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Diablo Cody Talks the "Weirdest Thing" about Directing Debut 'Paradise,' Her Love of VOD and More on Interview Trail

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 18, 2013 at 1:39PM

Diablo Cody's directorial debut, "Paradise," hits theaters this weekend, starring Julianne Hough as a religious small-town woman whose faith is put to the test when she suffers terrible burns. Taking matters into her own hands, she heads to Vegas for some soul searching, where she meets up with Russell Brand and Octavia Spencer. Oscar winner Cody ("Juno") is on the interview trail. Check out some quote highlights, below.
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Diablo Cody on the set of her directing debut, "Paradise"
Diablo Cody on the set of her directing debut, "Paradise"

Diablo Cody's directorial debut, "Paradise," hits theaters this weekend, starring Julianne Hough as a religious small-town woman whose faith is put to the test when she suffers terrible burns. Taking matters into her own hands, she heads to Vegas for some soul searching, where she meets up with Russell Brand and Octavia Spencer. Oscar winner Cody ("Juno") is on the interview trail. Check out some quote highlights, below.

Paradise

Alas, the film isn't sitting with good reviews. It has a 34 on Metacritic, and a 24% Rotten on the Tomatometer.

On the weirdest part of directing (Indiewire):

"The weirdest thing about directing in general is that you're surrounded by these actors that you respect and they're so good at what they do and they're asking you what they should be doing. That's directing, but to me it was such a mind-fuck because it's like you're asking me what you should be doing in this scene? I have no idea, I'm just the hack that wrote the script! It's crazy the amount of trust people put in you; it's a tremendous amount of pressure."

On finding the balance between questioning and respecting religion in the script and film (Moveable Fest):

"It is a challenge. Tonally, it was really important to me that you could respect Lamb’s journey and the decisions that she makes. At the same time, I didn’t want the movie to be a negative depiction of religion in any way because I myself am a spiritual person. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from religion and I wanted to show that she could reject some of the more extreme things she’s been taught and at the same time, maintain her faith in God. And that is a tricky thing to do."

On her Tweet, "Most directors force you to leave your house to see their movie, but you can watch mine naked with a bag of Mint Milanos" (Daily Beast):

"It’s true! I personally am a VOD fan. I like to watch movies at home. I even prefer it to going theater, unless I’m going to watch something that’s visually spectacular."

On finishing the film while pregnant with her second son (Village Voice):

"I peed constantly. Twenty-seven times in one day—I was counting because it became so comical."

This article is related to: Interviews, Interviews , Diablo Cody, Diablo Cody, Paradise


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.