Sofia Coppola: biography
Sofia Coppola is the director who followed in the footsteps of her famous father, Francis Ford Coppola. Her first movie proved she had not only the famous name but also the genuine talent.
The woman does not want her movies to be top grossing: she prefers to work on medium or low-budget movies and believes that money is not the criterion of success. At the beginning of her career, Sofia often felt the condescending comments: the daughter of you-know-who. However, 20 years later, nobody dares question her abilities and bravery in movies.
Childhood and youth
Sofia Carmina Coppola is the only daughter of the legendary director Francis Ford Coppola and Eleanor Coppola, a set decorator and Nicolas Cage’s cousin. Besides, the musician and composer Carmine Coppola was her grandfather from the paternal line. Later, Sofia included his works in her movies.
The girl and her brothers, Roman and Gian-Carlo, were brought up in the artistic atmosphere. They often visited movie sets and debuted in cinematography early. Sofia got her first role when she was only a few months old: the father brought her to The Godfather. Later, the two-year-old child appeared in the next part of the movie; at six, she gained a role in Apocalypse Now.
Sofia adored the world of cinematography; she felt proud to have met many stars. The young woman changed her name for the pseudonym “Domino” so that relation to her father would not be so evident. By 16, Sofia was an experienced actress who had appeared in her father’s movies as well as in other directors’ works. However, it was not her only job: Sofia was interested in modeling, tried to design clothes, studied photography, and danced.
The director’s daughter was in the middle of New York fashionable crowds. Coppola Sr. did not prevent the young woman from having many hobbies and hoped she would choose acting one day. However, it did not happen: the career got broken because of the unsuccessful role in The Godfather Part III where she played the main character instead of Winona Ryder who had declined to work on it.
The majority of critics called Sofia’s work a failure. There were many accusations and speculations on Coppola’s name; upset, Sofia decided to quit. In the following years, she was pretty busy: the young woman graduated from the California Institute of the Arts, created her clothesline Milkfed, opened a boutique, tried her in making ads and music videos, and made a short movie Lick the Star about the adventures of a teenage girls’ company.
The movie The Virgin Suicides became Sofia’s first significant experience as a director. In her interviews, she said she was inspired by a novel that told the story of girls from Puritan families who suffered from domestic violence. The contrast between their lives, full of prohibitions, and the liberal attitudes in her own family shocked her; the woman decided to share her thoughts with the broad public.
The father approved of the idea and became the producer of the movie; he also helped his daughter with the cast: Kirsten Dunst, James Woods, and Kathleen Turner. The debut of the director was successful: both critics and the audience appreciated the movie. Thus, Sofia got out of the shadow of her famous father and proved her talent. She realized she wanted to develop in that sphere.
The next project, Lost in Translation, strengthened her positions among the leading modern directors. The Academy Award and three Golden Globe Awards only confirmed that.
After that, Sofia began to present new movies: approximately one work every three years. In Marie Antoinette, the story of the French queen was pictured. The melodrama Somewhere portrayed the relationship of a famous actor and his daughter; the biographical facts of Coppola’s family were used.
In 2013, the movie The Bling Ring about a teenage crime band that robbed Hollywood stars was presented. Sofia is known as the professional who works with unknown actors and often turns them into celebrities: this is how it happened with Scarlett Johansson, Katie Chang, and Elle Fanning.
In 2017, Coppola presented the new interpretation of the 1979 movie The Beguiled. The story of the women which was told by men looked completely different in Sofia’s version. The director did not keep in secret her project was feministic. Coppola won Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and became the second woman who got this prestigious award after the Russian director Yuliya Solntseva who created Chronicle of Flaming Years.
Sofia Coppola has had two marriages. In 1999, Spike Jonze became the woman’s first husband; they spent four years together and divorced. The couple had no children.
After the break-up, Sofia had several short-term affairs including the romance with the actor Keanu Reeves. Later, Coppola met the French musician Thomas Pablo Croquet also known as Thomas Mars in the group Phoenix. In 2006, their daughter Romy was born; three years later, Cosima was born. After that, Sofia and Thomas married officially. The luxurious wedding ceremony took place in Palazzo Margherita hotel, Bernalda, Italy, the home of Sofia’s great-grandfather. Only the closest relatives and friends were present, yet several photos from the celebration leaked to the press.
Sofia’s style is always elegant; she is often called the fashion icon, although she does not like it. The woman is surprised she may inspire someone and does not view herself as a fashion lover.
Coppola is an old friend of the designer Marc Jacobs; she appears in his commercials and shows. In 2017, the director became a Calvin Klein model, and the official Instagram of the brand posted her photos.
In 2018, Metacritic included Sofia Coppola in the list of the directors who had created no failure movie; Quentin Tarantino, Hayao Miyazaki, and Paul W. S. Anderson were also included.
The remake of The Beguiled became the sixth full-time movie in Coppola’s biography. She does not reveal new projects; perhaps, she is having a rest after the tremendous success of the latter movie. The recent news about Sofia pertains to her social visits and family rest. Fans are looking forward to new movies and wonder how Sofia is going to amaze the audience in the nearest future.
As an actress:
- 1972 – The Godfather
- 1974 – The Godfather Part II
- 1983 – The Outsiders
- 1984 – The Cotton Club
- 1986 – Peggy Sue Got Married
- 1987 – Anna
- 1988 – Tucker: The Man and His Dream
- 1989 – New York Stories
- 1990 – The Spirit of '76
As a director
- 1999 – The Virgin Suicides
- 2003 – Lost in Translation
- 2006 – Marie Antoinette
- 2010 – Somewhere
- 2013 – The Bling Ring
- 2017 – La Traviata
- 2017 – The Beguiled