Sofia Coppola says dad's spirit lives in Bill Murray's On the Rocks character
Coppola tells EW about how a sweet moment over drinks inspired Murray's role in new film.
Fast cars and quick-tongued wit abound in Sofia Coppola's new comedy On the Rocks, and the filmmaker thanks a sweet moment over drinks with her father for inspiring the palpable dad-daughter chemistry at the center of her chattiest film to date.
"I was thinking about conversations with my dad, his friends, and the way they give advice about relationships," Coppola tells EW of writing the characters in the film, including Bill Murray's Felix, a charming cad who helps his daughter, Laura (Rashida Jones), sniff out her husband's secrets by tailing him across memorable NYC locales.
Along the way, Felix spouts advice on how Laura — a writer juggling new motherhood and stifled artistic output — should approach the potential breakdown of her marriage in a series of amusing exchanges Coppola constructed while recalling an outing with her father, director Francis Ford Coppola, who gave her a pep talk on heartbreak.
"I have this really vivid memory from my twenties going out with my dad having martinis. I was caught up on some guy. I thought he liked me, but he disappeared and I was so confused," she remembers. "[My dad] was like, ‘Let me tell you what’s really going on and what he's thinking.'"
She says the elder Coppola shared "gave me another point of view, that a [playboy] can be like air traffic control, and women are the planes that have to be managed," which served as the basis for the clever, back-and-forth sequences of dialogue Felix and Laura often share over stiff drinks themselves.
"Not that he’s a playboy," Coppola clarifies, "but [it was] from a man’s point of view. It's so fascinating for a man to have a grown daughter that’s dealing with relationships and to have these different perspectives."
On the Rocks is now playing in theaters via A24 and Apple Original Films, and debuts Friday on the Apple TV+ subscription streaming service.