The New York Times' Deborah Schoeneman spent some time with screenwriters Lorene Scafaria, Dana Fox, Liz Meriwether and Diablo Cody, who work, play and support each other in the face of Hollywood and haters.
Dubbing themselves "The Fempire," they spend their days writing, bouncing ideas off of one another and then carousing around L.A..
Whenever one of them has a movie opening, they all rent a white limousine and go from theater to theater to watch the first audiences react.
"We're usually drunk by the third theater," Ms. Cody said. "It's super porno and tacky, and we love doing it."
That probably has a lot more to do with the company than the movies or the hooch.
But being talented, attractive and successful has its pitfalls — as Dodai once noted — in the form of (mainly anonymous) people who hate you and try to eviscerate you for no reason other than what they've read about you on the Internet or, more likely, the talented-attractive-successful thing. And that's what you have friends for.
So among them there is also a battle-scarred camaraderie. "Whenever you have a project out in wide release, there are haters," Ms. Cody said. "Blogs, imdb, Rotten Tomatoes, reviews. It's a lot to deal with. When most people get Googled, they get maybe a Facebook page. When we get Googled, there's criticism, bad reviews, commentary on the way we look. You need people who have been through it."
You also need people that can tell you not to take it so seriously or so personally.
The Fempire also watched her back when she found herself, and not her characters, made the center of attention, with a Letterman appearance, a "Saturday Night Live" parody - and a chorus of the previously mentioned haters, their ire sparked by everything from Ms. Cody's looks, dresses and tattoos to her history of stripping and style of writing.
"I flew to New York a couple times to hold Diablo's bag when she was doing press," said Ms. Fox, who also held Ms. Scafaria's handbag at the Toronto Film Festival. (This is usually a job relegated to publicists.) "I love holding my ladies' bags."
Who needs publicists when you have actual friends?
Fox and Scafaria were friends first; Fox then befriended Cody; and the agent for Fox, Scafaria and Meriwether set the latter up with the group.
"The way they live their lives was a good example of how to work and live as a female screenwriter in L.A.," said Ms. Meriwether, 27, who moved to Laurel Canyon last fall. "Movies have always been written by groups of people, and it goes along well with the writing process to have people to bounce things off of."
Fox, by the way, has already signed to produce Meriwether's next project.
In an article that takes the time to describe Cody's short dress, Scafaria's looks and praises Meriwether as "a thinking man's Scarlett Johansson in dark framed glasses," it was a little ironic, though, to find this section:
Screenwriters usually don't have stylists or publicists, yet the women said they feel pressure to look photogenic in a way that is not demanded of male screenwriters. (One recent evening, each woman had to check the label she was wearing when asked to identify it - Juicy Couture and Ella Moss were represented.)
A recent evening spent with Schoeneman, perhaps? Even in an article that focuses on their success and their friendship, Schoeneman just couldn't resist commenting on their looks and their clothes. I wonder if anyone asks Spielberg and Lucas which designers they are wearing.
An Entourage of Their Own [NY Times]