by writer/director Sofia Coppola
I was living in Paris after Marie-Antoinette and thinking about what I wanted to write about, when I started the script for Somewhere. The idea of this L.A. actor guy came to mind, and when a friend would visit from the U.S. and bring an American tabloid, it made me think about doing something about L.A. today. I loved movies like Shampoo and American Gigolo that captured Los Angeles, and wanted to try to do that for this time.
There were also a few stories of actors in personal crisis—they seemed to have girls throwing themselves at them and to be partying a lot—and I tried to imagine what that would really be like all the time. After Marie-Antoinette was so girly, I wanted to try to write something from a guy’s point of view. My friend's 12-year-old daughter was the inspiration for the character of Cleo, played by Elle Fanning. I had just had a baby and was thinking about how that affects you, and wanted to put that in the story.
I started writing after doing a commercial with the cinematographer, Harris Savides, and we were talking about what we liked and didn't like about making movies, and how simply you could make a movie, and it got me excited with the idea of making a minimal portrait of this guy. I wanted to show just a moment in his life where he has to decide what kind of a person he's going to be, and I put in what I thought was funny, and touching.
We shot the summer of 2009 in room 59 at the Chateau Marmont and around L.A., with a week in Milan.