Coppola spoke to us about the eternal appeal of young love, his writing process with Anderson and his current project, which stars Charlie Sheen. (And no, Charlie wasn't up early enough to congratulate him.)
You got the Oscar nomination news in your car. Were you in L.A.? No, I was in New York heading to the airport with my family and we got the news. We had a really big cheer. I'm actually in Detroit now for a quick layover and then we're going to head back home to California.
Did you expect this at all? A lot of people have been saying, "Oh, you're going to get nominated," and it's sort of been out there in the ether. [The screenplay had already received nominations from BAFTA, the Independent Spirit Awards and several critics' groups.] I didn't want to jinx anything by expecting it. I didn't want to be disappointed if it didn't happen. There's that weird place where you have to be open to it and be wishful, but at the same time, not have it be something that you expect. I'm not sure where that put me. Somewhere in that zone. I was listening to the radio in the car, so I was curious and not that blase.
This is your first Oscar nomination. Did you think you ever would be nominated? It's so abstract. I didn't really think about how it would feel. Working in the film industry and being around the film industry ... it's such an ultimate accolade. It's not just people in Hollywood: I'm sure everyone in the world thinks, 'What would be it like if I won an Oscar?" So it's hard to compare the reality to the fantasy, but I can say it's really thrilling and I'm particularly proud of the movie. You expect that more people will continue to see it and continue its life. It's just great. I have a new movie coming out and this breeds more curiosity for that. You welcome any opportunity to share your work.
The new film is " A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III," with Charlie Sheen? Yes, it just came out on VOD yesterday and will be in theaters Feb. 8.
Has Charlie congratulated you on your nomination? I haven't heard from him, but it's early still in California, so maybe he's sleeping in.
Who have you heard from already? My cousin Jason [Schwartzman] just sent a note that means a lot to me, because he's part of this film, so that's wonderful to hear. So a lot of friends and colleagues have been sending notes and texts. It's just a great thing.
Why do you think this film resonates more with Oscar voters and other viewers than some of Anderon's other films? [Anderson's screenplay for "The Royal Tenenbaums," co-written with actor Owen Wilson, was nominated in 2002.] I think it's very heartfelt. It's a very sincere movie and it speaks to a time where the characters are young lovers, and so many people can relate to that time in your life where you're discovering what it means to fall in love with someone. There's a lot of general appeal there. Wes is a wonderful filmmaker with such an inventive touch and unique point of view and he told a wonderful story. It just kind of all clicked.
You've worked with him before on "The Darjeeling Limited." How would you describe your working relationship? We have a really good rapport. I think the core of it is that we like hanging out with each other -- we're interested in one another and so these projects have come out of shared experiences and conversations. With "Darjeeling," part of the process of writing was going on adventures together. He and Jason and I all went to India. We'd go to restaurants together and stay out late and invite things to happen that ultimately became the material of the film. We are friends and colleagues in that way, doing things with one another just kind of helps generate ideas for the work. In the case of "Moonrise Kingdom," we would just have these sessions to talk and recall these experiences that we had and start to riff and daydream about what could happen.
How much is based on your own experiences? People have asked that. What happened in the movie isn't what happened to us, but it's what we wish had happened to us. You fall in love with a girl and you run away together and camp out. These are fantasies.
Is there another category you would have liked to see the film nominated in? Best Picture and Best Director would have been nice. Obviously Wes's direction of the movie is so much of what makes it wonderful. Those are things that are beyond our control, so we just invite whatever comes our way.