Sofia Coppola Defends Bling Ring Against Critics: "It's Not a Documentary"

Director brushes off complaints from one of the real-life members of the burglar bunch

By Josh Grossberg May 16, 2013 9:40 PMTags
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Sofia Coppola isn't worried about what the real teenage crooks who inspired The Bling Ring think of her big-screen portrayal of their exploits.

At a press conference for the film at the Cannes Film Festival, the 42-year-old director acknowledged that her movie is based on the true story of a group of teens who robbed the homes of Hollywood celebrities ostensibly for fun—but it's a fictionalized take.

"It's not a documentary. We made a movie, and I'm not too concerned with their reaction," the BBC quotes Coppola as saying.

The filmmaker behind such acclaimed movies as The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation was asked about criticism coming from one of those involved in the heists, Alexis Neiers. The former Pretty Wild star complained in a series of tweets in March and April that the film's trailer was "trashy and inaccurate" and that she has no plans to see the film.

Coppola told reporters that she had a very good reason for altering the names of the young thieves as well as details from their actual crimes.

"I didn't want to make those kids more famous than they are already for what they did," she said.

Though the one place where art and real-life meet, she noted, is in a cameo by one of the burglar bunch's victims, Paris Hilton, whose Hollywood home was used as a location in the flick.

The Bling Ring, which is opening the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, hits theaters on June 14.