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Variety screening of ‘Juno’

Jason Reitman and cast discuss indie darling

At the Variety screening at the Arclight Theater, director Jason Reitman, scribe Diablo Cody and stars Ellen Page, J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney were on hand to chat about “Juno,” the comedy that follows the story of a pregnant teen with sarcasm to spare.

“When I got the job with ‘Juno,’ I can’t explain the feeling of knowing I made the right decision,” said Reitman.

Page spoke of the pregnant teenager she portrays saying, “She’s one of those brilliant characters that is completely devoid of stereotype, almost incredibly brave without being aware of it,” said Page. “Her self righteousness is unconscious. It stems from youth.”

“When I first sat down to write it, I considered the character autobiographical because I based her on myself as a teenager. But the fascinating thing about filmmaking is that when you go to make the movie, it’s so collaborative that everyone brings part of themselves into each aspect of the movie,” said Cody. “So now the character of Juno is like a hybrid three-way baby now.”

“Juno” is Cody’s first screenplay. At the screening, she chatted about the events that led her to Tinseltown.

“I had never done any type of published writing, and I never tried to write a script. I was a blogger. I was out there in the middle of the country just blogging.” That all changed when Cody received an email from a Hollywood manager-producer who thought her writing was funny and suggested she try to write a screenplay. “Really the whole thing was very magical, at the risk of sounding like a complete cheeseball,” said Cody.

So, what is in the future for the helmer and his newfound writing talent?

“I am producing Diablo’s next screenplay and we are shooting in March,” revealed Reitman.

“We’re second daters,” laughed Cody.

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