Francis Ford Coppola responds to inappropriate conduct accusations

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Megalopolis director Francis Ford Coppola has denied accusations of inappropriate behaviour on set while making his new movie, stating he’s “not touchy-feely”.

Last month, ahead of the premiere of Megalopolis at Cannes Film Festival, a report was published that alleged Coppola of attempting to kiss female background actors during a sequence that was shot in a nightclub. Furthermore, it was also claimed that he pulled women to sit on his lap.

The film’s executive producer Darren Demetre, told The Guardian: “It was his way to help inspire and establish the club atmosphere, which was so important to the film.”

Demetre continued: “I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or ill behaviour during the course of the project.”

Additionally, it was alleged that Coppola upset crew on the movie because he “smoked marijuana” for significant time in his trailer, which delayed filming.

Now, in a new interview with The New York Times, Coppola has addressed the recent accusations made against him. He began by speaking about his mother, Italia, who he says “looked like Hedy Lamarr” and instilled life lessons in him that the director claims would prevent him from acting inappropriately.

Coppola elaborated: “But 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.”

The filmmaker then said one of the girls he allegedly kissed on the cheek he had known “when she was 9”. He added: “I’m not touchy-feely. I’m too shy.”

Currently, there is still no cinematic release scheduled for Megalopolis, which Coppola had been planning to make for 40 years. He first conceived of Megalopolis while making his celebrated Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now over four decades ago. The project finally came to life when Coppola opted to fund it himself, putting $120 million of his own money into its creation.

Upon its premiere at Cannes, the movie received a mixed reaction from the audience. At first, it was met with boos, but this turned into a seven-minute standing ovation before Coppola addressed those in attendance, stating, “Thank you all so much, it is impossible to find words to tell you how I feel.”

After urging the audience to pledge their allegiance to family and to the earth, Coppola concluded, “The most important word we have is the most beautiful word in any language. Esperanza. Hope. And that’s what I dedicate this to.”

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