Topics covered include: seeing your first movie at the neighborhood theater, the pressures of live performance, the animal that is the audience, parallels between directing and motherhood, abandoning the miracle, autobiographical filmmaking, feeling like broccoli, the Pacific Ocean as the villain in Past Lives, Harry Styles fan-fiction, writing on planes, revisiting The Artist’s Way, avoiding the sophomore slump, Francis Ford Coppola’s directing advice, a shared love of Barry Lyndon and Miyazaki, taking the audience to Mars, and what genre they would like to explore next (sci-fi, westerns, horror!)

Episode Transcript

Celine Song: We should do the intro. Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Hi. I'm Sofia Coppola and this is...

Celine Song: Celine Song. This is the A24 podcast.

Sofia Coppola: Well, I'm happy to see you and talk about movies.

Celine Song: I'm so happy to see you.

Sofia Coppola: Do you feel like enough time has passed after your movie that you can think about it or are you still tired of talking about it?

Celine Song: It's been a whole year.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: It's been whole year.

Sofia Coppola: When did it come out?

Celine Song: Came on Sundance. Sundance was world premier last year.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, my gosh. Years ago.

Celine Song: Oh, yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, really?

Celine Song: I went back.

Sofia Coppola: One year ago, or two years ago?

Celine Song: One year ago.

Sofia Coppola: Really?

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, my God. I remember seeing Past Lives at the Angelika when it was there. It was like the first time I'd been in a theater with an audience and I just loved it. The room was packed and people were so into it. It just made me excited about movies, the kind of movies that I love. It was so personal. It's always when something that's touching, but not embarrassing. It's done just with restraint and taste. Yeah. I loved it.

But I'm just curious, I know you were a playwright before, and this is your first film. Did you make short films before or is this the first time you ever did something with the camera?

Celine Song: It's the first time. Well, I think that I was in theater for 10 years. I remember transitioning into film. Then I was thinking about this before, which is that when we first met, we met at the Chanel event. I remember sitting there and looking over at you and being like, "Oh, my God. Sofia Coppola is here. Oh, Sofia is here."

Then of course you came up and then you told me that you saw it at the Angelika. To me, I'm like that's just feels so special because, of course, the New York film.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. To be in New York and go in my neighborhood and see it.

Celine Song: Oh, yeah. Walk over to the movie theater. That was one of my favorite parts of moving to New York, that you can just walk over to your neighborhood movie theater and be like, "I hope the movie I want to see is there."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Were you excited that your movie was at the Angelika? Did you go there?

Celine Song: Yeah. Of course.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: I feel like that was such a wild thing. I feel like being in theater, so much of your life is about ... theater is local.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: Right? In such a deep way.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: Have you wanted to work in theater?

Sofia Coppola: I did once. I directed an opera in Rome. At the Rome Opera House, I did La Traviata.

Celine Song: Oh, my God.

Sofia Coppola: It was really the scariest thing I've ever done and just rely so much on my cinematographer that not having the camera to tell the story was really interesting. But then it realized it wasn't that different. You're still telling a story with actors and just using lighting and staging. It was so exciting. Because I remember that she has to walk down this big staircase and thought, "What if she falls?" That live thing is so ... yeah, it was such an exciting different experience.

Celine Song: But I love that about film where I'm just like, you're never going to miss the lighting cue. You're never going to miss the sound cue. Because that's a natural part of live performance. It's like your stage manager is always having to do that accurately every night. They're there every night, hitting the ...

Sofia Coppola: I never thought about that. For you, you can really get it exactly how you imagine and not worry about something being off.

Celine Song: A movie. Anytime you play it's going to be the same. But in theater, it might be a little sooner, a little bit later than you might want it.

Sofia Coppola: Right. And does each performance feel different to you?

Celine Song: Of course. Well, the audience is different and actors are ... they're people. In fact, they are people.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I find it really mysterious because it's not that familiar to me. But I thought it was exciting. But it's totally foreign.

Celine Song: Well, because the actors respond to the animal that is the audience. You're seeing the actors changed their performance.

Sofia Coppola: Interesting.

Celine Song: We get to see that, I feel like in film in front of the camera.

Sofia Coppola: Right. Right. But the audience doesn't choose it.

Celine Song: Of course. I'm sure that's what was happening to you, because that's what's happening to me where if I look happy, the actors, I'm their audience, the actor will ...

Sofia Coppola: Play for you.

Celine Song: Play for you. Yeah. Right. Then if I look worried, they're like ...

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. That's so interesting that you probably have ... That's so smart that as you're directing that you know that you're the audience, because you've had that experience in the theater. But that's totally ... I didn't think of it as that you're being their audience live. But it makes sense. They totally are looking for your reaction and shapes it.

Celine Song: You're the chief audience. The director is the chief audience. But of course, the whole crew, our cinematographers, they're also the audience, too. Also, the director sets the tone.

Sofia Coppola: Definitely.

Celine Song: There's a bit of performance that I felt like I had to do.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. That's interesting. No. I do feel like that everyone's looking, too. I think of it as motherhood because it's the same kind of role where they're looking at you. Is it okay? It's the same thing I feel like with kids or something. I feel like, yeah, and definitely setting the tone, I think that makes a huge difference.

I know people have said, "Oh, your sets are calm." I realize I don't spend time on other people's sets that much, but I definitely have a rule about no yelling or I never want an AD that's a screamer. That's so unnecessary. I do think that the atmosphere is important. I bet from your movie that it was ... because of your demeanor, that it was calm.

Celine Song: I think yelling everything. But I feel like more importantly, it's like it just can't ever turn personal, because we're all there to do work. I think to me, I'm like that when you talk about motherhood, I felt that way so much.

Sofia Coppola: You want to take care of your people.

Celine Song: Yeah. Because I'm not a mother. It really, I think, that directing a movie made me realize that I could do it. I could be a mom. There was a real revelation for me because before I made Past Lives, I was like, "Can I be a mom? Is that something that I can do?" Then once I made it, I'm just like, "I can do it."

Sofia Coppola: You can do anything after that. You're taking care of people and everyone's looking to you at the same time can falls down, they look at you and then you have to be like, "Yeah. You're fine." Yeah. It's a similar thing.

Celine Song: Yeah. You were so right. I think you're just holding it down, and even when you're scared.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. You have to.

Celine Song: You can't let the kids know.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. You're all set.

Celine Song: You can let your partner know. Because sometimes I feel like ... sometimes the partner's different.

Sofia Coppola: Definitely. Yeah.

Celine Song: Usually, I feel like my producer is usually they're the partners that I can go to them and say, "I'm scared."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. No. I love having ... I have a producer that I work with all the time, and I feel like I could fall apart - I don't have to be strong with him. But I remember I was having a hard time right before I was about to start shooting on Priscilla, we had to cut a bunch of the script down the week before. My kids were calling from ... I was in Toronto. My kids were in New York. They needed me.

I looked at my DP and he's really sensitive. I look like I was about to fall apart. I was like, "I need to be strong." He's like, "You don't have to be strong all the time." It was so sweet. But having those relationships with your crew that you really trust and that you can have doubts and be vulnerable, I felt like is so ...

Celine Song: Totally. I feel like you can always ask for help from them. There was a moment where I was like ... everything had gone very badly for that day, and we didn't know if we're going to get what we needed. For all the technical reasons. Basically, we were trying to catch this one sunset. We had a whole plan about catching the sunset. That day, because it was cloudy, there was no sun. We scouted that location 10 times.

Sofia Coppola: For that sunset.

Celine Song: For that sunset. We had prepped it for the sunset, and there was no sun to set.

Sofia Coppola: What did you do?

Celine Song: Well, it was funny. There was a part of it, because we had invested so much into that sunset that we were all like, I don't know, you don't want to give up on it. In a funny way, I think that me and my DP and our whole crew, we were acting like a miracle was going to happen. But of course, miracle didn't happen. Then there was a moment where I had to be like, "Well, the miracle is not coming. We're going to have to go and ask our actors to bail us out." That's what happened.

I asked my actors, Teo and Greta, who were waiting to go. I went to them and I was like, "There's no sunset. We have time for maybe three takes. You're going to have to bail us out."

Sofia Coppola: Meaning that they're going to have to make the magical moment?

Celine Song: They're going to have to ...

Sofia Coppola: You shot it without a sunset.

Celine Song: We shot it without the sunset. But it's the scene in front of the carousel where it's just like a one ... you just one position for the camera. Then we just do the whole scene there. We just roll on that three times.

