Literally christened into a filmmaking career, the third child and only daughter of Francis Ford Coppola and Eleanor Coppola was born in Manhattan in the spring of 1971, during the production of her father's masterpiece, The Godfather. When it came time to shoot the baptism scene near the end of the film, the elder Coppola didn't have to look very far for an infant, and the epic became the impromptu actress' first, uncredited role.
Celebrated young director Sofia Coppola began working in the family business at a very young age indeed. However, it would be screenwriting and directing, and not acting, that would most pique her interests. She went on to appear in several other of her father's films (credited as Domino) playing bit parts in the features "Rumble Fish" and "The Outsiders" (both 1983) and "The Cotton Club" (1984). Next, Coppola took a supporting role as the younger sister of Kathleen Turner's title character in the 1986 comedy "Peggy Sue Got Married". The father-daughter team worked together behind the scenes on the "Life Without Zoe" segment of "New York Stories" (1989), with Sofia earning screenplay, costume designer and main title design credits. And though it is still relatively early in her career, Coppola has already stepped out of her father's considerable shadow, creating lauded films that highight a visual style and storytelling sensibility that are unique, ambitious and preternaturally wise.
Sofia Coppola began to broaden her range of behind the scenes work, beginning with the 28-minute short "Bed, Bath and Beyond" (shot on video), which she edited and co-directed along with Ione Skye and Andrew Durham. She subsequently produced, wrote and directed the black and white comedy short "Lick the Star" (1998) which screened at festivals and aired on both Bravo and the Independent Film Channel. After working in both TV production and fashion design, Coppola would then write a script adapting Jeffrey Eugenides' novel "The Virgin Suicides" for the big screen. Though a company called Muse Productions already had the rights to (and a script adapting) the novel, the executives of Muse read Coppola's version and decided to go with her vision. The Virgin Suicides (1999) would open to much acclaim and become one of the year's most successful independent movies. Her sophomore writing and directing effort, 2003's Lost in Translation, met with even greater success. This astute, touching and lovingly shot character study set in Japan garnered her a Best Director Oscar? nomination and Golden Globe wins for Best Picture (Musical or Comedy) and Best Original Screenplay. No doubt, the movie-going public eagerly awaits what Coppola's fresh, distinctive eye captures next.