With The Beguiled now playing in limited release and expanding this weekend into more theaters, I recently sat down with writer-director Sofia Coppola for an exclusive video interview. During our wide-ranging conversation she talked about why most of her movies take place in the past, why she wanted to remake the story (it was previously made in 1971 and starred Clint Eastwood), what she learns from test screening, if she had a lot of deleted scenes, the most challenging part of filming The Beguiled in 26 days, the way she likes to work on set, and more. In addition, with Lost in Translation being one of my favorite films, I was curious if she had a lot of extra material from that film on the cutting room floor so we also talked about that.
If you’re not familiar with The Beguiled, the pic is based on the Thomas Cullinan novel of the same name and stars Nicole Kidman as the headmistress of a seminary for young ladies in Civil War-era Virginia. The school’s seclusion is disrupted when a wounded soldier from the Union Army, played by Colin Farrell, arrives and kicks off a yarn of “seduction and jealousy.” The film also stars Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Angourie Rice, and Oona Laurence. For more on The Beguiled read Greg Ellwood’s review.
Check out what Sofia Coppola had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the synopsis and some images.
- Was it tough for her to get financing because the talking drama is tough to get made.
- Why do a lot of her movies take place in the past?
- Is casting Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst as simple as sending them an email telling them where to be and when?
- What was it about The Beguiled that made her want to make it?
- How long was her first cut compared to the finished film?
- What did she learn from test screenings that impacted the finished film?
- Does she have a lot of deleted scenes from her previous films?
- Does she have a lot of Lost in Translation deleted scenes?
- What was the most challenging part of filming The Beguiled in 26 days?
How many takes does she like to do and has it changed during her career?
- Was it a challenge to shoot on film? Did they ever talk about filming with digital cameras?
- Does she have a lot of ideas or scripts hidden somewhere?
Here’s the official synopsis for The Beguiled:
“The Beguiled” is an atmospheric thriller from acclaimed writer/director Sofia Coppola. The story unfolds during the Civil War, at a Southern girls’ boarding school. Its sheltered young women take in an injured enemy soldier. As they provide refuge and tend to his wounds, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, and taboos are broken in an unexpected turn of events.