The movie took a dark look at the adult movie industry, and Graham’s turn Rollergirl – known for filming scenes with her signature skates on – was one of the film’s strongest performances.
Graham starred alongside the likes of Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg and Philip Seymour Hoffman, but her turn as the porn starlet remains a highlight.
She’s gone on to star in Austin Powers and The Hangover, but the porn starlet remains Graham’s most memorable character to date.
Discover 5 facts about the classic character below:
Heather Graham gave her breakthrough performance in the Paul Thomas Anderson movie, but the role very nearly went to someone else. Anderson didn’t initially consider Graham for the part of Rollergirl because she’d never done nude roles before. Her agent convinced him to see her audition, and she was eventually cast.
In fact, Gwyneth Paltrow was actually offered the role of Rollergirl, but decided to turn it down. Paltrow has already starred in Hook, Se7en and Sliding Doors. Despite appearances in Twin Peaks and Swingers, Graham was still a relative newcomer. Her role in Boogie Nights would change all that of course.
Graham filmed naked scenes for the movie, and her character famously sleeps with Mark Wahlberg’s Eddie Adams while watched on by Burt Reynolds’ Jack Horner. The famous scene was actually shot on Heather Graham’s very first day on set. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end…
Graham made the role of high school student turned adult performer Rollergirl her own, but plenty of other stars were considered for the role before her. Drew Barrymore and Tatum O’Neal were all considered, while Laurel Holloman screen tested for the role too.
Rollergirl isn’t the only porn star Graham has starred as over the course of her career. The actress also appeared an adult movie actress in 2002’s The Guru, but it was Rollergirl that really propelled her to stardom in 1997. Twenty years on, it’s still one of Graham’s most notable roles, and the one that had the biggest impact on film fans.