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Sofia Coppola on Growing Up in a 'Show Business Family': 'People Look at You in a Different Way'

The director said she found Priscilla Presley's life experience relatable while reading her memoir 'Elvis and Me,' the basis for her new film 'Priscilla'

Sofia Coppola knew she found a story she could relate to when she first read Priscilla Presley's memoir.

As the director, 52, and Priscilla, 78, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the new film Priscilla, based on the 1985 book Elvis and Me, Sofia said she was "struck by how much I connected with it emotionally."

"I thought it was just going to be a fun adventure, and I was surprised by how relatable her story was," said Sofia, who is the daughter of The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola.

“I know from my family what it’s like to be inside a show business family,” added Sofia, who is also cousins with actors Jason Schwartzman and Nicolas Cage.

“I know that growing up, people are looking at you in a different way. And also living in a house with my dad, this big personality, a great artist and a lot of our life revolving around that. And seeing my mom’s life, how she was trying to find her way within his, I could relate to that."

<p>Jeff Vespa Archive/WireImage</p> Nicolas Cage, Sofia Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola

Jeff Vespa Archive/WireImage

Nicolas Cage, Sofia Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola

Related: A Guide to Hollywood's Famous Acting Families, from the Hemsworths to the Hudsons

Priscilla stars Cailee Spaeny in its title role, while Euphoria actor Jacob Elordi portray Elvis himself.

Sofia, whose last movie was 2020's On the Rocks, told THR she reached out to Priscilla about making the film in early 2021 after contemplating on the memoir.

“Her story was so vivid in my mind and the visuals of that world, Memphis, the ’60s. It’s so American,” she said. “And I always like themes about finding one’s identity and teenage girls growing into adulthood.”

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Priscilla told THR she has followed Sofia's work since her Oscar-winning 2003 film Lost in Translation. “I just got who she was and I felt that she could get me,” she said. “I thought, we have different stories but she could understand this better than any writer because she kind of lived it in her own way.” 

<p>Melodie McDaniel</p> Priscilla Presley and Sofia Coppola on the cover of <em>The Hollywood Reporter</em>

Melodie McDaniel

Priscilla Presley and Sofia Coppola on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter

Related: Sofia Coppola Comments on Daughter's Viral TikTok About Being Grounded: 'Not What I Would've Hoped For'

Sofia acted in a number of her father's movies growing up, most notably appearing in 1990's The Godfather Part III as Michael Corleone's (Al Pacino) daughter Mary. She ultimately transitioned into a career behind the camera beginning with 1999's The Virgin Suicides. She once told Interview magazine back in 2000 that she "never really wanted to be an actress."

“I just did it when my dad asked me to," she said at the time.

Sofia will receive the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures' Visionary Award, recognizing an "artist or scholar whose innovations have advanced the art of cinema" at its third annual Academy Museum Gala in October.

Priscilla is in theaters Oct. 27.

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