Sofia Carmina Coppola (/ˈkpələ/ KOH-pə-lə; born May 14, 1971)[1] is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and former actress.

She is the daughter of director, producer, and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola, and made her film debut as an infant in her father's acclaimed crime drama film, The Godfather (1972). She later appeared in a supporting role in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) and portrayed Mary Corleone, the daughter of Michael Corleone, in The Godfather: Part III (1990). The latter film earned her much derision and critical backlash, effectively ending her acting career. Coppola then turned her attention to filmmaking.

She made her feature-length debut with the coming-of-age drama The Virgin Suicides (1999), based on the novel of the same name by Jeffery Eugenides. It was the first of her collaborations with actress Kirsten Dunst. In 2003, she received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the comedy-drama Lost in Translation and became the third woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. In 2006, Coppola directed the historical drama Marie Antoinette, starring Dunst as the ill-fated French queen. In 2010, with the drama Somewhere, Coppola became the first American woman (and fourth American filmmaker) to win the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival.[2] In 2013, she directed the satirical crime film The Bling Ring, based on the crime ring of the same name.

At the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, Coppola became the second woman (and the first American woman) in the festival's history to win the Best Director award, for the drama film The Beguiled.[3][4]

Early life

Sofia Coppola was born in New York City, New York, the youngest child and only daughter of set decorator/artist Eleanor Coppola (née Neil) and director Francis Ford Coppola. Her father is of Italian descent.[5] She was raised on her parents' farm in Rutherford, California, a rural area in Napa Valley, and graduated from St. Helena High School in 1989.[6] She later attended Mills College and the California Institute of the Arts.[7] At 15, she interned with Chanel.[8] After dropping out of college, Coppola started a clothing line called Milkfed, which is now sold exclusively in Japan.[9] Among extensive Hollywood family are her aunt Talia Shire, and her first cousins Nicolas Cage and Jason Schwartzman.


Early career

Coppola's acting career, marked by frequent criticisms of nepotism and negative reviews,[10][11] began while she was an infant, as she made background appearances in seven of her father's films. The best known of these is her appearance in The Godfather as the infant Michael Francis Rizzi, in the baptism scene.[12][13] Coppola returned to her father's trilogy in both the second and third Godfather films, playing an immigrant child in The Godfather Part II and Michael Corleone's daughter in The Godfather Part III, after the originally cast actress, Winona Ryder, discontinued her involvement with the film.[14][15] Coppola responded to a question about her role in The Godfather Part III in a 2013 interview:

Let's see. Did I not wanna do it? Um. I was game. I was trying different things. It sounded better than college. I didn't really think about the public aspect of it. That took me by surprise. The whole reaction. People felt very attached to the Godfather films. I grew up with them being no big deal. I mean, I understand they're great films but... I dunno. I'm not surprised. It makes sense that people would have an opinion about it but I got a lot of attention I wasn't expecting. I was going to art school anyway so I was able to get back to what I was doing. It was before the Internet so magazines would come out but then the next month they were gone. There wasn't even as much paparazzi around then.[14]

Coppola also acted in her father's films The Outsiders (1983), in a scene where Matt Dillon, Tommy Howell, and Ralph Macchio are eating at a Dairy Queen; Rumble Fish (1983); The Cotton Club (1984); and as Kathleen Turner's sister Nancy Kelcher in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) [15] whom she would later work with on her feature film directing debut, The Virgin Suicides.[16]

Frankenweenie (1984) was the first film she performed in that was not associated with her father; however, it often goes unnoted due to her stage name "Domino", which she adopted at the time because she thought it was glamorous.[17] The short film, titled Life Without Zoe (1989) and released as part of a tripartite anthology film New York Stories, was co-written by a teenage Coppola with her father, who also directed the film.[18]

After she was critically panned for her performance in The Godfather Part III, for which she was named "Worst Supporting Actress" and "Worst New Star" at the 1990 Golden Raspberry Awards, Coppola ended her acting career, although she appeared in the independent film Inside Monkey Zetterland (1992), as well as in the backgrounds of films by her friends and family: for example, she appeared as Saché in George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999).[14] She has since been quoted as saying that she was not hurt by the criticism from her role in The Godfather Part III, because she never especially wanted an acting career.[19]

Coppola also appears in several music videos from the 1990s: The Black Crowes' "Sometimes Salvation"; Sonic Youth's "Mildred Pierce"; Madonna's "Deeper and Deeper"; The Chemical Brothers' "Elektrobank", which was directed by her future husband Spike Jonze; and later Phoenix's "Funky Squaredance".[14]


Coppola in 2003

Coppola's first short film was Lick the Star (1998). It played many times on the Independent Film Channel. She made her feature film directing debut with The Virgin Suicides (1999); it received critical acclaim upon its premiere in North America at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and was released later that year.