Sofia Coppola: Until you lose the light?

Celine Song: Until you lose the light. But of course, when I was in the edit, I was like, "Oh."

Sofia Coppola: You forgot about ...

Celine Song: The sunset was going to be too much.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, see. It works out the way ... I hope always works out the way it's supposed to.

Celine Song: Sometimes I'm like, "Well, there's a movie god, and sometimes a movie god is blessing you."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. But I feel like an experience it always works out the way it's supposed to. Sometimes if an actor ends up falling out, you can't get them. You have to get someone else. Then you're always like, "Oh, I'm so glad it was them. They're so much better than that." I felt like there is. Yeah.

Celine Song: Well, the right person is the right person always.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. Things like that. It would've been too much. I felt like it. Well, you just have to make what you can with what you have. But I think usually it works out the way it's meant to be something.

Celine Song: Exactly. I mean, it is a delusion? But I don't think.

Sofia Coppola: No. I don't think so.

Celine Song: Sometimes it's objectively better.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's the excitement of it, because you lose a location or the weather or something and you have to figure it out, and then you come up with something that you might not have thought of.

Celine Song: I mean, I feel like what I always think about with your films is the, of course, casting is everything, but I feel like the way that your voice is also seen through casting. I always think about that so much.

Sofia Coppola: I loved your cast.

Celine Song: Yeah. I loved your cast, too. I feel like your cast, you can tell what your director's voice is actually seen very much through casting. I feel like I was always so curious about the way that you cast. Like, "What was your process of thinking about Jacob and Cailee?"

Sofia Coppola: Thank you. Yeah. I loved your cast. I think, I guess it's a reflection of your taste or how you see a woman and what qualities.

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: I never thought about that. The personality of the person does come through.

Celine Song: Of course.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I usually just think I meet people that you connect with, you think that they have the same sense of humor, or they seem smart, or it's a taste thing of how they would ... then you trust them of how they would approach things. I feel like when I first worked with Kirsten Dunst, I felt like, it was my first film. Just having that being on the same wavelength helped me so much, because she got what I was talking about without having to explain so much. Then as we worked together over the years, that's something that I love, having that rapport.

But you think it's just you're drawn to certain people and talking to them, they get what you're talking about. They have to convey what you have in your mind.

Celine Song: Totally. It's like if they get it, they get it, right?

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: I do think it's about a tasting, too. Sometimes, I can't explain why that's the right person, even though if you were to break it down objectively, maybe the person that I don't think is right, and the person that I do think are right, most people can't tell the difference, but I know.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I feel like whoever you're just excited about, that's when I can't tell. I'm just like, "Who would I be excited to see in that part?"

Celine Song: Totally.

Sofia Coppola: But that's a big part, what I'm writing that motivates me. The part I love is getting the actors there and seeing them play it out. Do you imagine sometimes actors when you were writing that or ...

Celine Song: I have real trouble doing that.

Sofia Coppola: Well, this story seems so personal. Were you just putting yourself into it? How autobiographical was it?

Celine Song: Well, I feel like I would say it was inspired by an autobiographical moment, because it's like the opening scene of sitting between the child sweetheart who come to visit and your husband.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, I love that opening. Yeah.

Celine Song: That was happening.

Sofia Coppola: What's going on? Did that happen to you?

Celine Song: That happened to me. I was sitting there with my child sweetheart, who was now a friend and had come to visit me from Korea. It wasn't like that kind of a thing. But we did speak a separate language than the one I have with my husband who I live with in New York City.

Sofia Coppola: He doesn't speak English?

Celine Song: Yeah. He doesn't speak English. My husband tries. But doesn't really speak Korean. I think that really translating between these two people and realizing both of them know a part of me that the other person doesn't know, but they're trying. What a beautiful thing that they're trying to know what the other person knows.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. The different sides of yourself?

Celine Song: Different sides of myself. But also, I felt like, "Well, I'm only whole. I could only be known wholly if both of them are here. I can only be known by them collectively if they both are trying to communicate what they know about me."

Sofia Coppola: Right. You're the only one that ...

Celine Song: I'm the only one also. So I had to be loved in this way, and that's the only way I could be loved and full, and how good they were to each other, and how much they wanted to be decent to each other.

Sofia Coppola: That's so sweet.

Celine Song: That was such a moving thing. I think that moment was the inspiration for the whole thing.

Sofia Coppola: That's so interesting.

Celine Song: Yeah. I feel like when it comes to autobiographical things, some of it is about like, "Well, what does the character want?" Sometimes it's like, "Well, this part of autobiography is really interesting for the character." Some of it I'm just like, "It's not that interesting." I think it's just a puzzle for that. That's one. But I would feel like in general in my life, I don't think I've ever been able to write for a specific actor.

Sofia Coppola: Because you're thinking about moments.

Celine Song: Because it's a character.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Or yourself.

Celine Song: Because you're trying to create characters that exist for the film alone.

Sofia Coppola: Right. Right.

Celine Song: I wish that I was a little bit more like if I get blah, blah, blah for this role, it'd be perfect. Also, I want to see new sides of actors, too.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Definitely.

Celine Song: You know what I mean?

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I think that's exciting when you see someone, you're like you know that they could do something that they haven't shown before.

Celine Song: I love that.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. That's super exciting.

Celine Song: Because it's like I want to always be able to say that to the actor that I'm working with every day to be like, "We're going to do something new today." Otherwise, I think they feel like tools or objects for the thing.

Sofia Coppola: You want it to be exciting and a challenge for everyone.

Celine Song: Yeah. You want it to feel like it's a relationship we're having.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. That you're finding it together.?

Celine Song: Exactly. Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Did you ever explore that in a play before you decided to make it as a film?

Celine Song: No. No.

Sofia Coppola: Or you were thinking about a film and that story could fit as a film instead of a play?

Celine Song: Well, I think I actually felt like the film was the only way that this particular story could work, because it spans decades and continents. It kind of is like you kind need to feel the location and the ... My joke is usually that it's the villain of the story is 24 years in Pacific Ocean. That's the reason why they're not together. It's not because of anything else. It's because of the way that our lives work out.

Sofia Coppola: Changed. Yeah.

Celine Song: Yeah. Of course. I assume that when you're working on Priscilla, part of it is that you fell in love with the book of it, right?

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. Just in her book, I was surprised with that ... there were parts that were relatable and just the human aspect that any girl had gone to these different moments, and then to hear what she went through. It was just surprising. Just that the complexity of their relationship. I think, I don't know, I guess it related to that we all go through, or when you're younger, you can be in relationships where you think it's your whole life.

Then of course, it just becomes a moment in your life that shapes you and just how much you'll learn and put up with in a relationship. Yeah. Just what she went through, I thought it was relatable to that experience of being young and crushes.

Celine Song: Of course. But also, the wanting to be in a relationship with Justin Bieber.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: Right.

Sofia Coppola: Exactly.

Celine Song: Because that's who Elvis was. Because Elvis was just the biggest possible star. It's how teenage girls want to be in a relationship with Timothee Chalamet.

Sofia Coppola: If they could.

Celine Song: There's a lot of fan fiction about that.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Or about Harry Styles.

Celine Song: Like Harry Styles. There's a really famous one, I think. But I don't totally get it. Because I think it's like he locks you up. I want to say. Which I think is ... I was thinking about it.

Sofia Coppola: I never understood those 50 Shades of Gray. Did you ever read Nine and a Half Weeks, the book?

Celine Song: No. I haven't read 50 Shades of Gray either.

Sofia Coppola: No. I haven't either. I mean, I think I tried to. They sent it to me when they were making it. I was like, "No way." I don’t want to insult anyone but just it's so funny.

Celine Song: I mean, I think it's just that thing where it's funny, the desire to be dominated by the person that you adore.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I don't get that as an adult. But I can see it as a teenager that it's like ...

Celine Song: I think so.

Sofia Coppola: ... there's so much mystery.

Celine Song: I wonder if it's also a part of being such a ... Because something that really struck me about your movie, Priscilla, is such a good girl.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. But I feel she has a rebellious side.

Celine Song: Well, that's what I mean. Well, I was a pretty good girl when I was little. I think that part of it is when you're a good girl, but you want all these ... but you're so burning for something. A part of it's that you just have bad desires. Because at school, I'm like, I do my homework. I show up.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Me too. I'm not that rebellious.

Celine Song: Were you like this as well? But then I feel like because of that ...

