Posted on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 by Brendon Connelly
The United States of Tara is Diablo Cody‘s new TV show, launching this Sunday on Showtime – but if you’re imapatient, the premiere epsiode is already streaming from the series’ official site, though if you’re anything like me (in all respects but geographical location) you’ll also tune in on Sunday so that you can watch with live Twitter accompaniment from Ms. Cody herself. The show was apparently conceived by Steven Spielberg – which is what was said about What Lies Beneath, too if you remember. According to that film’s co-scriptwriter Clark Gregg in the Creative Screenwriting podcast, however, Spielberg’s contribution there amounted to “it’s about, you know, a couple they have a house and maybe it’s an old house and maybe there’s a ghost in the house and at first they think it’s the ghost of somebody from a long time ago and then maybe not” so who knows what he gave Cody to work with.
Out on the road to hype Tara, Cody has been talking about a couple of her other upcoming projects too: Jennifer’s Body and an acting turn on 90210. But what about them?
The one thing everybody knows about Cody is that she was a stripper who became a blogger then a screenwriter before winning an Oscar for her debut screenplay, so she has some kind of performance under her belt, right? Well, she’s off to film a cameo in Beverly Hills 90210 at the end of the month. What she didn’t know, until being told today, was that she’d be playing herself opposite Tori Spelling, and that the episode would be directed by Jason Priestley – news that generated an excited response:
“They have not told me this! Oh, I swear to God, I have to go outside. I did not know that. I love Jason Priestly, I love Tori Spelling. I’m so psyched!”
I think Cody is a born performer, or at least a natural show off, so this may be the beginning of a real acting career. Or, on the other hand, she might not want attention for pretending to be somebody else and prefer to reap the rewards of pushing herself, even wearing her pseudonym, into the limelight. Personally, I’d like to see her chained to a word-processor because the screenplay to Juno simply couldn’t have been a fluke and I want more.
As for Jennifer’s Body, Cody told reporters at the same TCA event that the FX work was done practically, meaning there’s going to be very little CG required in post. She’s accidentally suggesting by implication, I believe, that the slipping release date for the film has no practical reason and is more likely rooted in a lack of studio confidence. On the other hand, she made it clear that she’s very impressed with the film herself, so I’m going to suspend my suspicions for now. Who would you trust? Diablo Cody or the calendar-man at Fox?