Her second feature was Lost in Translation (2003). Coppola won the Academy Award for her original screenplay and three Golden Globe Awards including Best Picture Musical or Comedy. After Lina Wertmüller and Jane Campion, Coppola became the third female director to be nominated for an Academy Award for Directing and the second to win the Original Screenplay award, after Campion in 1994 (Wertmüller was also nominated), thus establishing a pattern for the female directors to be nominated for both awards. Her win for best original screenplay in 2003 made her a third-generation Oscar winner. In 2004, Coppola was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[20]

Her third film was the biopic Marie Antoinette (2006), adapted from the biography by British historian Antonia Fraser. Kirsten Dunst plays the title character, who marries King Louis XVI, played by Jason Schwartzman, Coppola's cousin. It debuted at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival[21] where, despite boos in the audience, it received a standing ovation.[22] Critics were divided.

Her fourth film was Somewhere (2010), filmed at Chateau Marmont. The plot focuses on a "bad boy" actor (portrayed by Stephen Dorff) who is forced to reevaluate his life when his daughter (played by Elle Fanning) arrives unexpectedly.[23] In November 2010, Coppola was interviewed by Joel Coen, who professed his admiration of her work, at the DGA screening of Somewhere in New York City.[24]

Coppola's next film, The Bling Ring (2013), was based on actual events centered around the Bling Ring, a group of California teenagers who burgled the homes of several celebrities over 2008 and 2009, stealing around $3 million in cash and belongings.[25] Emma Watson,[26] Taissa Farmiga,[27] Leslie Mann, Israel Broussard,[28] Katie Chang, and Claire Julien starred in the film, which opened the Un Certain Regard section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[29]

Coppola in 2013

An announcement in mid-December 2013 stated that American Zoetrope had successfully attained the screen rights for the memoir Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father and that Coppola will adapt the book with Andrew Durham. Coppola will also produce the film with her brother Roman.[30]

In March 2014, it was reported that Coppola was in negotiations to direct a live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid from a script by Caroline Thompson.[31] Coppola wanted to shoot her version underwater, and although she later admitted that such a prospect was unrealistic, test footage was shot.[32] In June 2015, it was announced Coppola had dropped out of the film due to creative differences.[33]

Coppola collaborated again with her Lost in Translation star Bill Murray on A Very Murray Christmas, which starred Murray and was co-written by herself, Murray and Mitch Glazer. The film, an homage to classic Christmas-themed variety shows, was released in December 2015 on Netflix.[34]

Coppola directed The Beguiled (2017), a remake of the 1971 eponymous Western film, starring Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst.[35] The film premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where Coppola became the second woman (and the first American woman) to win the Best Director award.[3][4]


In the mid-1990s, Coppola and her best friend Zoe Cassavetes helmed the short-lived series Comedy Central series Hi Octane, which spotlit performers in underground music. The show was cancelled after four episodes.[36]

In December 2008, Coppola's first commercial premiered during an episode of Gossip Girl. The advertisement she directed for the Christian Dior fragrance Miss Dior Chérie, shot in France with model Maryna Linchuk, was very well received and continues to be popular on YouTube.[37]

In October 2014, Coppola launched a series of Christmas ads for the clothing chain Gap.[38]


At the beginning of the 1990s, Coppola was often featured in girl-oriented magazines like Seventeen and YM. In 1998, she cofounded the clothing line Milk Fed in Japan, with her friend Stephanie Hayman in cooperation with Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon. In 2002, the fashion designer Marc Jacobs chose the actress/director to be the "face" of his house's fragrance. The campaign involved photographs of Coppola shot by photographer Jürgen Teller, in his signature over-exposed style. The July 2013 issue of Elle featured photographs shot by Coppola of Paris Hilton at Hilton's Beverly Hills mansion (which makes a cameo in The Bling Ring).[39]

Stage direction

In May 2016, The New York Times reported that Coppola would be making her debut as an opera director. She is currently directing a production of La Traviata for the Teatro Nazionale in Rome, Italy.[40]


Coppola was nominated for three Academy Awards for her film Lost in Translation (2003), in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. She would go on to win for Best Original Screenplay but lost the other two nominations to Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Her nomination for Best Director made her the first American woman in history to be nominated in that category, and the third woman overall, after Lina Wertmüller and Jane Campion. In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the fourth woman to be nominated, and the first to win the award. Coppola, however, remains the youngest woman to be nominated in the Best Director category.

