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Born in the imaginative mind of novelist-turned - screenwriter Diablo Cody, Juno is a unique character unlike any of her screen peers from coming of age films in the past. She's frank yet funny, charming yet self-confident. Whether sharing with Leah intimate details of losing her virginity or breaking the news of her pregnancy to her parents, Juno commands attention with her brutal honesty and sharp tongue. After being pressed to write a screenplay, Diablo did a survey of recent teen films and found there was an opening for a little girl with a big attitude. "I was sitting in my house in Minnesota and I was thinking to myself, what's a story that I haven't seen,” detailed Diablo. "So much of the stuff I was watching was totally derivative.” 

Putting Juno on the page took Diablo back to a place she had experienced in her own youth. "It was incredibly natural,” Diablo said of pulling together the pieces of the story and the nuances of each character. "It was like breathing. I did see Juno as an extension of myself.” 

Not to mention an extension of the conversations and situations she saw while growing up. Part of the film's appeal is the frank and funny dialogue Juno and her friends have about sex, inspired in part by Diablo. "My friends and I were like Juno and Leah. We talked about sex all the time. That was an actual discussion I had with a friend of mine when we were 16. It may be shocking to some people but it's quite realistic.” 

Sex aside, there is more to Juno than the underage action that gets her pregnant in the first place. For the film's talented star Ellen Page, Juno is an atypical teen. "The part of Juno is an extremely well-written teenage girl, which is not the easiest thing to find. She is honest but original, completely devoid of stereotype, which is the most fantastic thing for an actress. My work is really just about connecting to her and trying to make her way of speech and her dialogue -- and her relationships–authentic. I've found that comes through when you trust the people you're working with, and you just dive into it.”

JUNO would not have made it to the page in the first place if it hadn't been for the team of filmmakers who worked tirelessly to bring her to the big screen. It started with producer Mason Novick who, while surfing the Internet, discovered an Internet blog penned by Diablo Cody. He was immediately struck by her humorous writing, hailed for its singularly feminine, ultra-contemporary and utterly candid nature. "As a movie producer I read a lot that is supposed to be funny but is usually pretty terrible,” Novick explained. "So every day for about six months I read her blog, and every day it made me laugh. So, I called her out of the blue, and said, ‘hey, I'm a producer, I live in Los Angeles, I read your blog every day and it makes me laugh. Have you ever thought about writing a screenplay?' And she said, ‘I've thought about it, but I've never, you know, never really done it.'” 

But what she had already done is write a memoir titled "Candy Girl: AYear in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper.” The two discussed the tome and Novick sent a "Candy Girl” draft to a New York book agent who in turn sold it to Gotham Books. "By then we were talking about Diablo adapting CANDY GIRL for the screen,” Novick recalls, "and I pointed out that she would need a sample screenplay so the studios could see that she could do it. A couple of months later she called and said ‘The sample scrip's ready,' and she sent me JUNO. I read it in one sitting and I was blown away. The script we are shooting today is pretty much the script I read back then, which almost never happens. The heart of the story and the characters just all popped off the page.” 

Novick brought the project to Mandate's creative executive Jim Miller in May, 2005 and it was the recognition that this was a screenplay of extraordinary originality that spurred the commitment o


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