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. You want to have another side.

Celine Song: You want to have another side. What an amazing thing that your other side is, for Priscilla, it's being in a secret relationship with Elvis.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. To me, it's like the ultimate of all the desires of that age.

Celine Song: Yeah. That you don't want to be ... You've been in so much trouble. You know what I mean? What a special feeling. But then you're in so much trouble, but you're so in love, and he's the most powerful person ever.

Sofia Coppola: It's so crazy. But I think it's super romantic in the eye ...

Celine Song: Oh, yeah. But it's not what it seems, too.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. No. I love that, that it looks like this fairytale and then the darkness of it. I'm excited that about you starting this as a film. How did you put your team together? I feel like it takes a while to find your team and this being your first film. Did you know any of the crew before? Or how did you find them?

Celine Song: I show them my script and then they wanted to do it.

Sofia Coppola: That's great.

Celine Song: I mean, I usually call it my seduction technique, the Animal Kingdom that you have ... they have ...

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yours is writing, that's your superpower.

Celine Song: I had to show them the script. Of course, the script is meant as a pitch document, because it’s meant to be like, "This is the movie it's going to be." It's like if they wanted to come and do it ... By the way, it's not like most of the people, first person that we would sent to, they would read it and they'll want to do it. But I think sometimes you don't get it. Then that's okay. Then I'm like, "Oh, that's such a lovely way to know."

Sofia Coppola: If they're the right person.

Celine Song: I'm Like, "Well, the movie that I want to make isn't changing. If they don't really think that it's cool, then that's not totally okay.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. That's so wise of you. I remember when I was trying to do Lost in Translation, and I met a few different producers, and my script was very slim, and it was very, very minimal. I remember some producer being like, "Oh, we'll work on the story more" and just didn't get it at all. Then I met another producer, they were like, "Oh, yeah. This is cool. We can do it." Then they end up working with them. It's true. Maybe your project just finds who clicks with it.

Celine Song: Yeah. I agree. I think it is like dating. Where's just like, well, for somebody, you're exactly what they're looking for. You don't want to be with anybody who is not ... that you're not that for you.

Sofia Coppola: Doesn't get you. I think so much of it is a sensibility. I love the guy who plays your husband. Had you worked with him in the theater?

Celine Song: No. I met all of them in audition or a meeting.

Sofia Coppola: Did you know Greta from other ...

Celine Song: No. I didn't know her.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I didn't know her from ... I hadn't watched that show. But she was more of a comedy person.

Celine Song: Yeah. Yeah. I think most of her work was in comedy. A lot of it was in TV. Then she auditioned. She sent in a tape.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow.

Celine Song: Teo, who plays Hae Sung sent in the tape.

Sofia Coppola: Did you know right away when you saw them?

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. You just do.

Celine Song: Yeah. You just meet them and then you're like, "I think it's you."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah.

Celine Song: Yeah. Right. Then you just try to see if you're right. That's what the audition was. My callback audition, which I did for three hours each.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow.

Celine Song: I talked to Greta for two and a half hours. I talked to Teo for three and a half hours. But that's just to confirm that ...

Sofia Coppola: That you guys can spend this time together. Yeah.

Celine Song: Also, I need to know that my instinct is right. Because you meet them and you're like, "I think you're right." But then you have to be like, "Okay."

Sofia Coppola: Check it out a little.

Celine Song: Exactly.

Sofia Coppola: Second date.

Celine Song: Second date. You just have to keep pushing on the date and being like, "Are we right about this together? Right about this?" Well, we're not quite right about that, but we know that we have this other common ground. I think it's getting to know them in that way.

Sofia Coppola: When you're in the theater, did you direct plays to your ...

Celine Song: No. I just wrote.

Sofia Coppola: But the writer more the prominent voice into that?

Celine Song: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They're the author.

Sofia Coppola: Right. You're always working with the director about how you want the tone or whatever?

Celine Song: Yes. Yeah. Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: It wasn't that different from what you had done in it?

Celine Song: No. I learned it's not that much different at all, actually. I mean, I feel like when you met Cailee and Jacob, did you also feel like, "I think this is the right person?" Or does it take you a longer courtship?

Sofia Coppola:No. No. I just met Cailee. I met them each once. Then I looked at other people's tapes and stuff, but I always came back to them. I learned from when I was casting Somewhere, Elle Fanning, I met her when she was 11. Fred Roos who helps me. We've met her and we loved her. But he is always like, "We have to be thorough. We have to meet everyone. But she's the one to beat." I always remember that. She's our favorite.

Then we meet all these girls and everyone. I was like, "No. They're not Elle. They're not Elle." I think when you meet someone you just know, but then there's that thoroughness of making sure you meet everyone.

Celine Song:


Sofia Coppola: But I felt like... you get excited. You see them as that, and you're excited about seeing them in that part. I want to ask you about writing, because I find that the hardest part. Do you ever get stuck or do you have rituals around writing? Do you procrastinate a lot? Do all writers procrastinate?

Celine Song: I think so.

Sofia Coppola: Are you disciplined about writing?

Celine Song: No. Well, I think that discipline, I think comes in a different shape. Because I feel like in my discipline, do I write five hours a day? No.

Sofia Coppola: Do you have an office that you go to or you write to ...

Celine Song: Kitchen table.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. I've done that. But now I have kids, I have to get out. But yeah.

Celine Song: Yeah. I would say it's the hardest part anyway.

Sofia Coppola: Your husband's a writer?

Celine Song: Yeah. He's a writer. I feel like part of it is you're just ... I don't know, you just feel like a little piece of broccoli on the kitchen counter for most of the process of writing. You're just so useless for so long.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Do you ever ... I think of having an inkling of idea, but you don't know the rest of it. Then do you feel like you just force yourself to ...

Celine Song: I feel like I can't start unless I know how it's going to go and how it ends.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, really?

Celine Song: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But that's where the procrastination comes in.

Sofia Coppola: It's just walking around and thinking about it.

Celine Song: Yeah. Then just writing three lines of dialogue and then calling it a day.

Sofia Coppola: Do you have to force yourself when you don't feel like it just to do something?

Celine Song: Yeah. Well, I feel like I usually find it to be ... If there's an assignment, there's an adaptation, there's an assignment, those I can do.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Me too. But when you have to write your own personal thing?

Celine Song: I think it's a little bit more like you just sit and then you just like ... I don't know. I wish that I knew how to describe it in a way that sounds more like “It's awesome! Let's go!”

Sofia Coppola: No. No. I find it the hardest.

Celine Song: You just sit there and you're just like, "Well, I clearly don't know how to do this. Never been able to do it. Was I ever good? Was I ever able to do it? How do you finish that last script? I can't remember." Then you just are like ...

Sofia Coppola: I'll do it.

Celine Song: ... just little piece of broccoli just sitting in the side of the kitchen, just a kitchen counter drying out. Then eventually you're like, "Oh, wait. Maybe that's" ...

Sofia Coppola: I feel like sometimes I just make stuff up, because I need something. Then it ends up being part of the story, even though I feel like it's just some dumb thing that happened to me. I put it in because I need some pages.

Celine Song: Well, I think about that when it comes to ... Well, you're talking about just the dumb thing that you just worked on part of it, where it's like, "I think it is kind of like that. I think we have to allow ourself to be bad and stupid."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I guess your subconscious is part of it at some point. Did you ever hear about ... it was really popular in the '90s, The Artist's Way, this book that we used to do Morning Pages?

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: My friend was looking at it again, or someone told me to get it from my daughter. Then I was like, "Oh, should we do this with the Morning Pages?" I haven't done it. But I wondered if ...

Celine Song: It's a prompt or something.

Sofia Coppola: I think it's just the idea that every morning you write a couple pages without thinking about it, and it's supposed to get your creativity flowing, but I don't know.

Celine Song: I wonder if that's for morning people, another one?

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. It's from ...

Celine Song: Are you a morning person?

Sofia Coppola: No. I used to write at night. I stay up all night writing. But now with kids, I can't do that. But there's something, but there's less pressure at night. I feel like you're not really part of the real working world. It makes it more like a hobby. It also makes a freedom in that.

Celine Song: What's your working hour? How are your working hours usually?

Sofia Coppola: I don't know. But I used to just stay up all night writing. Yeah. Enjoy that while you can. But with having kids then I had to figure out, just getting out of ... going to a little office and then sitting there. Or I find it a lot when I leave, if I go away for a couple of days on my own, then I can just get lost in it. It's hard to switch with being responsible. I feel like when you're in the mode of a story, you need to be lost in it.

