The Prime of Miss Diablo Cody - Page 3

So, here’s something we like to talk about: as feminists we want to side with and protect our fellow women who are sex workers, yet as realistic humans, we can’t truly want women to turn only to their bodies to make a living. I’m just not sure what the modern woman’s position should be on sex work. Can we even safely discuss, politically, whether or not there’s a wound there or some kind of damage for someone who wants to do sex work?
You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to see that 12 years of daily mass and religious indoctrination created the exhibitionist that I am. Do I wonder if I am damaged? Yes. I think most women are. I don’t understand where that anger comes from. I get frustrated with pornography just because I feel like it has created a completely plastic version of female sexuality that young boys grow up seeing and believing is going to materialize in their adult sex lives. And then when it doesn’t, you’re left with a world full of shitty lovers.

But you like porn? You use porn?
I watch porn all the time. I look at pornography every day.

And how do you feel when you watch it?
I feel like I’m in the drive-thru at Carl’s Junior. Like I’m just fulfilling a need. It’s not a sensual, pleasurable experience for me; it’s comfort food.

What about the actors? Do you feel for them as people and worry about them?
I do worry about them. But at the same time, I can’t relate, because I never internalized the shit that I did as a stripper and in the peep show. For some reason, it did not affect me in as primal a way as it seems to affect other women. When I think about that stuff, it’s still funny to me. When I wrote about it in Candy Girl, I was laughing; when I read that book, I still laugh. I have never looked back on that stuff and felt ruined or hurt, whereas I’m learning to understand from talking to other women that they do feel hurt, that they do feel exploited. That they do look back on that stuff and want to barf. I don’t know why I’m not like them.

Do you watch Cathouse?
I love it! But it gives me the creeps. The overhead, sneaky camera shots of the guys having sex with the women bothers me. I feel like I shouldn’t be seeing that. It’s private. And I hate when they do the lineup.

But there is something about a lineup of women that’s everywhere—pageants, Cathouse, The Bachelor with their rose ceremonies, Deal or No Deal. There is something about a line of women with hands behind their backs just standing still, with all that poise! What does that mean to guys? When they get to choose?
I always say it’s emperor syndrome. That’s why guys love to go to strip clubs. It’s the one time in their lives when they get to choose from a lineup of women who would never consider them in real life. I don’t know what the equivalent would be for women, maybe having a lineup of jobs. Something we don’t get to be selective about in life.

My fantasy is just being left alone to watch Real Housewives of New Jersey in bed.

We were talking the other day about the luxury of being a man and getting to just wake up and shower and be desirable just by virtue of your scent, your man-ness. As a screenwriter in Hollywood, you know, when a guy goes to a meeting, I doubt he has to think too carefully about what he’s wearing. Whereas when I spent a couple of years bouncing from meeting to meeting, meeting every person in town, I would always think very hard about what I was going to wear and how I was presenting myself.

And what about the stripper thing? Do you even like talking about it anymore?
I’m a 31-year-old feminist in Ugg boots and a T-shirt, so it’s so funny to me when anyone accuses me of trying to be sexy or cute. I couldn’t do that if I fucking tried. {quotes}I’m full-on rocking this post-feminist-academic-stripper attitude because I’m trying to confront, not titillate.{/quotes} If you build your career on titillation, you are not going to go anywhere. I think shit has mellowed since Juno came out. But the years leading up to Juno, when my manager was creating hype, were exhausting and loud. Since winning the Oscar, I feel like now it’s settled. We can figure out what we really like to do. “We,” being me and Diablo.

Have you talked about the difference between Brook and Diablo in articles before?
I don’t think so. I once talked about how I do go to different log-ins on my computer. I have different accounts, one for Diablo, one for me. Diablo’s account is really organized….

I still have a hard time calling you Brook.
People who have met me recently have difficulty calling me Brook. Sometimes even Dan, my boyfriend, stumbles on it.

Do you feel split?
I definitely feel like there is a big difference between me and the hologram. I read an interview with Jennifer Aniston recently where she said that she felt like Hannah Montana. She said she’s like Miley [Cyrus], and this character of Jennifer Aniston that the tabloids have created is Hannah Montana. And it’s fake. And that’s how she survives the insane tabloid attention. My life is nothing like that, but in terms of interviews and photo shoots and having a persona, it’s the same way. I don’t feel a close relationship with this public figure.

Were you once more connected with Diablo?
I had to be for a while. I had a sense that it was urgent and important. I saw what I was building toward. I wasn’t surprised by anything that happened after a certain point; I could kind of seeing it coming.

What do you mean?
There was just a really strange sense of momentum in my life. For instance, right now I’m back to feeling totally uncertain about everything. I’m generally a pessimist, but there was a period of time where I knew the movie was going to be great. I knew it was going to do well, I knew we were going to win awards. I’m not saying that I’m Miss Cleo, but sometimes you get a rush of energy in your life when you feel that you are coming toward something.

Did you feel that energy coming as soon as you came up with the name Diablo?
No. I was writing goofy TV columns that 50 people read, and blogging. I never really had a chance to try on a character like that before, so it was great. It was one of the brightest times in my life, and it was just nothing but fun. I could do anything I wanted. You know, take a picture of myself naked and just put it on my blog.

Is that stuff still there?
I’m sure it’s still out there. It doesn’t bother me in the least. If anybody in America wants to see me naked, go for it. I would consider doing it now, but I always think that people I work with would be upset. But I have no shame about nudity, and I feel like nudity is confrontational in a way. Maybe the world needs to see a size-10 woman naked. Maybe they need to see my cellulite. I kind of feel that I would love to put that out there. Any time I do a red carpet, I feel vaguely confrontational. I feel like, “All right, now somebody’s going to come onto the carpet who doesn’t have a stylist, who did her own hair and makeup, who’s wearing a $25 dress from H&M. I have cellulite. I have big hips and big thighs. And you have to look at me.” I feel like people have to pay attention to someone who would typically be invisible.

Photographed by Sheryl Nields


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