In the rare instance of something big happening in a Sofia Coppola movie, the director’s upcoming The Bling Ring—the story of the fame-desperate teens who burgled the homes of more accomplished fameballs like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan—may have jeopardized the real-life 2008-2009 case it’s based on, which is still going, apparently. According to the L.A. Times, Coppola hired Brett Goodkin, the detective who led the investigation, as a technical adviser, even allowing him to play himself in the film alongside other cast members such as Emma Watson, Kirsten Dunst, and Leslie Mann. Unfortunately, the actual “Bling Ring” defense team now plans to use this to attack his credibility, arguing that the conflict of interest makes his motives and testimony suspect—not to mention sort of ironic, given that he too was apparently snared by the allure of stardom.
For his part, Goodkin claims that his only contribution as a consultant was “very generic cop kind of stuff,” saying he took the role in the movie simply because he wanted to learn about the filmmaking process, and protesting, “It’s not like there’s a character based on me. It’s not like I’m Bruce Willis.” But rewarding him with the Bruce Willis portrayal he so clearly wants or not, it still doesn’t look good—especially given that Goodkin seemed to recognize the sensationalist potential of the case from the very beginning, with the L.A. Times quoting a Goodkin-written police report that reads in part like a breathless tabloid gushing about this “twisted adventure… fueled by celebrity worship.”
It also doesn’t look particularly good that he’s now on the Coppola payroll alongside actual Bling Ring suspect (and former Pretty Wild star) Alexis Neiers, whom Coppola also hired as a “consultant” on her very own crime story, because what’s more Hollywood than becoming famous for ripping off a bunch of famous people, then being paid to help other famous people make a movie about you? Anyway, should this actually end up affecting the outcome of the case, Sofia Coppola’s movie may have to end with “Sofia Coppola” making a movie within the movie, and reality will collapse in on itself.