Francis Ford Coppola Says He’s ‘Not Touchy-Feely’ in Response to Accusations of Inappropriate Behavior on Megalopolis Set

Francis Ford Coppola, the filmmaker behind The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and more, has briefly addressed a recent report that contained allegations that he acted inappropriately with extras on the set of his upcoming film Megalopolis.

In addition to claims of a chaotic environment that apparently led much of the visual effects and art teams to quit halfway through the shoot, The Guardian report last month said Coppola showed “old school” behavior on the set. Specifically, the report claimed Coppola pulled in some of the women on the set to sit on his lap, and in one instance, “tried to kiss some of the topless and scantily clad female extras.” Coppola, according to the report, claimed he was “trying to get them in the mood.”

“I’m not touchy-feely. I’m too shy.

Coppola, however, denied such allegations in a somewhat roundabout way in a new interview with The New York Times. When asked about the report, the NYT article says Coppola answered in “rambling fashion,” starting by bringing up his mother.

“My mother told me that if you make an advance toward a woman, it means you disrespect her, and the girls I had crushes on, I certainly didn’t disrespect them,” he said.

“I’m not touchy-feely,” Coppola added. “I’m too shy.”

The article goes on to say that when “pressed further,” Coppola said a photo of one of the “girls” he kissed on the cheek was taken by her father, adding, “I knew her when she was 9.”

Previously, Megalopolis executive producer Darren Demetre defended Coppola in a statement when reached by IGN:

“There were two days when we shot a celebratory Studio 54-esque club scene where Francis walked around the set to establish the spirit of the scene by giving kind hugs and kisses on the cheek to the cast and background players,” Demetre said at the time, in part. “It was his way to help inspire and establish the club atmosphere, which was so important to the film. I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or ill behavior during the course of the project.”

Megalopolis debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was met with wildly mixed reviews (although IGN gave it a 9/10). The sci-fi epic, funded by Coppola himself, features a star-studded cast including Adam Driver, Giancarlo Esposito, Nathalie Emmanuel, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, and more. Though we’re still waiting for a release date, it was confirmed at Cannes that there is a global IMAX release planned for some point.

Image credit: Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.


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