Celine Song:Yeah. I think so. Then sometimes it happens ...

Sofia Coppola: I have to figure that.

Celine Song: ... conveniently. You're like, "Oh, my God. I'm about to walk into something." I'm already like, "I want to go and work on that thing."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. When you get obsessed with it, then it's exciting. It feels a lot of like not knowing ... you're doing, and then you get thoroughly into something.

Celine Song: Totally.

Sofia Coppola: Are you writing now? Do you know what you're going to do?

Celine Song: Yeah. I mean, I am trying to write. But I think that's the issue when I'm ready.

Sofia Coppola: It's hard when you're still talking about this movie, probably.

Celine Song: Yeah. But the beginning of it, I think it's a lot of procrastination, a lot of feeling like a broccoli. Then I feel like it gets to a place where I feel like then I become a demon for that thing. Then I just need ... it usually takes me four weeks to write a script.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow. Well, that's fast.

Celine Song: It's really fast. But that's because I don't do anything else for those two, four weeks.

Sofia Coppola: You just get into that.

Celine Song: I cancel all my plans. I don't leave and I eat. When I eat, that's when I do emails. I mean, it's so ...

Sofia Coppola: You just get obsessed.

Celine Song: Yeah. It just becomes demonic.

Sofia Coppola: Do you just walk around and think about something until it gels enough that you can go into that mode?

Celine Song: Yeah. I mean, honestly, it's more like, "I just need to get this done by the end of the month." Sometimes it's just not even like, "Eureka." Sometimes it's like, "I have a bunch of eurekas, but more importantly, I want to get it done this month. I'm no longer interested in."

Sofia Coppola: Right. Just want to get it out. Did you have a few ideas that you were thinking about before? Or do you feel pressure after this movie that everyone's excited to see your next movie?

Celine Song: The pressure is I feel like how you see it. I feel like the first movie was tremendous amount of pressure, too, in a way.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I guess so.

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. But I just thought because people are so love this movie and they're waiting for the next one, do you feel more pressure? I don't want to say that. It might make it worse.

Celine Song: No. I know what you mean. But I think it's like, to me, I'm like, in a way, no, because it has to be good anytime. You're not going to walk into your next movie being like, "Well, it's not my second one, so I'm chill."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's always ...

Celine Song: You're always as good as the thing that you just made.

Sofia Coppola: It should be. You always want to make something that you don't want to put energy into something that you don't feel is the best version of it. Yeah.

Celine Song: Exactly. In a way, I don't think it's any more of a pressure just because, in a way, I feel like it's less because at least people know what I did.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. You know how to do it. Yeah. You know how to do it. At least to yourself, for yourself, too.

Celine Song: Yeah. Exactly.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I just remember after my first film, Virgin Suicides, doing these young director things, and there was another director who had made her first film. I was like, "I don't know what I'm going to do next. I don't know what I'm doing. Do you?" She was like, "Oh, yeah. I know it all what I'm doing." I was like, "Okay. I don't know." I feel like I have to wander after each thing and just feel like the other one has to sink in before I know where I'm going next.

Celine Song: Right. But then your second movie is Lost in Translation. Isn't it?

Sofia Coppola: Yes. Yes. It is. Yeah. But I so did not know what ... But I always have little inklings of wanting to do something from my experiences there.

Celine Song: Of course. I mean, I feel like my answer when someone asks me about the stress around the second film, I'm always just like, "There's so many filmmakers whose second films are amazing, and I hope to be one of them." I think about you. You know what I mean? Yeah. I'm like, "What are you talking about, Sofia is" ... nobody, whatever the second film slump or whatever.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Celine Song: I'm just like, "You know who didn't have one?" Being a sophomore slump. You know who didn't have one? Sofia Coppola.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, thank you. I'm glad I could be.

Celine Song: Of course.

Sofia Coppola: But I remember that moment of like, "Now, I'm doing this. I fought so hard to make my first movie." Then it was like, "Oh, now I can do this. Now what? But well, I'm glad. Well, I'm excited to see ...

Celine Song: Me too.

Sofia Coppola: ... your next one.

Celine Song: I can't wait to show you the next one. I can't wait to make it.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I find that exciting when you have people that you have your team.

Celine Song:Yeah. I think that I want my department heads. You know what I mean? It's like you just meet them and then you have an amazing experience working with them. Then you do it again. All I just want to do is do it again. I mean, do you all feel the itch to go back?

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. It's funny. Because at the end I'm like, "I never want to do this again." My husband's like, "You say that every time. I'm never doing this again." Now I'm thinking like, "Oh, I want to try to not rush into something else and catch up on life when you," because you put it all aside. But then I get excited about certain actors. I'm like, "Oh, I would love to do something with them." Kirsten, I always want to find something we can do together.

Celine Song: She’s so amazing.

Sofia Coppola: That part motivates me and my great AD that I love in Toronto, I had such a great team on Priscilla that I am ... I loved working in Toronto. I feel like, "Oh, there's this whole setup." I never used a built sets on stages before. That inspired me now that like, "Oh, you could do anything." It's always exciting and it's great.

Celine Song: The built set, I feel like it sounds not glamorous. But then every time I walked into the ... because we had built sets for Past Lives.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, really?

Celine Song: Yeah. The dorm room.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. It looks so natural. Yeah.

Celine Song: It's amazing teams. The dorm room and the Hae Sung's room where they do Skype together, because we needed to figure out how to do a live Skype acting.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, you're doing it at the same time?

Celine Song: We're doing it at the same time.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, that's so smart. Don't you also, for the tax thing, you have to do a certain percentage on stage.

Celine Song: Yeah. Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Did you shoot in New York?

Celine Song: Shot in New York. Yeah. Shot in New York for 25 days, and then we shot in Korea for 10 days.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow.

Celine Song: In Korea, the set is even cheaper and faster.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow.

Celine Song: We had some set there, built the set in New York. I remember being like, "Man, shooting on set. What even is that?" Then you go in and you're just like, "You can move walls. Put camera wherever you want. Then I can control everything."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I know. It's such a different. I always thought like, "Oh, it has to be in a real place to feel real." But then once you do that, it's like, "Yeah. You could do anything." Do you go to Korea often, or had you not been back for a long time?

Celine Song: I hadn't been. Been back since 2015.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow.

Celine Song: Yeah. Yeah. I went back to visit my family there. But then I hadn't been. But also, this is the first time I went to Korea to work.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow.

Celine Song: It's the first time I met people in film, met people who work and do things.

Sofia Coppola: That's so cool.

Celine Song: It was really cool.

Sofia Coppola: I've never been.

Celine Song: You've never been?

Sofia Coppola: No. No.

Celine Song:

You've never been?

Sofia Coppola:

No. I really want to go.

Celine Song:

You have to go.

Sofia Coppola: I want to go to Seoul. I might pronounce it. Yeah.

Celine Song: Yeah. I think you should go to Seoul and I think you should go to Busan. I think you should go.

Sofia Coppola: I'm going to check with you before I ...

Celine Song: Maybe you want to go to Jeju, too. I feel like this little island, it's where you go for honeymoon. It's like Hawaii in Korea.

Sofia Coppola: Okay. I'm going to.

Celine Song: I think you'll feel really happy and inspired there.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, cool.

Celine Song: Feel it's great.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Okay. I’ll get your list before I go.

Celine Song: Yeah. Exactly.

Sofia Coppola: I mean, I feel like everyone always asks me which part of the process you like the best, the editing, but it's ...

Celine Song: What's your favorite?

Sofia Coppola: It's hard to say because they all ... I think writing the least, except for when you hit print and you finish a draft, then that's the best. But I think writing is lonely. Yeah. I love editing.

Celine Song: I love editing.

Sofia Coppola: You have all your stuff and putting it together. But it's fun to be on set, too. But I think editing, you don't have the time pressure. You can just play around.

Celine Song: My line producer asked me the question, "Fuck Mary. Kill pre-production, production, post-production."

Sofia Coppola: Oh, post production is kill?

Celine Song: No. It's like you tell them which you would fuck and, which you would marry, an which you would kill.

Sofia Coppola: Okay. Okay.

Celine Song: But the options are ...

Sofia Coppola: I thought was at stages. That you fuck ...

Celine Song: No. No. The options are prep, production and post-production. For me, I would fuck production. Because it's so exciting. Then you have limited time, but there's so much that can happen. It's unpredictable. It's a lot of energy from hundreds of people. You don't know what you're going to get. Really ups and downs. Everybody's like passionate and we're trying to figure it out. We're going to do the best today.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. There's the rush.

Celine Song: Post-production I would marry. It's day in and day out. It's like partnership and you feel connected to it. Then every day it gets better and hopefully ... Then sometimes some days it doesn't. Then you're grumpy. But you're annoyed. But also, you do it again and it's amazing. Then you build on something. You build a life. Pre-production, I would kill.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: Mostly because it makes me feel like ...

Sofia Coppola: It's stressful.

Celine Song: It's stressful. Also, I think it was especially hard of my first film because I'm being asked to make these massive binary decisions.

Sofia Coppola: You've never seen it before.

Celine Song: I'm like, "Oh, wow. That's going to cost how much, $200,000?" I have to make a decision to spend that $200,000 right now.

Sofia Coppola: Before you've seen anything. Yeah. You're right.

Celine Song: Seen anything. I don't have even a centimeter of film. But I'm saying, "Yeah. Let's do it. It's going to be beautiful. It's going to be amazing."

Sofia Coppola: That's true. I always feel like in prep, I'm like, "Let's just get started already. It feels like it takes forever is just a million schedule meetings." I'm like, "Let's just do it."

Celine Song: Well, we need it though. I really think prep is so ...

Sofia Coppola: But to me it's like doing homework. Let's just get to it. But the visual part is fun. I love the art department and the costumes. But the scheduling not so fun.

Celine Song: Scheduling not so fun. But also, I don't know, I think sometimes I can get my Virgo organizer brain.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. How you're going to do it. That is fun. When you figure out like, "We'll do this there." Yeah.

Celine Song: Yeah. I'm like, "Well, what if we put this over here?"

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. That's true.

Celine Song: That can feel kind of fun.

Sofia Coppola: That's true.

Celine Song: But I don't like the part of not knowing what the movie's going to be, but everybody's looking at you to believe in it. Because being a director is you're the center of the ...

Sofia Coppola: Captain of the ship.

Celine Song: Captain of the ship. You need to be like, "We know where we're going to go."

Sofia Coppola: But I do feel like sometimes I'll be like, "I'm not sure I need a second to think about it," which I think is good to know that you can do that. You don't always have to pretend. I remember my dad saying that. Even he was like, "Wait. I'm not sure I need to think about it." I was like, "Well, if he can say that" ... You don't have to always pretend everyone's looking at you. You don't have to pretend like you know what you're doing all the time.

Celine Song: Yes. Of course.

Sofia Coppola: You can take a second to think about it and figure it out.

Celine Song: Well, I feel there's such power in saying like, "Well, I don't know yet."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's true. It takes more strength.

Celine Song: I actually need some help figuring it out. It's so powerful because people want to help. People want to be a part of it.

Sofia Coppola: Maybe that helps not being a macho guy that you're okay to be like, "I don't know. I need help." Yeah.

Celine Song: Oh, yeah. I mean, that was such a magical thing. I just want to help this.

Sofia Coppola: There’s lot people around helping you.

Celine Song: I'm confused. Help me.

Sofia Coppola: Yes. Everyone helping you.

Celine Song: It's great.

Sofia Coppola: I know. I was thinking I wanted you some time ... I'll ask you when we're not filming that I have an idea for a play, but I don't, I just have a concept. I have a setting. But I have no idea the rest of it. The audience is the screen and it's a family and all the dynamics between the family, it maybe it's a short one act play. Yeah.

Celine Song: Well, I feel like you already know how it is. It's just more like ...

Sofia Coppola: Who the characters are.

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: I love when the dynamics are ... It's like under the surface and you're saying one thing, but meaning another thing.

Celine Song: Of course.

Sofia Coppola: Which I guess you just have to feel your way through it. That's the best kind of writing.

Celine Song: Well, I feel like it's probably about what's away from the room.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, what's happening before and after. Or another ...

Celine Song: I mean, just it's in another room. Because I feel like that's very Chekhovian to me what you're describing. I mean, death and shootings happen outside of the, what I would say a frame, which is the stage, outside of it is where all that drama happens.

Sofia Coppola: Think about what's happening outside of the moment?

Celine Song: Yeah. Then you can conceal and reveal.

Sofia Coppola: People can come in and out.

Celine Song: Easily.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, that's really helpful. There's one just dynamics with certain peers have issues with certain ones. But yeah, the real drama is happening outside of the frame.

Celine Song: Yeah. Some of the drama can happen there. Then there's such power in somebody walking into the stage, which is of course the frame. If you've got to think about that as a frame, and you can only put the camera in one place. That's it.

Sofia Coppola: Right. What's happening outside of that.

Celine Song: That's the whole frame. Yeah. It's the same logic. An actor entering into that space is so much more powerful then ...

Sofia Coppola: Because you're like ... yeah. It's a new person shows up.

Celine Song: Oh, yeah. It's so amazing. Everybody's just like ... the closeup or the focus is happening through blocking.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah.

Celine Song: Just the person stepping. No one's moving and one person's stepping forward. That's equivalent of a closeup.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. When I was doing the stage, I was like, "What do you do without a closeup?"

Celine Song: Yeah. I know.

Sofia Coppola: It's a different thing. Oh, that's so interesting.

Celine Song: Or they can be like, "You can step into the light. There's so many ways that you can do the closeup that you can do the blocking."

Sofia Coppola: Oh, that's cool. That'd be fun when I think about that. Did you see that play Stereophonic?

Celine Song: No.

Sofia Coppola: I saw it at Playwrights Horizon. It just closed. But it's coming to Broadway in March. You should go see that.

Celine Song: Cool. I'll see that.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I loved it. My husband's a musician and it all takes place in a recording studio.

Celine Song: Yeah. Oh, that's cool. Okay. I want to go see this.

Sofia Coppola: They use what's happening in the room, and then behind the glass. It's based on Fleetwood Mac making “Rumors.” But the way the sound is ... I thought it was really cool.

Celine Song: I love that. These are singing.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: That's great.

Sofia Coppola: Their voices are incredible. It sounds really corny because it's fake version of '70s Fleetwood Mac style music. It sounds like it'd be awful. But the music's really good.

Celine Song: I'm sure it is.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. I thought it was really impressive.

Celine Song: Okay. I'm going to see it.

Sofia Coppola: I don't see that much theater, but I love how they use the space.

Celine Song:

I think that's the thing about blocking. Blocking has to do all the storytelling and dialogue.

Sofia Coppola: In fact, that they had the glass partition, so you can't hear. You can turn the sound off and on in the different spaces. It was cool. But that's so helpful. Thank you for that.

Celine Song: I think it's true. I think it's also, usually the difference that I think about is the time and space is so literal in film. If you want to have an old lady, then you need to cast an old lady. But in theater, you don't have to do any of that. A kid can show up and say, "Well, I'm 92," and the whole audience is going to believe it.

If you want to make a movie set on Mars, you have to build Mars or go to Mars. But in theater, all you have to do is ...

Sofia Coppola: Have a rock.

Celine Song: I can sit on a couch like this. Exactly. Not even a rock. Just turn the light a little red and then just be like, "So I got to Mars," and then the whole audience will come with you to Mars.

Sofia Coppola: That's so cool. That's fun to think about.

Celine Song: That's the strength of it, I think.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: I'm curious because it's so mysterious and unfamiliar to me. But ...

Celine Song: I think you love it. It's true.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, thank you very much for that.

Celine Song: Okay.

Sofia Coppola: I'm going to think for it. That's really helpful what you said about the stage. Okay. These are some questions I guess from people.

Celine Song: Give me some, too.

Sofia Coppola: Okay. Is heartbreak necessary for a great love story? I think so. Yeah. I would say I feel like, I mean, all the great ones have heartbreak.

Celine Song: Yeah. Because I feel like at the end of the day, love story is about the stories that are, I don't know, it's about the biggest drama of our lives.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. You need some obstacle or hindrance or else it would be boring. All love stories have ...

Celine Song: Yeah. Boring.

Sofia Coppola: ... something to overcome.

Celine Song: I think so. Because otherwise, then you're like, "Well, what is it worthy of telling a story?"

Sofia Coppola: Heartbreak is just romantic and it touches you in the deepest way, I think so. I feel like it's essential.

