Francis Ford Coppola Denies Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior on Set

Legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola has addressed allegations of inappropriate behavior on the set of his latest film, “Megalopolis.” Last month, The Guardian reported that anonymous crew members accused Coppola of making advances toward actresses during production. Coppola recently responded during an interview with Manohla Dargis of The New York Times at the Cannes Film Festival, denying these claims.

 

Coppola emphasized his upbringing and the values instilled by his mother, Italia Coppola. “My mother told me that if you make an advance toward a woman, it means you disrespect her,” he said. He further mentioned that he is not “touchy-feely” and is “too shy” to behave inappropriately. 

 

 

The Guardian’s report included claims that Coppola exhibited “old school” behavior, such as pulling women to sit on his lap and trying to kiss topless extras during a nightclub scene. However, first assistant director Mariela Comitini and executive co-producer Darren Demetre both defended Coppola’s conduct. Comitini praised Coppola’s professionalism and positive environment on set, while Demetre highlighted Coppola’s method of establishing a scene’s atmosphere with kind gestures, noting no complaints of harassment were raised.

 

“As a 1st AD with more than 35 films to my credit, I can say working alongside Francis Ford Coppola was an honor,” Comitini said. “I watched as Francis created a vibrant, professional and positive environment on set, and I wish I could be part of the celebration in Cannes. As one of the industry’s most well-respected master filmmakers, Francis was undaunted by the enormity of this undertaking, and he finished the film on time and on budget.”

 

“There were two days when we shot a celebratory Studio 54-esque club scene where Francis walked around the set to establish the spirit of the scene by giving kind hugs and kisses on the cheek to the cast and background players. It was his way to help inspire and establish the club atmosphere, which was so important to the film,” Demetre added. “I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or ill behavior during the course of the project.”

 

When the director himself was pressed further by the NYT, Coppola added that there was a photo of one of the ‘girls’ he kissed on the cheek that had been taken by her father. “I knew her when she was 9,” he said.

 

Despite these defenses, “Megalopolis” faced other production challenges, including the departure of key visual effects and art team members due to creative differences. Adam Driver, a star of the film, refuted claims of chaos, describing the production as focused and inspirational, and one of his best shooting experiences. Coppola himself denied any production issues, stating that the film remained on schedule and exceeded his expectations. “Megalopolis,” which premiered at Cannes, was self-funded by Coppola with a $125 million budget and currently lacks distribution.

 

*****

Avatar photo

Karina Smitt

I'm not as much of a "CoMiCs NeEd MoAr DiVeRsItY & iNcLuSiOn" advocate as my girlfriend often is, but we both love funny books, crispy bacon, straight bourbon and hip hop. Add yet, we never vote the same, so we cancel each other out... and that works perfectly in my book!

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON