Interview With Sofia Coppola and Stephen Dorff For ‘Somewhere’

Interview With Sofia Coppola and Stephen Dorff For ‘Somewhere’

December 20105183Views

Director and actor share inspiration for film

I recently had the opportunity to interview director Sofia Coppola (Marie Antoinette) and actor Stephen Dorff (Blade) for their new film “Somewhere,” which opens Dec. 22nd. The film is about a Hollywood bad-boy, who has a sobering experience when his 11-year-old daughter, played by Elle Fanning, suddenly comes to live with him. During the roundtable interview at The St. Regis, Coppola and Dorff were casually dressed; Coppola Parisian chic in jeans and a striped tee, while Dorff sported a lumberjack look in jeans, flannel shirt, and t-shirt. Coppola (above) shares what she hopes viewers take away from the film, and Dorff (below) spoke candidly about his personal connection to the film.

It almost felt like a savior, this movie, because I felt like it helped me … I was real empty inside so this was an incredible thing that made me smile. – Stephen Dorff

Mignon Gould: You make the character likable even though he has a lot of issues. Was there a strategy to develop the character?

Mignon Gould: I read somewhere that this role had sentiment for you because you landed it a year to the day of your mom passing. Were you able to draw on that for some of the more emotional scenes?

More from the press tour

Reporter: Obviously you guys are doing these interviews back-to-back. Is that something you can get use to or do you see it as part of the job to do roundtables and press junkets?

Sofia Coppola: Our movie is coming out so I am happy to get the word out, to talk about it, and hopefully get some inetrest.

Stephen Dorff: Yeah, it’s pretty much part of the job. It makes it a lot more exciting to do it when you have a really good movie to talk about (laughs). I’ve had nothing but a kind of genuine feeling from the press for this film, in Venice, Paris, and now America — so far so good.

Reporter: Is there more authenticity or maybe is it even more fun to shoot and set your Reporter: movie in Hollywood and have a movie about actors?

Coppola: For me the movie could be [about] any profession. It’s not so much about him working as an actor. I just set it in that world because it is entertaining and also it’s a world that is familiar to me and I try to write about something I feel like I know enough about. But I feel like the themes are universal that anyone could relate to the journey he is on and the relationship.

Reporter: Did you base Johnny on anyone?

Coppola: Oh, a lot of people (laughs). I’ve met a lot of actors who have lived at the Chateau Marmont and he’s lived there (gestures to Dorff). It was a combination of people I’ve met and stories I’ve heard, kind of all put together.

Reporter: Since the part is really reflective with less dialogue and more watching him [the character]. Do you find that harder than a film with more dialogue?

Dorff: I found this movie to be the most challenging as an actor I’ve ever had. In most movies, things are over-said there’s a lot of words, there are explosions going around … I found that this is the most naked, the most raw. There’s a behavioral part, it’s about finishing a kind of unconscious space where if I acted any bit where it felt like I was acting, I just think it wouldn’t have worked and I think it would have unraveled what Sofia was trying to do.

Reporter: How do your movies reflect your own journey as a director and a person starting from the very beginning until now?

Coppola: I don’t know, I just write about or make films about, the things that are on my mind. I try and be intuitive, analyze why I am interested in something … I feel like I learn something every time and hopefully I grow with each one.

Mignon Gould

Mignon Gould

Mignon Gould is a multimedia publisher and the Agent-in-Chief of She is a style enthusiast, who views fashion as an art form that anyone can master. In our Culture column, she shares her musings on the latest happenings in the world, from diversity in fashion to pop culture controversies. Mignon has also interviewed celebrities and insiders including actress Emma Stone, 70's supermodel Pat Cleveland, and Audrey Hepburn's son, Luca Dotti.

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