18 December, 2007

Diablo Cody, "Juno", interviews


" Q: Did you read screenwriting books?

DC: No. I've never read a screenwriting book. I'm really superstitious about it too. I don't even want to look at them. All I did was I went and bought the shooting script of "Ghost World" at Barnes and Noble and read it just to see how it should look on the page because I like that movie. So it was kind of a weird coincidence that the producers wound up producing "Juno" as well. "

Pop Matters:

Diablo, where do you pick up your slang? I mean, I think I talk like a 15-year-old, but there were phrases in this movie I’ve never heard before.

I just make it up. I felt very free writing the script because I’d never written one before. So I thought, you know, I’m not even going to bother writing something formulaic. I want to be noticed, I wanted to do something fresh and new, so I’m just going to go crazy with the language."

LA Times:

"It's a grim time for women. I feel sometimes like we live in 'The Matrix'. People are completely blinded to the patriarchy because we're so used to it. I try to live every day completely alert and aware of how I'm being marginalised. I don't have a persecution complex, but I look for it.

"I have a responsibility to write strong female characters. I'm going to continue to do it."

New York Times:

"The attitude toward women in this industry is nauseating. There are all sorts of porcine executives who are uncomfortable with a woman doing anything subversive. They want the movie about the beautiful girl who trip and falls, the adorable klutz."


"Sometimes, I write specific characters or certain scenarios to fill a void in entertainment that I perceive. I want to see a movie about a teenage girl who is articulate and intelligent and offbeat, so I just wrote it.

"I wanted to write a multi-dimensional female adolescent. I have said that she was a reflection of myself as a teenager, but I was never that smart. I was never that self-assured. I was that vulnerable, but I wasn’t as cool."

Seattle PI:

"Writing is writing. Any time you're writing you're exercising that muscle. Any medium that makes you sit down and write every day is going to be helping you as a writer regardless of the genre.

Writing a screenplay, though, is unlike anything else because you're just making a skeleton. Your story is really not complete until it becomes a movie. With prose it's more of a one-man show, you know, everything has to be on the page. I actually think writing prose can be a lot more challenging."


“The point at which I wrote it, I really had nothing to lose. I figured there are a lot of scripts out there that sound the same and are a little vanilla and formulaic, so I would rather do something different and be accused of going too far than hold myself back.”

The Times:

“I have radical beliefs about feminism, so sometimes I get defensive – like, ‘Don’t tell me what is or isn’t good for womankind.’ I don’t understand why anything involving sex or sexuality is an issue, ever. It’s base human instinct, as natural as it comes.”


"Q. Did you look up anything that told you how to write a screenplay or construct a narrative?

Diablo Cody: No and now I’m really resistant to the idea because I’m superstitious. But the wonderful thing about the world is that movies are so accessible to most of us; we’ve all seen a lot of movies and I grew up watching a lot of movies, clearly. I’m not one of those people that gets the AFI’s top 100 list and sits and watches every single one to analyse them. But I love movies and anyone who loves movies is familiar with that kind of structure. If you were watching a movie and it unfolded in a strange way, you’d feel that even if you didn’t have a formal education on film. For me, it was just instinctual – what kind of movies did I like? What’s the tone? What was the dialogue like? How long are the scenes? How is it paced? And I just wrote a movie according to that formula."

Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages:

"And it also bothers me when—this is a real paradox for me: My entire life I've been told I wasn't pretty enough. My entire life I was told by people that I was ugly, that I was too tall, that I was flat-chested, that I was this, that I was that. When I was a stripper I was never quite pretty enough. I was never one of the beautiful girls. I was never one of the top earners. Suddenly I achieve something in my life that is purely intellectual and purely creative, and I'm being told that it's because I'm pretty. To me that is the weirdest, most ironic thing ever. Like all of a sudden I'm attractive when it suits people's purposes. But in the past when I needed to be attractive I was ugly. So let's pick. Which is it?"

"You know what I'm proud of? It's one thing to write something like Juno and you hear the resounding cries of "Fluke!" You know, like, "Oh, she wrote one good script." But then the fact that I wrote subsequent scripts that were well received, even though they are still in development. To me, that's the hardest jump to make, from beginner's luck to, "All right, I am actually going to do this."

Obviously we don't know for sure if I've pulled it off because none of these things have been revealed to the world yet, but I do know that some people I really admire believe in them already, and to me that is an accomplishment."

"...There's a lot of pressure. I suffer from feelings of unworthiness on a daily basis. I think of myself as a novice writer, and I am. I have so much to learn."


"Juno" screenplay


Juno has entered the IMDB top 250 films, broken the 100 million dollars domestic box office barrier and has been nominated for a few awards.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wierd that she so often says that she's avoiding formula, etc. the movie's good, the writing/dialogue is fun, but the story itself isn't new or anything. it's pretty simple really: the girl gets pregnant, which is the main problem at first. in any good film/writing, the seeming problem actually becomes secondary or leads to the emotional/spiritual/metaphysical/whatever crises. for juno, this is about growing up some, taking responsibility, making human connections and understanding who's real and who's not, understanding herself more (ie, she chooses the garner character, who's more real than the bateman character, who's cooler). i guess i'm one of the few who maybe isn't blown away by the film. i mean, it's supergood and fun and dorky in that dorky-is-cool-way, but i don't know, though the writing's fun, it's not subversive, etc. it upholds all the same values most american films do, though maybe shows them in a more offbeat quirky way.