Celine Song: Well, heart It's meant to be broken. That's how you grow, too.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. All the love stories that I love always have a tragic side. Did you ever read Spring Snow by Mishima?

Celine Song: Yes. Of course. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: I felt like ... I love it. Okay. Do you want one to be yours?

Celine Song: What's a genre you'd like to pursue more?

Sofia Coppola: I always thought it'd be fun to do science fiction as something that I would not know how to do.

Celine Song: I want to see your science fiction so bad. Okay. Cool.

Sofia Coppola: What about you?

Celine Song: I want to do Western.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, that'd be cool.

Celine Song: Yeah. Yeah. I think it'd be really cool.

Sofia Coppola: You could get women in it. I feel like Western ... I can't watch ones that are all guys, because I get them all mixed up.

Celine Song: Yeah. Yeah. But I think the position of it, I feel like the macho of it and in the way that it gets subverted is always really amazing. Also, I like stories about just bravery.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. It'd be cool. American West, it's such a tradition. I'd like to see your Western.

Celine Song: It's also about fame. I feel like westerns are not fame, notoriety.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah.

Celine Song: I think it's really interesting.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, that's cool. I would love to see your Western. Okay.

Celine Song: I want to see your sci-fi so bad.

Sofia Coppola: Where is your favorite spot to write?

Celine Song: It really is wherever I can. It truly is wherever I can. I don't have a favorite spot. I like the plane.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. Because no one can interrupt you.

Celine Song: It's pretty good, right?

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I do too.

Celine Song: What about you?

Sofia Coppola: No. I agree about the plane. Also, I think the lack of oxygen makes you feel like what you're writing is more exciting than it probably is. It's just like watching movies on the plane or ...

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: If you had to watch one movie scene every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sofia Coppola: Oh, that's really hard. One scene. I don't know. Do you have one?

Celine Song: I'm thinking.

Sofia Coppola: I know. I have a favorite scene that I revisit a lot, which is in Barry Lyndon. There's a scene where Marisa Berenson has a fur hood on, and he's smoking a cigar, and he’s blowing the smoke all over her, and she's really annoyed and he has no perception of her at all. It says so much in this one scene. It's a scene that I revisit a lot, and I looked at for when I was shooting a scene with Elvis and Priscilla in the limousine. They're disconnected. But it says so much and they don't say anything, and it's just ...

Celine Song: I love that.

Sofia Coppola: Yes. That's one of my favorite scenes.

Celine Song:

That's amazing.

Sofia Coppola: Do you have a scene that you revisit from time to time that you love?

Celine Song: Feel like I think that there must be a scene in a Miyazaki film. Do you know what I mean? I bet that amazing scene in Howl's Moving Castle, where it's just this beautiful feel be on the door. We were just sitting there and just live there. I'm like, "Well, that feels like heaven to me." If I had to live, I have to ...

Sofia Coppola: Live with the scene over and over.

Celine Song: Yeah. Over and over. I'll just sit there and I'll just be like, "I had a spa." It's amazing.

Sofia Coppola: Did you watch the document ... There's one documentary I saw of him that was touching. So cool.

Celine Song: He's so dour.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I love it.

Celine Song: He's like, "I'm sick of this." And I'm like, "Me too."

Sofia Coppola: The best.

Celine Song: Your movies are like a dream.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I'm glad he's good. Okay. This one says, how do you call action on your set if you do?

Celine Song: I usually ask my AD to do it. Yeah. What about you?

Sofia Coppola: That's so funny because there was always a thing where you have to say it yourself. But I don't mind when we're a big loud thing for my AD to say it, or it's a small, quiet area.

Celine Song: Totally. I usually give the AD the go. Go ahead. Because he's the one who's checking if everything's speeding and everything. He knows when to start.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. You don't want to say it the wrong ... I've done it at the wrong time. Just excited me before this call.

Celine Song: Me too. Yeah. I'm like, "We're not ready." I'm like, "Well, he knows when we're ready. He should just say when he can. You don't mind him."

Sofia Coppola: I think my dad always said, "You have to say action. They know that you're the boss and say it loud." I'm in the habit of saying it. But I am happy for the AD, too, if we're outside and it's loud.

Celine Song: Totally. Well, I feel like they know I'm the boss. You know what I mean? I'm like, "I don't need to tell them. They know."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I guess I do out of habit.

Celine Song: Totally. Just for you specifically.

Sofia Coppola: Okay.

Celine Song: Would you ever consider directing a horror movie?

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. I would. But yeah, I haven't thought about it. But when I was a kid, we would make little video movies and we made horror movies, because it was just fun to get blood out. We lived in an old Victorian house. It felt very conducive to horror movies.

Celine Song: I love that.

Sofia Coppola: I don't really like gore, but ...

Celine Song: I wrote a horror script, but I would get so spooked by my own. It had to be so scary. But it has to be scary to me. I don't know if it's scary to anybody else, but it's really scary to me.

Sofia Coppola: What's the premise? Can you say, are you going to tell me after? It's top secret?

Celine Song: No. It's not top secret. I probably will never make it, because I'll be too scared to make.

Sofia Coppola: I want to see it. I know. I don't like super scary.

Celine Song: I don't like it.

Sofia Coppola: What's the setting?

Celine Song: It's not even wild. It's a totally conventional snowy cabin thing. But this cabin is fucked up and that's it.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, it's the scary stuff that can happen. You're stuck in the ...

Celine Song: It's just so scary. It's like going there and then this person acting like they know you. Then you realize that like, "Yeah. I guess you're my cousin." You just buy it. Then eventually ...

Sofia Coppola: You stuck with a crazy ...

Celine Song: Oh, then you're stuck with them. Then you just realize, "I don't think this is my cousin."

Sofia Coppola: Oh, no.

Celine Song: To me, that's the scariest thing.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, I used to always be scared of the Body Snatchers. I remember telling my brother when I was little ...

Celine Song: So scary.

Sofia Coppola: ... like, "Let's have a code word. If you're snatched, I'll know It's really you." But that Body Snatchers is really scary.

Celine Song: Oh, my God. It's really scary. Really, it's like the person ...

Sofia Coppola: Closest to you taken over. Yeah.

Celine Song: When my child, and one of the scariest stories that I heard in Korea, which is it's like your mom starts laughing, and then your mom goes like, "Do I look like your mom?"

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. That's terrifying.

Celine Song: That's so scary. I was too young. I was like, "This is the scariest thing."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. That is.

Celine Song: Anyway. That is. But anyway. Sorry.

Sofia Coppola: I don’t want to think about horror. What movie makes you cry every time?

Celine Song: There was a time where, I don't know why, but Big Fish.

Sofia Coppola: I don’t think I saw that.

Celine Song: It's a Tim Burton film.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. No. I never saw that.

Celine Song: With Ewan McGregor?

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: For some reason the ending of that, I think that would just kill me.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow. I never saw that movie, but I know why, I love his movies. I love them.

Celine Song: I think you see it. But it's about ... I don't know. I think that it's ... I feel like weirdly children could never make me cry, but older people could.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah.

Celine Song: Yeah. What about you?

Sofia Coppola: I don't know. I feel like on a plane, any movie will make me cry.

Celine Song: The Transformers are crying.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. Anything. I know. I feel like ... Oh, I know. It's really embarrassing, my kids love that movie. It's called Instant Family about, like a rom-com, but they adopt some foster children and then yeah, embarrassing, crying at the end.

Celine Song: I think family just is ... it's one of those things that you're just like.

Sofia Coppola: But it's like Terms of Endearment is the classic if you want to cry.

Celine Song: Yes. Of course. Who doesn't cry at that? The performance too.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Favorite film camera to use?

Celine Song: I only used one. I don't know.

Sofia Coppola: It was digital, I imagine.

Celine Song: No. No. It was 35-millimeter film Panavision.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, that's cool.

Celine Song: You shot digital?

Sofia Coppola: I always love film. But Priscilla was shot digitally.

Celine Song: Really?

Sofia Coppola: I have a newfound. I was like, "Wow. You made it look beautiful." I always like to shoot film if I can. But we were in such a hurry. Yeah. I was impressed that it doesn't have that creepy digital feeling that's something going to ...

Celine Song: Yeah. I was so sure it was shot on film, your film.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I think film has a different quality to it, but that's the magic of Philippe Le Sourd, because a lot of times it has a digital look, but I don't know how he ...

Celine Song: How It went away.

Sofia Coppola: ... made it beautiful.

