Cody exorcises demons from "Jennifer's Body"

Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:25am EDT
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By Jennifer Kwan

TORONTO (Reuters) - Oscar-winning writer Diablo Cody insists she is neither nerdy pushover or sexy cheerleader, as are the two main characters in her high-school horror movie "Jennifer's Body." But in her new Hollywood reality, she may embody a little of both.

The movie, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival late last week and debuts in theaters on September 18, is a campy flick centered on the intense bond between best friends -- the mousy character Needy, portrayed by Amanda Seyfriend, and the superficial bombshell Jennifer, played by "Transformers" star Megan Fox.

But underlying the gore, jokes and high school drama, the movie speaks to female empowerment and explores the complex relationships between girlfriends.

"(Director) Karyn Kusama and I are both outspoken feminists. We wanted to subvert the classic horror model of women being terrorized," Cody, sitting on a couch wearing skinny jeans and leopard print pumps, told Reuters.

"I want to write roles that service women. I want to tell stories from a female perspective. I want to create good parts for actresses where they're not just accessories to men."

Cody, 31, vaulted to stardom with 2007's "Juno", a story about an off-beat, pregnant teenager that earned her the Oscar award for best screenplay. She was lauded for bringing a fresh, edgy voice to Hollywood, and Cody and Juno director Jason Reitman teamed up again to produce Jennifer's Body.

Apart from tackling the male-dominated horror genre, Cody said a key reason for writing the movie was to bring to the screen a new way of expressing the intensity of female bonds.

"The friendships that I had as an adolescent had this unparalleled intensity," said Cody. "I wanted to show how almost horrific that devotion can be. It's almost parasitic."   Continued...

<p>Diablo Cody, writer of "Jennifer's Body", signs autographs at the gala screening of the movie during the 34th Toronto International Film Festival, September 10, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>