On ‘Girls,’ Gaby Hoffmann as you’ve (probably) never seen her, unless you saw “Crystal Fairy”

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Hoffmann with Michael Cera in 2013's "Crystal Fairy"

Hoffmann with Michael Cera in 2013’s “Crystal Fairy”

If you’re a Girls watcher, Sunday night’s episode featured a performance from actress Gaby Hoffman that probably jumped out at you, for more than one reason.

Hoffmann, in an especially inspired bit of casting, appeared on the show as Caroline, the sister of Adam Driver’s Adam character, who’s apparently just as enigmatic, dramatic and crazy as her brother.

We knew Adam had a sister- in a first season episode, we see him answering the phone, asking “Yo skank, where you at, gettin’ that pussy pounded?,” followed by a beat, followed by “it’s my sister.” But yes, I can picture her looking and acting exactly like Hoffmann.

If Hoffmann’s name sounds familiar, you may remember her run as a child star in the late ’80s. Among other parts, she was Kevin Costner’s daughter in “Field of Dreams”- the one Doc Graham left the field to save- and also appeared in “Uncle Buck,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and  “Now and Then.” She was mostly out of sight for many years before resurfacing in the last couple of years with a series of roles, including as a girlfriend on an episode of Louie in 2012.

Which brings us to “Crystal Fairy.” It was a weird, little-seen 2013 indie movie, also known under the title “Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus and 2012,” about a roadtripping group in Chile looking for the mythical hallucinogenic cactus. It starred Michael Cera- in the other ’13 movie in which he played a drug-addled degenerate- and Hoffmann, who played the role as a troubled, oft-naked, drug-addled free spirit- in other words, a character similar to the one she played on Girls. I didn’t love the movie, which is available streaming on Netflix, but was kind of blown away by Hoffmann’s performance, especially a knockout monologue towards the end.

I’m liking where this Gaby Hoffmann renaissance is going. More, please.

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