, in cargo shorts with baggy T-shirts." Van Patten lives with her parents and two younger sisters. Never mind that she is on the brink of ubiquity, she still can't have guys in her room. "My parents don't let boys above the third floor," she says. "But it's fine. I don't have the urge to, like, break free." Or at least not quite like her characters do. She cringe-laughs. "I'm so nervous for my dad to see that." A.M.