Seven things we learned from Director Sofia Coppola at a special The Beguiled Q & A in Sydney

Writer and director Sofia Coppola recently became the second woman to win the best director award at Cannes. She won the gong for her latest film, The Beguiled, a gothic story about a group of isolated, Southern girls who take in a wounded solider during the American Civil War. It’s a remake of the 1971 drama/thriller but this time around it is told from the female perspective.

To celebrate the release of the film, Sofia Coppola participated in a live Q & A via satellite in Sydney and we’ve put together the top seven things we learned.

1. Coppola considered Colin Farrell “man” enough to play the lead role because she wanted a masculine actor with a dark side to contrast the delicate, Southern belles. This film is the first time she has worked with Nicole Kidman even though she has been a fan and long-time admirer. Kidman brought emotion and compassion to a role that could have been little more than a “campy” villain.

2. The interior shots for The Beguiled were filmed at Jennifer Coolidge’s house. Talk about bizarre!

3. In unsurprising news, the Coppola family archive features lots of home movies. Coppola made films on super 8 and a version of “Cinderella” still exists. As a girl, Coppola asked her teachers to set film “projects” at school because this was a way to get out of doing actual homework. In one school assignment she made a film about George Washington where the president was made out of play doh.

4. Sofia Coppola named Daddy’s Home one of her favourite films because she can enjoy watching it with her two young daughters. She is also a fan of Mad Max: Fury Road. Coppola said that Jane Campion’s work has also made a lasting impression on her.

5. Coppola’s advice for aspiring directors is to take advantage of technology because this has made it easier to make and try different things out. She said you should focus on making the stories you want to see and share.

6. Coppola doesn’t know how her cinematic style has evolved over time but she counts photography as her first love. She said she developed an eye for an aesthetic and nowadays she considers things like the mood and atmosphere when she works on bringing the story to life.

7. When asked what she has done for revenge Coppola said it was to make art out of life’s experiences. She said she’s written in characters as an act of revenge. This gives a whole new meaning to the Oscar-winning Lost in Translation…

The Beguiled opens in Australian cinemas on July 13.


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