As the relentless whirl of Hollywood’s star-studded carousel goes around, it’s easy to lose track of some of our favorite faces from the silver screen. One such name that might elicit a few nostalgic sighs is Alison Lohman, a one-time leading lady who has remained largely out of the spotlight in recent years.
Remember Lohman? She was the enchanting, doe-eyed actress who gave us some mesmerizing performances in early 2000s hits like ‘White Oleander’ and ‘Matchstick Men,’ captivating audiences with her onscreen grace and delicate portrayal of emotionally complex characters. Lohman’s sudden retreat from the limelight left her fans curious and even a little confused. For those who find themselves missing her distinctive presence in the cinema, you’re certainly not alone.
So what happened to Alison Lohman, the talented ingénue that seemed destined for A-list fame? Now nearing 40 years old, Lohman has acted sporadically over the past decade, taking on minor roles in TV shows like Major Crimes. She’s also focused on raising her two children with husband Mark Neveldine.
In this article, we’ll take a nostalgic look back on Lohman’s career, examine why she stepped back from the spotlight, and see what she’s up to now nearly 15 years after her breakout role put her on the map. Though her star faded faster than many expected, there’s still appreciation for the memorable performances she gave during her prime.
Alison Marion Lohman was born on September 18th, 1979, in Palm Springs, California. She is a former actress and currently spends her time as a mother, filming small cameos and working as an acting instructor.
Alison Lohman is the daughter of Gary Alan Lohman, an architect, and Diane Dunham, a pâtisserie owner. She has a younger brother named Robert. Alison was an excellent high school student but ironically suffered from shyness, resulting in less than stellar grades in drama class. During her senior year, she was an awardee of the Nation Foundation of Advancement in the Arts.
Alison started performing at the local theater when she was 9 years old.
My parents would just drop me off at community theater, and I go do these musicals, and they would go see them really supportive.
I did The Sound of Music and Music Man and Annie and even some operas and just anything I could do.
I was really shy, and it was the way that I could express myself. I didn’t know how to kind of open up unless I was having to be somebody.
Lohman began acting on the stage as early as 9 for Palm Desert’s McCallum Theater. She would do local theater in Southern California and then moved to Los Angeles in 1997 to pursue acting.
Her first significant credit was voicing the character of Nausicaä in the 1984 dub of Studio Ghibli’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. In 1998 she would appear in Kraa! The Sea Monster. She would continue to appear in films and television series through the early 2000s, including a role in the drama series Pasadena from 2001 to 2002. However, her breakout role would be in the film White Oleander in 2002 as Astrid Magnussen.
White Oleander was Peter Kosminky’s adaptation of Janet Fitch’s novel. Wearing a wig due to her short haircut, Lohman did well, acting alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, Renée Zellweger, and Robin Wright. Critics particularly praised Lohman for this role, which is widely considered the start of her brief but effective career.
While White Oleander is one of the films that put Alison Lohman on the map for many critics and film fans, she is not best known for it. She also appeared in major films such as Matchstick Men (2003). She would also appear in Big Fish the same year, as well as Where the Truth Lies (2005), Delirious (2006), Flicka (2006), and most famously, Drag Me to Hell (2009).
Matchstick Men and Drag Me to Hell were particularly major films for Alison Lohman’s career and helped to establish her as a talented young actress.
Matchstick Men, directed by Ridley Scott, was a comedy crime drama about a con artist and his protégé who are set to make the score of their career, only to have the former’s teenage daughter appear. The film starred Nicholas Cage and Sam Rockwell as the con artists, with Alison Lohman as the daughter, playing a teenager in her mid-twenties. The film was nominated for multiple awards and is quite well regarded. Matchstick Men may have been the most important film of her career until Drag Me to Hell.
Drag Me to Hell was Sam Raimi’s 2009 horror film and would also be Alison Lohman’s last major role. It was also the only PG-13 horror film ever directed by Sam Raimi. The film is beloved by horror fans and is a cult classic. The film stars Alison Lohman, Justin Long, and Ruth Livier. Lohman was the lead, Christine Brown. The movie follows Brown, a loan officer, who evicts an older woman who places a curse on her, driving her to madness as supernatural horror encroaches on her. The film was nominated for many awards and won several.
Lohman did her own stunts in the film, and she commented at the time about the intensity of the process of making the film. However, despite the film’s success and the critical appraisal of her performance, Alison Lohman decided to retire from acting.
Why did she quit acting?
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she opened up about her decision to step back from acting and her life outside of the limelight.
Lohman revealed that her departure from Hollywood was primarily due to her desire to start a family and focus on her personal life. She is now a mother of two and lives a quiet life in Los Angeles with her husband, filmmaker Mark Neveldine. She expressed that she doesn’t regret her decision, stating that she loves being a mom and enjoys her life away from the public eye.
What is Alison Lohma doing now?
These days, Alison Lohman occupies most of her time teaching acting. Her services include a one-on-one coaching session. These sessions involve working on monologues, scenes, or consultation and advice. She also encourages actors of all ages, stating it is never too late to follow one’s dream.
Alison said she started the business afterhelping her friends with some monologues for auditions:
And then I thought, oh, my gosh, why don’t I just start volunteering? And so I’m teaching a little bit at some schools and then just volunteering. And then my husband is like, why don’t you just do Skype and make some money? And I’m like, that’s not a bad idea. And I love teaching. I really do. I almost like teaching more than acting.
In the EJ Scott podcast, Alison says she hasn’t completely ruled out acting in the future and says she would consider doing a movie a year, only if the right movie comes along. She also mentions that there a few projects that she is interested in, but they lack funding at the moment.
Lohman also shared that she has been exploring other creative outlets, including painting and writing. She has been working on a book about her experiences in Hollywood, which she hopes will provide insight into the realities of the film industry. While she hasn’t ruled out a return to acting, she emphasized that her priorities have shifted and she is content with her current path.
Alison Lohman married producer Mark Neveldine on August 19th, 2009. They have been together ever since. Mark Neveldine is primarily a producer but has credits directing, acting, and writing. He also has experience in camera and electrical tasks on film sets.
He is best known for high-energy action projects and has produced and directed films such as Crank (2006), Crank: High Voltage (2009), Gamer (2009), and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011). He is also the director of the famous religious horror film The Vatican Tapes, released in 2015.
Since marrying Neveldine, Lohman has made several cameos across his film projects but no starring roles.
Does she have kids?
Alison Lohman has three children. The first of which, Billy Neveldine, was born in almost total secrecy when she was 31 years old in 2010. Since then, she has had two more children. While she will talk about them on social media, the names of her other two children are not widely known.
However, pictures show that Alison Lohman is happy with her family, which matters most. The privacy of her children is an important thing to respect.
Misc Alison Loham Info
Alison mention that she was an avid reader growing up.
My mom would say, Why don’t you go out and go to parties, enjoy yourself. You’re in high school. Come on, put some lipstick on. Go out. And I would be in my room with glasses, reading.
However because of her strabismus (cross-eyes), she can’t read anymore.
I’ve had a couple of surgeries. Okay. So they fixed it. They fixed it. But there’s only so many muscles. You can tighten. Like I’m on my last set of muscles, basically. So when I’m reading and my eyes get tired, I get really bad headaches or if I’m driving long distances. So, like, my one passion in life, I can’t do anymore that’s the headaches are really bad.
Is she on social media?
Alison Lohman can be found on social media. She is an active Twitter user with generally unfiltered takes about current events and acting advice and inspirational quotes. She also posts more family-oriented material on her Instagram account.