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Sofia Coppola's 'Bling Ring' rocks Cannes

10:29 AM, May 18, 2013   |    comments
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CANNES -- The premiere of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring was not the only heist story rocking the Cannes Film Festival following it's gala premiere.

At approximately the same time Thursday night thieves allegedly stole Chopard jewels from a hotel safe across town, a story which burned through the festival on Friday.

Even writer-director Coppola had to smile about the coincidence, joking her actors had an alibi.

"They were at a premiere and after party," she smiles. "I was going to say that it was a publicity stunt."

The Bling Ring does not need any true stunts following its Cannes debut (Entertainment Weeklycalled it Coppola's "most provocative film yet") with breakout star Katie Chang playing the ringleader of a group of celeb-obsessed Los Angeles kids. They use the internet to track their favorite celebrities in order to break into their homes -- and then show off the designer loot on Facebook.

Coppola says she was attracted to the story when reading a 2010 Vanity Fair article about the real-life Bling Ring gang which actually targeted the likes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. Coppola immediately saw it as a way to tell a story reflecting internet-age youth issues.

"It had all these fun appealing elements of young kids getting into trouble and this decadent side," says Coppola. "It felt so contemporary. This story can only happen right now with the Internet and all this information and reality TV stars that are so big to (youth)."

For added reality celeb authenticity, Hilton even allowed Coppola to shoot in her out-there Hollywood home -- showing off her personal night club, the stripper pole dance floor and the rooms covered with Paris's image, especially in throw pillows.

"It was like we have to get this into the movie," says Coppola, recalling walking through the house. "It was so unique. It would be hard to recreate that. She is larger than life and her house is like Paris World."

The cast is rounded out with Harry Potter star Emma Watson not only doing some moves on Hilton's stripper pole but also speaking in a specific Los Angeles accent.

"I wanted her to have a California accent. But Emma was really intent on having the exact dialect from Calabasas (the city in the San Fernando Valley)," says Coppola. "This was a big transformation for her."

Coppola, who premiered her first film The Virgin Suicides (which her father Francis Ford Coppola produced) in 1999 is far from the over-publicized celebrities portrayed in the film. She is so private that she doesn't even have a Twitter or Facebook account.

"I don't feel comfortable sharing about my life like that," says Coppola. "It's a whole can of worms I haven't opened. I just don't get it."

She doesn't even get into the designer bling aspect, preferring to wear "small" earrings to her Cannes premiere rather than being decked out in expensive jewels and having to be followed around by a security guard watching over them.

But she can relate why Hilton was emotional at Thursday's gala premiere of the film. Hilton, who makes a non-speaking night club cameo, made her own way out to Cannes to see the final product which features scenes of young thieves rifling through private pictures, joking about her shoe size and stealing her designer bling. They even threaten to kidnap her dog.

"She's such a public person. But the human aspect of someone coming uninvited into your home must be tough," says Coppola. "She was very complimentary about the movie. But at the same time she was very emotional."

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