A sprawling family who emigrated to the United States from Italy, the Coppola family tree is best known for the patriarch of the family, the iconic Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola. But Francis Ford isn’t the only lauded member of the sprawling family, and there’s a reason the Coppolas have been described as “Hollywood royalty.”
Francis Ford is the youngest son of Oscar-winning composer Carmine Coppola and lyricist Italia Coppola. His elder brother August Coppola was a professor of literature at San Francisco State until 2009, and his actress sister Talia Shire is best known for her portrayal of love interest Adrian Pennino in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky.
But the prolific creativity of the family doesn’t stop with Francis Ford and his siblings. Their children and grandchildren have continued to carry the creative torch of the Coppola family, and some members of the famous household may surprise you.
Francis Ford Coppola’s only daughter and youngest child with his wife Eleanor Coppola, Sofia is a screenwriter, director, producer, actress and fashion designer who you may remember from her much criticized role as Mary Corleone in The Godfather: Part III. Nowadays her path has led her away from roles on screen to a position behind the camera, and her career has flourished for it.
Sofia was the second woman and first American woman to ever win the Cannes prize for best director, and the first American woman to ever be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for her 2003 movie Lost in Translation, which she wrote, directed, and produced. While she did miss out on the Best Director win that year, she didn’t leave empty handed in the end, instead taking home the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Move over Francis Ford, Sofia’s coming to steal your crown.
When she’s not making movies and winning Oscars, Sofia is raising a family of her own with French musician Thomas Mars, whom she married in 2011. Sofia and Thomas have two children together, Romy Croquet Mars, born November 28, 2006, and Cosima Croquet Mars, born May 2010. While Thomas Mars’s legal surname is Croquet, the girls are known publicly by his stage name, sharing the alias Mars.
Roman Coppola is a screenwriter, director and producer, and the founder of music video production company The Directors Bureau. The youngest son of Francis Ford and Eleanor Coppola, Roman lives up to the family name with a career firmly ensconced in the creative industries.
Roman’s work with indie filmmaker Wes Anderson has been critically acclaimed and, like his sister Sofia, he was also Oscar-nominated as co-writer of Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom in 2013. His newest project at the time of writing is another Anderson collaboration, a stop-motion movie called The Isle of Dogs. The film opened the Berlin Film Festival 2018, and holds the accolade of being the first animated movie to ever have the honor of doing so.
Gian-Carla “Gia” Coppola
Named for her late father, Gian-Carla Coppola is better known as Gia Coppola, and is the eldest grandchild of Francis Ford Coppola. Her father Gian-Carlo was the eldest son of Francis Ford and Eleanor Coppola and began a filmmaking career at a young age, working alongside his father on The Godfather and Gardens of Stone.
We’ll never know what impact Gian-Carlo may have had upon the world of Hollywood filmmaking. Gia’s mother, Jacqui de la Fontaine, was pregnant with Gia at the time of Gian-Carlo’s death.
A third generation filmmaker, Gia has wasted little time following in her father’s footsteps to break into the Hollywood sphere as a director, screenwriter, and actress. She’s friends with actor James Franco, and her feature debut as writer and director was 2013’s Palo Alto, a screenplay adapted from a book of short stories by Franco. Like her uncle Roman Coppola, she’s also expressed an interest in the musical arts, directing two music videos for Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen, “Your Type” and “Cut To The Feeling”.
A familiar face, but not perhaps one you would immediately associate with the Coppolas, Jason Schwartzman is the son of Talia Shire and the late producer Jack Schwartzman. An indie movie darling, Jason works closely with filmmaker Wes Anderson and has appeared in many of his films, including 2007’s The Darjeeling Limited, which was co-written by his uncle Roman Coppola.
A musician himself as the former drummer of LA rock band Phantom Planet, Jason is close with his cousin Sofia’s husband Thomas Mars. Jason is a self confessed fan of Thomas’s band Phoenix, and the two often swap movie recommendations.
Jason Schwartzman has two children with his wife, art and design director Brady Cunningham: Marlowe Rivers, born December 2011, and Una, born October 2014. Little is currently known about the two young girls as their parents do a good job of raising them out of the public eye, so time will tell if they end up following in the Coppola family footsteps.
A talented songwriter, Robert has lent his hand to co-write and collaborate with many famous artists, including The Jonas Brothers, James Blunt, Demi Lovato, Alexz Johnson, Ocean Grove and Miles Fisher. He runs his own indie label, California Dreamin’ Records, which launched in 2009, and collaborates with Coconut Records, his brother Jason Schwartzman’s solo project.