“That’s the way I work:
I try to imagine what I would like to see.”
Sofia Carmina Coppola (1971-present) was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, as youngest child and only daughter of set decorator and artist, Eleanor Coppola, and director and winemaker, Francis Ford Coppola. Sofia is also the granddaughter of the composer Carmine Coppola, sister of Roman Coppola and Gian-Carlo Coppola, niece of August Coppola and Talia Shire, and a cousin of Nicolas Cage, Jason Schwartzman and Robert Carmine.
Sofia made her film debut in 1972 playing a baby boy, Michael Francis Rizzi, in her father’s film The Godfather. In 1974, at two years of age, she made an appearance in The Godfather Part II as a child on a steamship. Sofia appeared in four more of her father’s films, including The Outsiders and Rumble Fish in 1983, The Cotton Club in 1984, and Peggy Sue Got Married in 1986. Tim Burton cast Sofia in a small role in a short he directed and director Yurek Bogayevicz cast her in a small part in the feature film Anna in 1987. Sofia replaced Winona Ryder in The Godfather Part III in 1990. Ms. Coppola made one more film appearance in 1992’s Inside Monkey Zetterland, before realizing that rather than acting, she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and direct. She enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts to study Fine Arts.
At the beginning of the 1990s, she was often featured in girl-oriented magazines like Seventeen and YM. In 1998, she cofounded the clothing line Milk Fed in Japan with friend Stephanie Hayman in cooperation with Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. In the mid-1990s, she and best friend Zoe Cassavetes helmed the short-lived series Hi Octane on Comedy Central which spotlit performers in underground music. Frequent guests included Donovan Leitch, Mike Watt, Thurston Moore, Beck, and model-actress Jenny Shimizu.
Her first film was a short that she wrote and directed in 1998, called Lick the Star. She made her feature film directing debut in 1999 with her own screenplay, The Virgin Suicides, starring Hayden Christensen, Josh Hartnett and Kirsten Dunst. Directing seemed to be the right choice for Sofia and she won a Young Hollywood Award for Best Director, and an MTV Movie Award for Best New Filmmaker.
Sofia married fellow director Spike Jonze in 1999 after a ten-year friendship. In 2002, fashion designer Marc Jacobs hand-picked the actress/director to be the face of his house’s fragrance. The campaign involved photographs of her shot by photographer Juergen Teller in his signature grainy style.
Sofia then wrote, produced and directed her next feature film, Lost in Translation, a romantic comedy starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in 2003. Ms. Coppola won a Golden Globe for her screenplay, as well the Lina Mangiacapre Award at the Venice Film Festival. She also received Best Director and Best Original Screenplay nods at the 2004 Academy Awards and won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar.
Once Ms. Coppola and Mr. Jonze divorced in 2003, she went on to write and direct Marie Antoinette, starring Kirsten Dunst. Marie Antoinette won the Cinema Prize of the French National Education System at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006. In December 2008, Ms. Coppola’s first commercial premiered during an episode of the hit television show, Gossip Girl. The advertisement which she directed for the Christian Dior fragrance Miss Dior Chérie which was shot in France with model Maryna Linchuk was very well received.
Coppola lives in Paris and describes her love for the city and her favorite places there, “The Palais-Royal, the Tuileries Garden, the Musee D’Orsay. You can tell I love the city, right? It’s a filmmaker’s dream there; the colors are beautiful!” There, in Paris, on Tuesday, November 28, 2006, Coppola gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Romy, who is named in honor of her brother Roman who died when Sofia was 14. Romy’s father is Thomas Mars, the lead singer of the French rock band Phoenix. Ms. Coppola first met Mr. Mars while producing the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides. They have since collaborated on Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette and her fourth film Somewhere. Sofia and Thomas’ second daughter named Cosima was born in New York City on May 18, 2010. Sofia and Thomas were married on August 27, 2011 at a wedding at her family’s villa in Bernalda, Italy.
“I’m always a sucker for a love story.”
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