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A Jason, once again
Coppola-clan member Jason Schwartzman rocketed to fame in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. Now he’s back in Anderson’s latest project, The Darjeeling Limited.
Tara Brady, 20 Nov 2007
Whatever happened to the Hollywood brat? Once upon a time we could rely on a Drew Barrymore or a Sheen brother to turn up and sully the great family name. These days such shameful shenanigans are the preserve of the Lohans-Come-Lately and certain blonde heiresses. The children of the great LA dynasties, meanwhile, are off toiling on their aid work or art.
Take the Coppola clan. Having grown up among the swinging hipsters that surrounded Uncle Francis during The Godfather and Apocalypse Now years, you’d expect them to sit around swapping helicopter keys with children of equal Tinseltown pedigree. Instead, they all work their socks off. Sofia Coppola is the award winning writer and director behind Lost In Translation and Marie Antoinette. Roman Coppola is a music video director known for his work with The Strokes and Daft Punk.
Their cousins are equally industrious. Robert Carmine is the lead singer of the rock band Rooney and star of The Princess Diaries and The Virgin Suicides (for cousin Sofia). And then we have Jason Schwartzman, his brother, who first came to our notice in Rushmore (1998) at 18 and was immediately hailed as the biggest thing to hit town since, well, the rest of the Coppolas.
“Rushmore got such a positive response,” Jason recalls. “It was actually a bit frightening because you just think whatever I do next will be wrong. Suddenly you have something to mess up.”
Nobody, however, gets away from the Family. By 2001, cousin Roman had lured Jason back into movies for a lead role in CQ, Roman’s retro sc-fi fantasy debut. Since then, Jason has also taken orders from Sofia for his role as King Louis XVI in Marie Antoinette. It is something of a tradition with his kin. His mother, Talia Shire, played Connie in The Godfather Trilogy. His cousin Nicolas Cage took early jobs on Rumble Fish and The Cotton Club.
“We’re a really close, tight family,” says Jason. “There are people who get defensive about working with their family and friends but that probably says more about them. I have the greatest brothers and cousins and mom in the world. We grew up together so there’s a shared sensibility and a shorthand. And most of all, my family always want to make it work. So that can only help.”