Coppola's win for Best Original Screenplay (along with her cousin Nicolas Cage's 1996 win for Best Actor) resulted in her family's becoming the second three-generation Oscar-winning family, her grandfather Carmine Coppola and her father Francis Ford Coppola having previously won Oscars. The first family to achieve this feat was the Huston family, for wins by: Walter, John, and Anjelica.

For her work on Lost in Translation, Coppola also won the Best Motion Picture and Best Screenplay Golden Globes, in addition to receiving three BAFTA Award nominations.

On September 11, 2010, Somewhere won the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice International Film Festival.[41] Coppola is the first American woman to win the award.[2]

On May 28, 2017, Coppola was awarded the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival for The Beguiled, making her the second ever woman (and the first American woman) to win the award.[3][4]

Personal life

In 1992, Coppola met director Spike Jonze; they married in 1999 and divorced in 2003. In an official statement, Coppola's publicist explained that the divorce decision was reached "with sadness". It is widely believed that a minor character in Lost in Translation is based on Jonze, as Coppola stated after the film's release, "There are elements of Spike there, elements of experiences."[42][43]

Coppola married musician Thomas Mars on August 27, 2011, at Palazzo Margherita in Bernalda, Italy.[44] They met while producing the soundtrack to The Virgin Suicides.[45] They have two daughters: Romy (born November 28, 2006), whose name is an homage to Coppola's brother Roman,[46][47] and Cosima (born May 2010).

Coppola and her family lived in Paris for several years before moving to New York City in 2010.[48]




Year Title Director Screenwriter Producer Notes
1998 Lick the Star Yes Yes Yes Short film
1999 The Virgin Suicides Yes Yes
2003 Lost in Translation Yes Yes Yes
2006 Marie Antoinette Yes Yes Yes
2010 Somewhere Yes Yes Yes
2013 The Bling Ring Yes Yes Yes
2015 A Very Murray Christmas Yes Yes Yes Netflix holiday special
2017 The Beguiled Yes Yes Yes

Music videos




Year Film Role Director Notes
1972 The Godfather Michael Francis Rizzi (infant) Francis Ford Coppola Uncredited
1974 The Godfather Part II Child on Ship Francis Ford Coppola Uncredited
1983 The Outsiders Little Girl Francis Ford Coppola Credited as Domino
Rumble Fish Donna Francis Ford Coppola Credited as Domino
1984 Frankenweenie Anne Chambers Tim Burton Credited as Domino
The Cotton Club Child in Street Francis Ford Coppola Credited as Domino
1986 Peggy Sue Got Married Nancy Kelcher Francis Ford Coppola
1986 Faerie Tale Theatre: The Princess Who Had Never Laughed Gwendolyn Mark Cullingham Credited as Domino
1987 Anna Noodle Yurek Bogayevicz
1988 Tucker: The Man and His Dream (uncredited) Francis Ford Coppola
1990 The Godfather Part III Mary Corleone Francis Ford Coppola Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
1992 Inside Monkey Zetterland Cindy Jefery Levy
1999 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Saché George Lucas Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
2001 CQ Enzo's Mistress Roman Coppola

