First-time screenwriter Diablo Cody was the "Cinderella story" of the Telluride Film Festival. A former stripper who got her first break writing a book about her experiences in that line of work, Cody's first script, Juno, made the rounds of Hollywood, got a deal, and then got director Jason Reitman, fresh off his successful feature debut, Thank You for Smoking, hot to make it into a film. Cody took time out of a whirlwind schedule at Telluride to hang out at the gondola station, catch some rays, and talk about her script -- and what it's like being the writer of the film everyone is talking about.
Cinematical: Your film is getting the best buzz I've heard so far at Telluride.
Diablo Cody: It's just amazing. I was surprised, to be invited to this festival. It has a reputation for being a sort of highbrow fest, heavy, a fest for cinephiles. I think people are enjoying it because it's kind of an alternative to the heavier stuff that's being offered. For me to even be here to see all these amazing films is a real privilege. But, yeah, I think that Juno is kind of a lemony palate-cleanser in between all the paralysis and Holocaust stuff.
Cinematical: When I interviewed Jason after Thank You for Smoking, we talked about how he didn't feel comedy was respected enough, especially at film festivals – that comedy can be just as artistic as drama, and he wanted to prove that. It seems Juno is a step in that direction.
DC: I think Jason has a lot to do with that. He's really elevated the material. I know a lot of people feel it was a strong script, which is a great compliment and I'm really happy about that. But to me, Jason just came in and took the script and he really built on the material. Jason and I, we come from very different spaces, I tend to be the one who's, you know, making the joke about the condom making the guy's dick smell like pie. I tend to be a little more ... well, and Jason is a trained filmmaker, and some of his points of reference are more impressive than mine. Well, that's not really what I mean. What I mean is that's good that he and I are different and that we balance each other well.