Celine Song: Because it really doesn't look digital at all. But I think some stories ...

Sofia Coppola: Sometimes I think it suits it. Yeah. I think it's harder with period films. But I liked Zone of Interest felt very crisp and digital to me. I don't know if it was.

Celine Song: It was, I think.

Sofia Coppola: But I like that.

Celine Song: But I think it's meant to be, I think. I feel like it depends on the, I really think ...

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. It depends on the ...

Celine Song: ... it depends on the film.

Sofia Coppola: But usually I think period films, you want to be on film, because it's in the past and digital feels more immediate. But that one isn't acceptable. Yeah. It gives ...

Celine Song: That's what it was. I mean, I feel like the part of the shooting it on film was very much like, "Well, what do I know? Never made a movie before." But my DP was talking to me about film. I think that it was a couple things. I was like, "Well, I want my DP to have a process that he believes in." Every day, it's about the look of the whole film.

Sofia Coppola: He wanted to shoot on film?

Celine Song: He wanted to shoot on film. We were both talking. He's like, "Well, as long as we don't destroy the budget, we'll do it."

Sofia Coppola: It's not really costly.

Celine Song: We fought for it. It's so different. But also, on top of that, I feel like the thing that I felt was like, "Well, it speaks to the philosophy of the movie," which is that it is about the ephemeral or time made tangible. There's a part of it where it's like the chemistry of it or the ...

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. There's a little mystery.

Celine Song: Yeah. Which I think is ... or uncertainty. You don't know how it's going to turn out that it spoke to what the movie is. I think that's how it should be.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I think the story depends on what and ... Yeah. I don't know what the favorite camera, usually. It's what the DP wants to use. I always work with people that I love and respect. You want them to guide how they think to their best.

Celine Song: Totally. Well, I feel like my DP showed me things and I was like, "I like that."

Sofia Coppola: Totally. I know. That's such a great partnership. What album do you have on repeat right now?

Celine Song: Oh, my God. The same question.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, is it a copy or do people ask that?

Celine Song: Yeah. Maybe two people ask that. I feel like I've been listening to the Mitski's new album.

Sofia Coppola: Who?

Celine Song: Mitski.

Sofia Coppola: I don't know who that is.

Celine Song: Mitski. I think you'll like it. Mitski has a new album, and I listened to that on repeat. I listened to Hozier, his new album on repeat.

Sofia Coppola: I don't know anything new.

Celine Song: What do you listen to?

Sofia Coppola: No. This morning I was listening to Chet Baker, Let's Get Lost because it's winter and we're home.

Celine Song: Makes sense.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. But yeah, I don't have one that I'm over and over listening to.

Celine Song: Yeah. I know your husband is a musician. Does he recommend, or is it a thing where it's like intentionally it means it's like he recommends less? You know what I mean?

Sofia Coppola: Oh, no. I feel bad because, I'm always asking to put music on. It's living with a music supervisor all the time. Oh, for this occasion, we make a playlist for a cocktail party or whatever. It's fun. Because I love music, it's fun to be with someone that knows a lot about music and has good taste, or I like their taste to music.

Celine Song: I feel like ...

Sofia Coppola: It helps me with my soundtracks.

Celine Song: That's amazing though.

Sofia Coppola: I can't remember the music. Did you have a score?

Celine Song: We did. Chris Bear and Dan Rossen from Grizzly Bear. They scored it.

Sofia Coppola: Did you just like their music and asked them to do it or ...

Celine Song: Yeah. I love their music. But I feel like it was also the conversation that I had with them. Of course, one level, I'm like, "I'm 35, I'm genuinely ... they're like gods to me." Grizzly Bear's just like that's my ... They're the one. It was on one level, I was just fangirling. But on the other level, I also was having to really have a conversation. Because of course you're like, "Well, do they want to be a part of a process where they're not crafting an album?"

Sofia Coppola: I'm sure that's exciting to them.

Celine Song: I think it was.

Sofia Coppola: But did you have to tell them if you don't like something, was that hard?

Celine Song: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: But it was fine.

Celine Song: I mean, because again, everybody knows I'm the boss. I have to be like ... Sadly, I'm the boss and it's not an album. It's a movie.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. What I need.

Celine Song: We have to work on it together.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I remember I liked the music. But I can't remember outside of that, which is good. I think that it supported the story.

Celine Song: Of course. Well, I think that's what I really wanted more than anything. I think ...

Sofia Coppola: You want to be thinking about it?

Celine Song: No. Also, you don't want it to lead the audience.

Sofia Coppola: I hate when scores are really dramatic telling you how to feel. It really bugs me.

Celine Song: Because my thing is then I think that the audience shuts down. I, as an audience member, shut down.

Sofia Coppola: Stop telling me what I'm supposed to be. I hate that.

Celine Song: I know. I think so I feel like it's like you want the emotion to get there, arrive, and then you want the music to start.

Sofia Coppola: To kind support that. But let them ...

Celine Song: To support that, to fully let them give them permission. But I don't think that it's a thing where it's like, if music, it's literally a timing of is it six more frames or later or earlier.

Sofia Coppola: It makes a big difference.

Celine Song: Makes a huge difference. If you give audience room to feel it for themselves and then you give them permission with score as opposed to time to cry.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah. No. I like when it has goosebumps.

Celine Song: Do you want to cry?

Sofia Coppola: I like when it has a goosebump effect, which is usually after. But yeah. Yeah. I know I hate when it's ...

Celine Song: I know. I'm so sensitive to it. How did you enjoy the sound design process? Because I found it ...

Sofia Coppola: Oh, I love that. What time do you find it?

Celine Song: I actually found it so intense for me. I was really obsessive. That's the only part where I think. Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. I guess, I don't know, I've always loved that part because it's like all of a sudden it becomes a movie. It was a mess and it just makes such a huge difference, I think. Luckily, I have a family friend who's like an uncle who helped me with my first short film, and then I always worked with him. But he retired recently. It's the first time without him. I was like, "Oh, no. I can't."

I don't think about it, just trust him so much. But I don't know, I learned so much. Richard Banks, who's a legendary sound guy. I remember on Virgin Suicides, there's a scene where the priest comes to visit them and he gave them a squeaky shoe when he walks up the stairs. All these details that now I think about all the details you can add with the sound. Yeah. I love that process. It's still mysterious to me because it's not visual. But it's a little bit abstract.

But I just think even on Priscilla, it was like when the sound design happened, then all of a sudden, the movie came together and it felt like a movie where before it was just a bunch of scenes stuck together. It's really adds a huge…

Celine Song: Music as well. I mean, my director's cut, I feel like I spend more time, even the director's cut before we do any of the sound design, I feel like I'm so obsessive about sounding the temp. I feel like I get obsessed with temp. Because I'm like, "Yeah. But people have to see it." I don't want it to sound too crazy. I feel like in the sound design, I'm asking about the process, because I'm like, "I was in that room for 14 hours every day." You know what I mean?

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. You wouldn't think of that when you make a movie. Yeah. I guess, I don't know if I spend that much on, because I let them do their thing and then I review it. But my editor, Sarah Flack, who's great, is really good with the temp sound. She's really meticulous. It makes a huge difference of all the timing of all that. But I love that moment when you see it with the first mix, because it's like, "Oh, it's not terrible." Somehow it magically comes….

Celine Song: Totally. It's a movie.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. It becomes a movie.

Celine Song: It's a movie. It's really ...

Sofia Coppola: But it's hard to know. Don't you think it's hard to know when you're done editing or you just run out of time and money?

Celine Song: No. I think it was clear.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. You're like, "It's done."

Celine Song: To me, I could tell. I'm like, "I think we're good, or I think we're good after this one little thing." But I think it's because of the way that I was a writer for the longest time. I mean, I feel like knowing when to stop is part of the job. It's similarly with the editing, I was like, it's very like, "I know we're done after this. If I do more, we're going to start cutting into the things that are good, too." I think that. But sound design, I think is a part where I didn't know when to stop. My sound designer, his nickname for me was Miss Dog Ears, because I would just find it ...

Sofia Coppola: Every detail.

Celine Song: I'm driving towards a perfection there that is not going to be achieved.

Sofia Coppola: Insane.

Celine Song: Yeah. Right. Because unless I have a million years, because also I hope it's not just me. But I just think that the sound is so subjective. Volume hasn't changed. But I listened to it the first time and I was like, "It's too loud."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. It's weird how you trust your impression. After a while ...

