Sofia Coppola’s twisty thriller The Beguiled is filled with plenty of the director’s frequent collaborators, including Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning. But star Colin Farrell is making his Coppola debut as a wounded Civil War soldier recovering at a Southern women’s school.
EW caught up with Farrell when The Beguiled premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to talk about working with Coppola and why he was drawn to her remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood classic.
“When I knew Sofia had a script that she was going to direct and it was being sent my way to read, I was just excited at the prospect of working with her,” Farrell told EW. “I had met her through the years a couple of times and really liked her as a person and also really loved her work. I had seen the film, the original, years ago, and I was very affected by it. I knew that this would be a very different telling, a very different take both aesthetically and, as far as the tone of the film goes, the feel and the sensibility of it.”
Farrell added that it was Coppola who made the set feel so collaborative and friendly — even though the film’s dark plot is filled with revenge and jealousy.
“The director always really establishes the mood on the set, and it filters down to the crew, of course,” Farrell said. “And Sofia just created this really easy, laidback environment on the set that was such a counterpoint to what was going on in front of the camera. In between takes, it was screaming and roaring and then we’d go outside and we’d have coffee. There was a picnic table out the back of the house, and everyone would sit around that.”
The Beguiled opens Friday in limited release.