After a childhood of performing musical theater in Palm Springs, CA, Alison Lohman turned down a scholarship to N.Y.U. in favor of an acting career in Hollywood. She landed her film debut in the thriller The Thirteenth Floor at the age of 20 and soon was offered a role on the WB family drama Safe Harbor. Along with appearances in a couple of independent film releases, she continued working in television on the Fox prime-time soap opera Pasadena. However, her role as Michelle Pfeiffer's daughter, Astrid, in 2002's White Oleander marked her first big break. After its release, she gained a starring role as the daughter of Nicolas Cage's character in Ridley Scott's 2003 thriller Matchstick Men.
Her youthful glow still serving well to secure her a variety of high profile film roles, Lohman portrayed a younger version of Jessica Lange's character in the sentimental Tim Burton fantasy Big Fish before searching for a mysterious killer and unearthing long-buried family secrets in the Mike White-created television drama series Pasadena. By 2006 it was finally time for Lohman to come into her own on the big screen, a challenge she faced with commendable aplomb in director Michael Mayer's adaptation of the Mary O'Hara novel My Friend Flicka. On the heels of Flicka, Lohman was set to appear in a pair of high-profile releases including Tom DiCillo's Delirious and Robert Zemeckis' Beowolf. In 2009 she married director Mark Neveldine and appeared in the Neveldine/Taylor action/thriller Gamer. That same year also found the promising young actress replacing Ellen Page as the lead in Sam Raimi's supernatural horror-comedy Drag Me to Hell, though curiously she vanished from the spotlight almost immediately thereafter. With no announcements of future projects, some fans began to suspect that Lohman had quietly decided to take a break from acting.