"This was a challenge from start to finish because it was hard to establish the tone," Diablo Cody is saying, sitting in what appears to be a well-used hotel room where she's just spent a day doing round-table interviews.
"Writing a horror-thriller-comedy mash-up is difficult. Plus Karyn and I are both oddballs. So you had a huge studio that's used to making things straightforward and packaging them accordingly. And you had the two of us, who wanted to make Andy Warhol's Dracula."
Did they succeed? Well, they certainly got Jennifer's Body made - it arrives on screens nationwide today (9.18.09). It is, Cody says, mostly the movie that she and director Karyn Kusama wanted to make.
"We picked our battles," Cody says. "Certain scenes I wish we could have retained just for fun. But the studio was more or less supportive. It wasn't super-commercial, it was loaded with subtext - it's not your typical popcorn movie. But we were able to plead our case effectively and I'm very proud of the movie."
Sitting in Toronto where Jennifer's Body got a sold-out premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, Cody, 31, looks perky, tall and slim, her short platinum hair catching the light just so. But she pleads exhaustion after a press day spent talking about herself.
"You caught me at the tail end of the day," she says. "I can feel my brains being sucked out one ear. I don't believe they're even in the room. You're not writing that down, are you?"
Asked to finish the sentence, "If I'd known I was going to win an Oscar, I would have ..." Cody thinks for just a second, then blurts, "I'd have written it under my own name!" (That would be Brooke Busey, for the record.)
Winning the Academy Award for Juno, Cody allows, made it easier to get Jennifer's Body produced: "They believed in me because I was coming off a success. I don't know if anybody would have believed in this if I wasn't."
Other than that, however, winning an Oscar "doesn't mean anything. It's like winning class president."
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