Music videos

See also


  1. ^ Some sources give May 12, per "Sofia Coppola Biography (1971-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved March 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Silverstein, Melissa. "Sofia Coppola Wins Top Prize at Venice Film Festival". Women and Hollywood. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c CNN, Sandra Gonzalez. "Sofia Coppola is first woman to win Cannes director prize in 56 years". CNN. Retrieved 2017-05-30. 
  4. ^ a b c Blumberg, Naomi. "Sofia Coppola American director". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2017-05-30. 
  5. ^ "Sofia Coppola Interview". The Talks. 
  6. ^ Coppola, Sofia (June 22, 2017). "Interview with Sofia Coppola". WTF Podcast (Interview). Interview with Marc Maron. 
  7. ^ Menkes, Suzy (October 14, 2008). "Sofia Coppola: Discreet, chic and grown-up". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2009. 
  8. ^ Armstrong, Lisa (June 4, 2008). "Sofia Coppola: I'm more interested in looking than being looked at". The Times. London. Retrieved June 3, 2008. 
  9. ^ Lee, Helen (November 5, 2007). "Did you know Sofia Coppola has a fashion line called MilkFed?". Sassybella.com. Retrieved July 29, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Sofia Coppola from Marie Antoinette – Celebrity Biographies at". Film.com. November 21, 2006. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  11. ^ Patterson, John (January 12, 2008). "If only... we could confine all nepotism to Los Angeles". The Guardian. London. 
  12. ^ Fresh Air. December 20, 2010. Event occurs at 19:25. 
  13. ^ The Godfather. 
  14. ^ a b c d Gilbey, Ryan (July 4, 2013). "Sofia Coppola on The Bling Ring: 'What these kids did really took ingenuity'". The Guardian. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Sofia Coppola Biography". Tribute. Tribute Entertainment Media Group. 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ The Virgin Suicides. IMDb. 
  17. ^ "FFWD Weekly Interview - May 18, 2000". FFWD Weekly. May 18, 2000. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  18. ^ Lim, Dennis (December 10, 2010). "It's What She Knows: The Luxe Life". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Out of the Godfather's shadow". The Independent. April 30, 2000. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  20. ^ Academy Invites 127 to Membership Archived June 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ " Marie Antoinette (2006)". Festival de Cannes. Cannes. Retrieved December 13, 2009. 
  22. ^ "Marie Antoinette - a Quotational Reference Guide". Big Screen Little Screen. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  23. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (April 16, 2009). "Sofia Coppola books Marmont film". Variety. 
  24. ^ Rome, Emily. "Sophia Coppola and a Cohen Brother talk Somewhere at DGA Screening". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Sofia Coppola Reportedly Planning Movie On The Hollywood Hills Burglar Bunch; Tess Taylor Apparently Stars & The Playlist". Indiewire. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Emma Watson To Star In Sofia Coppola's Next Film 'The Bling Ring' & The Playlist". Indiewire. February 29, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  27. ^ "AMERICAN HORROR STORY Star Taissa Farmiga Joins Sofia Coppola's THE BLING RING and JAMESY BOY". Collider.com. March 1, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  28. ^ Kit, Borys (March 6, 2012). "Leslie Mann, Israel Broussard Cast in Sofia Coppola's 'Bling Ring' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  29. ^ "Bling Ring 2013 Un Certain Regard Opening Film". Deadline.com. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Sofia Coppola To Co-Write 'Fairyland' For American Zoetrope". Deadline.com. December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Sofia Coppola to Direct Universal and Working Title's "Little Mermaid"". Variety. March 18, 2014. 
  32. ^ Erbland, Kate. "Sofia Coppola Explains Why She Left Her Ambitious Take on 'The Little Mermaid'". Indiewire. Retrieved 28 June 2017. 
  33. ^ "Sofia Coppola Drops Out Of 'The Little Mermaid'". Deadline.com. June 1, 2015. 
  34. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin. "Watch: First Teaser For Sofia Coppola's 'A Very Murray Christmas' With Bill Murray". Indiewire. Retrieved May 22, 2015. 
  35. ^ Kroll, Justin (2016-07-14). "Colin Farrell In Talks to Star in Sofia Coppola's 'Beguiled' Remake (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2017-05-30. 
  36. ^ "Daddy's girl". ThisIsLondon. 2004. Archived from the original on 2012-09-14. 
  37. ^ Miss Dior Chérie Commercial (Director's Cut). YouTube. 2008. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  38. ^ Nudd, Tim. "Ad of the Day: Sofia Coppola Directs 4 Oddly Charming Holiday Spots for Gap Love, but not understanding". AdWeek. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Forget Versailles: When Sofia Met Paris". Elle. June 13, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Valentino and Sofia Coppola Make an Opera". The New York Times. 19 May 2016. 
  41. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (September 11, 2010). "Coppola's 'Somewhere' wins Golden Lion". Variety. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  42. ^ "Sofia Coppola, Spike Jonze to divorce". USA Today. December 9, 2003. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  43. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (December 6, 2009). "Spike Jonze: Master of the Wild Things". The Guardian. Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  44. ^ "Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola weds Thomas Mars in Italian town of her ancestors". Daily Mail. August 29, 2011. 
  45. ^ "Exclusive! Sofia Coppola Gives Birth!". E! Online. November 28, 2006. Retrieved September 12, 2010. 
  46. ^ Keegan, Rebecca Winters (2006-12-03). "People: Dec. 11, 2006". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 2018-02-11. 
  47. ^ "People: Nicole Kidman, Sofia Coppola, Michael Richards". International Herald Tribune. March 29, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  48. ^ https://nypost.com/2010/12/19/my-new-york-sofia-coppola/#1

Further reading

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Alexander Payne
for About Schmidt
Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay
for Lost in Translation

Succeeded by
Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
for Sideways
Preceded by
Clint Eastwood
for Mystic River
César Award for Best Foreign Film
for Lost in Translation

Succeeded by
Clint Eastwood
for Million Dollar Baby