Gia Coppola hails from Hollywood royalty as the granddaughter of Oscar-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, but when she made her directorial debut she sought the help of actor James Franco to tap into teenage angst.
Coppola, 27, adapted Franco’s book Palo Alto, a collection of short stories exploring suburban ennui in his California hometown, into a film starring young talent, led by Emma Roberts and Jack Kilmer, out in US theatres on Friday.
The filmmaker, the daughter of Gian-Carlo Coppola, who died before she was born, and niece of director and writer Sofia Coppola, began working on the film five years ago after graduating from college with a photography degree. She wanted to tackle a subject that she could relate to – the plight of the American teen.
“When I read (Franco’s) book, I just really fell in love with it,” Coppola said. “The dialogue felt real, and I haven’t seen anything like that in a while that really articulated what it’s like to be young today, even though his book took place in the ‘90’s.”