Here are a few quotes from Nastassja herself on Coppola and his film taken from various interviews, mostly around the time of shooting but also some later.
"It's so much a fashion nowadays to be cool and natural on screen. I think the most important thing is to be fascinating."
"The Hollywood experience was more theatrical than TESS, especially in the beginning. There was lots of improvisations and I felt a little awkward...Francis likes to say that actors control the pace and the scene, not the cutting man. That was completely new to me."
"Francis is one of a kind. He's got a great big heart and he's very honest. He wants people to succeed. He's unafraid to take chances. He wants to build a whole fantasy world inside this world that isn't so good. So do I...I play a circus girl in this one and I get to walk on a tightrope. In the beginning, the character was almost a magic person, a fairy almost. Now she's becoming more real. Still, I play an idealized person. She gives the man his life back, feeds his fantasies. She's everything or nothing. She could build a house on the moon and live with him there if she wanted."
"I started real low. It isn't like walking a straight line. It is like life in the toughest sense of the word. Gravity pulls you down everywhere and you really have to find the ultimate center of yourself. And because of my impatience, I got so frustrated and kept falling all the time. The I found an image of something pulling me up, something positive from outside and within, and it worked and it was like magic to me. I loved the circus people. Actually I thought of leaving everything and going to the circus. Those people put their life on a tiny string all the time. They know what might happen, but they're together and confront it all the time."
"ONE FROM THE HEART was fun to do, but I was so nervous. Coppola is another figure who is devoted to his family. Back then I knew his films of course, but I was greatly impressed by the man he was, is. When you went to his house, he was always with his wife and kids; it was never just him. To be there was a dream. Then we worked and did the film, and I was no less happy, but to be with the family was so special. To take one look at a family like that and, no matter what happens, you know that nothing could ever break them apart."