What is the proper etiquette one must employ when interviewing Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody? Are you allowed to ask her about her time as a stripper and a phone-sex operator? Is that crude or off-topic? There's no question how she (and Fox Searchlight) feel about the issue -- sitting down with Cody for a one-on-one interview last month (for another outlet) was one of the oddest experiences of my life, since Fox insisted on having a senior publicist actually be in the room and stand near me during the interview and occasionally even interrupt my questioning -- a first. I later found out the same treatment was given to others, and this thinly-disguised attempt to intimidate the journalist out of asking any potentially non-PG questions was really out of line and unnecessary. However, Cody can't control television interviews as successfully, as evidenced by her upcoming appearance on Peter Bart's AMC show, which apparently turned into a cringe-fest.
On Cody's MySpace page, she says Bart "was full of condescending questions. Wait until Sunday -- you'll see him asking when I plan to be a normal woman and have children!" I can't wait to see that, since it would seem to be a new contender for the stupidest thing he's ever said, and that's saying a lot. In the meantime, AMC is hosting some teaser clips from the interview, and you can see Cody's face drop into a pained grimace when Bart asks "Were you ever a stripper?" and moves on to other questions like "Were you writing at the time that you were stripping?" and "Where did you strip?" Some bloggers have taken the position that it's invariably creepy and unnecessary to ask Cody these kinds of questions, but I still say when someone writes a whole book about something, it's sort of fair game.