Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 28 March 2015

Gia Coppola: I'm forging own path

Gia Coppola directs James Franco in new film Palo Alto, based on the book he wrote
Gia Coppola directs James Franco in new film Palo Alto, based on the book he wrote

Gia Coppola has revealed she didn't ask for much help from her filmmaking relatives, because she wants to find her own voice.

The first-time director admitted she tried not to get too much advice from grandfather Francis Ford Coppola or aunt Sofia Coppola as she made her debut at the Venice Film Festival with her film Palo Alto, which screened out of competition. Sofia walked away with the Golden Lion in 2010 for Somewhere.

Gia said: "It was important for me to find my own voice and try to do it on my own."

Palo Alto, based on the book by James Franco, explores the vulnerability of teenagers through the lives of four high school students in Palo Alto, California, where the actor grew up.

James - who waltzed down the red carpet in shaded sunglasses and signed autographs for throngs of screaming female fans - also stars in the big-screen adaptation as a football coach who makes advances on a student, April, played by Emma Roberts. Val Kilmer makes a cameo as April's goofy stepfather.

James, 35, who is also promoting his new film Child Of God, which he directed, revealed he shared some similarities with one of the characters - Teddy, a talented artist who gets mixed up with drugs and winds up in trouble.

"I guess I was a little like that, I was into art, I got into a bit of trouble, and yeah, that's me," said the actor.

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