How is Sofia Coppola Related to Francis Coppola and Nicolas Cage?

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Sofia Coppola
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Coming from a family of filmmakers, Sofia Coppola has proven to be a chip off the old block. Though she began her career as a child actress, following her critically panned acting in the 1990 film – The Godfather Part III, Sofia decided to channel all her energy towards filmmaking. She began by making short films, her first being Lick the Star (1998). The following year, she hit it big with her feature-length debut The Virgin Suicides (1999) which was adapted from a Jeffery Eugenides novel of the same name. For her comedy-drama Lost in Translation Sofia Coppola became the first female film director in history to receive an Oscar nomination for the category of Best Director; she then won in the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Below, we explore her relationship with some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Sofia Coppola’s Relationship with Francis Coppola

The Coppola name is one of the most prestigious names in Hollywood and Sofia hails from this family. Veteran and ace filmmaker Francis Coppola is her father. She was born to the filmmaker on the 14th of May 1971 in New York City.

Sofia Coppola is the only daughter of Francis Coppola as well as the last child out his three children, all of whom he shares with his wife Eleanor Coppola (née Neil) who is also a filmmaker renowned for her documentaries. Sofia’s elder brothers are the late Gian-Carlo Coppola and Roman Coppola. Gian-Carlo, who was also a filmmaker, passed away on Memorial Day, 1986 at the age of 22 due to a speedboating accident. At the time of his death, his fiancée, Jacqui de la Fontaine was pregnant and on January 1, 1987, she gave birth to their daughter (Sofia’s niece) named Gian-Carla “Gia” Coppola who has also become a filmmaker.

Sofia Coppola’s other brother Roman Coppola followed in the family’s filmmaking path as well. Some of his notable works include Moonrise Kingdom, for which he received an Oscar nod, as well as the Golden Globe award-winning TV series, Mozart in the Jungle.

Francis Coppola exposed Sofia to the world of film by giving her bit parts in his films, just as he did with her brothers. While an infant, Sofia Coppola appeared no less than 7 films produced by her father, this drew constant criticisms as the family was accused of practicing nepotism.

She appeared in her father’s The Godfather trilogy. In the first film in 1972, she appeared as an infant Michael Francis Rizzi. In The Godfather Part II and Part III, she appeared as a Child on Ship and Mary Corleone respectively. Of all three parts of the film, Sofia Coppola received criticism most for her part as Mary Corleone in the third film. Winona Ryder was initially cast in the part, but after the actress left the film, Francis Coppola replaced her with his daughter Sofia (Francis had also based the character on Sofia).

The situation with the third Godfather film was said to have damaged Francis Coppola’s career as well as Sofia’s, which was only at its budding stages. However, Sofia Coppola, with the success of her 1999 film The Virgin Suicides, crawled out from under her father’s shadows. Francis Coppola had refused to help his daughter secure rights to the novel from which the film is adapted after which Sofia adapted the screenplay on her own.

Sofia Coppola
Sofia (M) with father, Francis (R) and cousin, Nicolas (L): image source

How Is Sofia Coppola Related To Nicolas Cage?

Action film staple, Nicolas Cage is a first cousin to Sofia Coppola. Sofia’s father, Francis Coppola, and Nicolas Cage’s father, August Coppola, are siblings. Francis and August Coppola were the only sons of their parents – Carmine Coppola and Italia Pennino. However, they had a sister named Talia Rose Coppola (now Talia Shire). She is an actress and has three children – Matthew Orlando Shire, Jason Schwartzman, and Robert Schwartzman and together with Nicolas Cage, they are all Sofia Coppola’s first cousins.

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Nicolas Cage’s father, August Coppola, had him with his first of three wives – Joy Vogelsang, a German-American dancer. Together, they had three children Marc, Christopher, and Nicolas. Among them, Nicolas is the most popular; his two older brothers are both radio personalities.

At the age of fifteen, Sofia’s cousin, Nicolas Cage, asked his uncle (Sofia’s father), Francis Coppola, to give him a screen test. In order to avoid criticisms of nepotism, Nicolas changed his surname from Coppola to Cage – a name that was inspired by the Marvel Comics superhero, Luke Cage.

In 2003, when Sofia won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, together with her cousin Nicolas (who had already won an Oscar for Best Actor), they made their family a three-generation Academy Award-winning family as their grandfather Carmine Coppola – a composer had also won an Oscar. The only other family to achieve this feat is the Houston family.