After trading in her given name of Brook Busey-Hunt for the snappier pseudonym Diablo Cody, this Illinois native raised eyebrows online in addition to dimly lit peep-show booths with her blog, Pussy Ranch, as well as her 2006 memoir, Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper. Cody, who graduated college with a degree in media studies and spent the early days of her career doing clerical work at a Chicago bankruptcy firm, found herself intrigued by the darker, raunchier elements of nightlife; eventually, her participation in a notoriously seedy Minneapolis strip club’s amateur night led to the decision to leave her day job and become a full-time stripper. As luck would have it, anyone with an Internet connection and a penchant for living vicariously through others could check Cody’s goings-on via her blog, which, thanks to her trademark humor and keen insight into the mass psyche of the sex industry, paved the way to other, more traditional journalistic endeavors, including writing for the City Pages (a Minneapolis publication), The Village Voice, and Jane magazine.
After the completion and subsequent success of Candy Girl, Cody was propositioned to write a screenplay; she accepted and wrote the coming-of-age comedy drama Juno, a runner-up for the People’s Choice Award at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival. Juno also earned Cody an award for Breakthrough Screenwriter at the Hollywood Film Festival, a Golden Globe nomination, a Writers Guild nomination, and an Oscar nomination. In addition to selling several of her other screenplays, most notably Girly Style and Jennifer’s Body, Cody also wrote for the Showtime television series The United States of Tara, a comedy starring Toni Collette as a mother with multiple personality disorder, created by Steven Spielberg and produced by his DreamWorks production company.