Filmmaking sisters Alice and Alba Rohrwacher recently sat down with director Sofia Coppola for an intimate chat about their bond — professional and personal — and how it informs their work together, especially in Alice’s Cannes hit, “The Wonders.” The Grand Prix-winning and Palme D’or-nominated drama features Alba in a starring role that is loosely based on the sisters’ own childhood in the country.
Coppola sat down with the sisters for T, The New York Times Styles Magazine’s Women’s Fashion issue, and the three women spoke freely about a variety of subjects, though the sisters’ incredible relationship took center stage.
In our exclusive excerpt, Alice and Alba share some insight into how their sisterhood translates to the screen, and how Coppola herself may be able to identify with such a fraught situation:
Sofia Coppola: Did you really grow up on a honey farm?
Alice Rohrwacher: Yes. We weren’t as involved in making honey as the kids in the movie are, but, like them, we were brought up by parents whose personal and professional lives were completely wrapped up in each other. There was no end to the workday — it was one big blur. Like beekeeping for our father, making movies has entered our lives in a totalizing way. In terms of this film, my desire was to tell the story of change inside a small town as seen through the evolution of a family.
Sofia Coppola: I thought it was so sweet that Alba plays your mom.
Alba Rohrwacher: It’s closer to our shared idea of a mother than our actual mother, who is much more involved in city life than my character. When Alice gave me the script and asked me to play her, I said, “I think it’s great, but I can’t do it — I can’t even imagine having four children.”
Alice Rohrwacher: Working together is dangerous for us. We have a very strong relationship, but all that love can lead to a lot of conflict. Maybe it’s the same with you and your brother?
Sofia Coppola: I work with my brother a lot, and we don’t fight — probably because it’s not two girls. And he’s six years older. But I have daughters who are three years apart, and they fight all the time.’
The interview also includes interesting bits about how the pair got into filmmaking, their experience in the industry as women and even which movies changed their lives early on.
The complete interview will hit stands on August 23, but you can give it a read online on the T’s site, right here.
“The Wonders” will open on October 30, through Oscilloscope.