Celine Song: It's so scary

Sofia Coppola: I don't know. It seems these are too ... Yeah.

Celine Song: It made me scared. Because I was like, "I thought this whole scene was so loud." Now that I hear it and no adjustment has been made, it sounds fine.

Sofia Coppola: It sounds different. I feel like that's where you rely on your team, that you trust them because that's what they're totally focused on. That helps. But it is abstract and a strange part of it.

Celine Song: It is. I think you're right. It's like when it sounds good. Still, all I hear is imperfections. But you have to ... There's a part of where you just have to let it go.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. It's true. There's one little thing. You have to tweak it or else it's going to bog you. But yeah, it is a weird part of it. But let's lock this all out. I've forgotten all of this. I think it's like you have to forget it all or else it seems too daunting.

Celine Song: Oh, yeah.

Sofia Coppola: It's like going into writing a script, I forget about all the different steps you have to go through.

Celine Song: Yeah. You're just like, "Well, yeah. I feel like a brand new." I totally get it.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. You just have to write a script and then figure out the rest later. Of course. I think it's helpful to be naive and less experienced because when you're doing it for the first time, you don't know all the steps. Now it's like, "Oh." I think you forget it all. It's always just some discovery.

Celine Song: Well, I think that's so amazing though. There's this word in Korean that's choshim, and it's like cho is first and shim is heart. It's about first heart. They talk about it. It's mainly the thing that people talk about in creative settings. It's about how you have to go back to choshim, as in ...

Sofia Coppola: Your first intuition, your first ...

Celine Song: Yeah. It's like your first heart. It's less intuition. It's a little bit more like what you're talking about.

Sofia Coppola: Your first impression.

Celine Song: You've forgotten everything. You're starting with the same heart.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. Like a fresh heart, a first heart.

Celine Song: Yeah. Even when you're making your next movie, or what. I'm sure when you're making Priscilla, it's like there's a part of it where you're holding onto the side of it that was working on Virgin Suicides.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Yeah.

Celine Song: Right. You're like, "I don't know how this is going to go." Or the mystery of it.

Sofia Coppola: Or the mystery. Yeah. That's a good word. How do you say it?

Celine Song: Choshim.

Sofia Coppola: It means first heart.

Celine Song: First heart.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, yeah. That's nice.

Celine Song: I think about it a lot because I feel like even when you were asking about what do I think about the second film? Or hopefully like you, so many films. I think when you're there, I think the feeling has to always be like, "Well, I have to hold onto the first heart of it because you can't do" ... You know what I mean? Because you can't just think about ... I don't know. You cannot build it on the thing that you already made because it's always ...

Sofia Coppola: Always starting over.

Celine Song: It has to be new. He's always starting over. I think that's what it is.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. Seen my dad's in his 80s and he's so excited about this movie he's working on.

Celine Song: It's amazing.

Sofia Coppola: I feel like you're always starting over.

Celine Song: You're always starting over.

Sofia Coppola: Which makes it exciting.

Celine Song: But I think that's what makes you feel alive. Also, it makes your work feel alive, too.

Sofia Coppola: Definitely.

Celine Song: Yeah. It's not like ...

Sofia Coppola: Same old…

Celine Song: Yeah. Exactly. The thing I've done. Because I think that'll make me so sad if I'm ever there. If I'm 80, and I'm just like, "How many times have I made this movie?" You want to be like ...

Sofia Coppola: Look at Miyazaki.

Celine Song: Yeah. Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: I know. I sometimes always felt like I'm doing the same story over and over again. But you're always trying to figure something out.

Celine Song: No. But I feel like doing the same story over ... I think that's just naturally though. It's like Tennessee Williams. They're all different plays. But it's all about her sister.

Sofia Coppola: We all have our obsessions.

Celine Song: Oh, yeah. Like Arthur Miller. It's all about, I guess, Marilyn Monroe. I think it's all about. But they're all different plays. But they are ...

Sofia Coppola: Did you study playwriting?

Celine Song: Yeah. I got an MFA.

Sofia Coppola: Where?

Celine Song: Columbia.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow.

Celine Song: I got an MFA for playwriting at Columbia.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, cool. Did you really meet your husband at a writing retreat, in the movie? I figured.

Celine Song: Edward Albee Foundation.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow.

Celine Song: Yeah. Edward Albee has a ...

Sofia Coppola: Oh, really?

Celine Song: Yeah. I knew him when he was alive. He used to come to the barn. Me and my husband, we met him there.

Sofia Coppola: That's so cool.

Celine Song: It was really cool. Totally magical.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, wow. That's so cool.

Celine Song: Then, yeah, I feel like it is this barn that he bought and that he just used to just bring his friends over. Spalding Gray was there. It's really cool.

Sofia Coppola: Wow. Now, it's a playwright's retreat?

Celine Song: Yeah. It's like artist retreat and they can go. If you're a painter, you can go, if you're a photographer, writer of any kind.

Sofia Coppola: I didn't know that. That's so cool.

Celine Song: But there are a lot of those. You've been to McDowell?

Sofia Coppola: No. I've never been to those. But I'm going to the Rome Academy in June. I always thought that would be fun. You and your husband have go live in Rome for a year.

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: I have artists, painter friends that have done it. I just thought, I have a fantasy that I'll go, too.

Celine Song: You're going to do for a year?

Sofia Coppola: No. I'm not doing a residency. I'm just going to an event they're doing. But a friend that's a sculptor, we were like, "Oh, let's both go for a year and live in Rome and make art."

Celine Song: Sounds amazing.

Sofia Coppola: You guys could do that.

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. You check out the Rome Academy.

Celine Song: Check it out. We'll check out. I feel like I went to lot of these artist residencies. They are pretty productive, I find.

Sofia Coppola: That's cool. Because with other people all making stuff.

Celine Song: Yeah. At dinner, you meet everyone and then ...

Sofia Coppola: They're different. They're not all writers.

Celine Song: No.

Sofia Coppola: That's so fun.

Celine Song: Someone’s a composer, someone is choreographer. It's kind of like a really ...

Sofia Coppola: It's like summer camp.

Celine Song: It's like summer camp. Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: That sounds cool. I'm going to look into that.

Celine Song: I think you should.

Sofia Coppola: I have a friend that used to go to Yado.

Celine Song: Yeah. Yado is haunted.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, really?

Celine Song: Yeah. Famously.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, really? Do you know who the ghost is? Is it a writer?

Celine Song: I think it's like ... Well, Yado is how this little girl ... We have very ghostly conversation. But there's a little girl who was the daughter who died. She used to call the whole place Yado, because she's trying to say shadow.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, that's why it's called Yado.

Celine Song: It's called for the Yado.

Sofia Coppola: I didn't know that.

Celine Song: It's so wild. I mean, but I think just like our most haunted places, it's one of the most productive residencies I've been to. It's a funny way. There was a room where Truman Capote was working on something. I feel like maybe in Cold Blood even. Then I think he was 1,000% haunted. Everybody's just ...

Sofia Coppola: Oh, really?

Celine Song: Yeah. There's ...

Sofia Coppola: That's good to write a ghost story there.

Celine Song: It really is. I think it's one of the most productive.

Sofia Coppola: That's so cool.

Celine Song: Yeah. I think haunted places are really productive.

Sofia Coppola: That's good to know. My friend who went ... as a writer, she said they would just leave a little basket with your food and you just have to think about anything.

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: I have to look into that.

Celine Song: It's really nice. But McDowell is ... I think that's the best one ...

Sofia Coppola: Where's that?

Celine Song: ... for me. It's all Upstate New York or a state nearby in New York. That place, I feel like my favorite part is the food.

Sofia Coppola: Oh, okay.

Celine Song: McDowell is the food.

Sofia Coppola: Okay. That's important to ...

Celine Song: Because the chefs come in residency and they just like ...

Sofia Coppola: That's so cool.

Celine Song: Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: I never thought, I always just go to a hotel for when I need to finish writing something if I need to ...

Celine Song: That's nice though.

Sofia Coppola: No. But I'm like, I need to apply to it some. It's really fun like the camaraderie, too.

Celine Song: Oh, yeah. Then you just meet people that you wouldn't have met. Like a painter from Texas and you're like, "I would never have met you ..."

Sofia Coppola: Yeah. That's cool.

Celine Song: "... if it wasn't for this." Yeah.

Sofia Coppola: I know. It's fun talking to you.

Celine Song: This was so fun.