Interviewing director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody, the pair behind "Juno," is like being a kid dining at the grown-up table (or being the adult dining at the kid's table).
You ask a question, they talk to each other.
You squeeze in a comment, they riff for five minutes.
Reitman and Cody have been steering the "Juno" bandwagon for so long now - I saw the movie three months ago at the Toronto International Film Festival - it's almost as if they've had a Vulcan mind-meld.
Their relationship is so close, it's been rumored on various blogs and in the Los Angeles Times to have broken up Cody's marriage, but both she and Reitman deny it emphatically.
"He's the most devoted family man," Cody said of Reitman in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "He's got a new baby! He's like my brother."
Indeed, breakfasting with the "Juno" duo earlier this week at the Ritz-Carlton, it's hard to see signs of anything covert - Cody and Reitman are too comfortable together. If they weren't buds they'd have to be married decades before they had that kind of easy rapport.
In case you've missed the Diablo Cody publicity onslaught over the last few months - "Attack of the 60-Foot Screenwriter" - she's the former Minnesota lap dancer/phone-sex operator/sex blogger/author whose, quirky, verbal original screenplay for "Juno" - think Preston Sturges with boobs on speed in high school - may win her an Oscar.
Since she sold the "Juno" script in 2005, she's become a Hollywood It-Girl (rarefied air for a writer) with two more screenplays soon to shoot (the comedy "Girly Style" and the horror-comedy "Jennifer's Body," about a girl who eats boys (Diablo dentate?) plus a Showtime series, "The United States of Tara," in development with Steven Spielberg.
It's all happened so fast, she hasn't had time to digest it, saying, "I wish some of these great things could have been spaced out a little."
Reitman, on the other hand, is the son of famed producer-director Ivan Reitman ("Stripes," "Ghostbusters"). He won great acclaim with his debut feature, "Thank You For Smoking."
Worn out from their whirlwind publicity blitz, with Cody eager to get back to L.A. to picket with striking writers, breakfast finds them gabbing free-form:
About the blogger who complained that Cody's writing success was a result of her capitalizing on her looks, like, of all people, Tara Reid.
About their jokey idea to time-travel a woman with AIDS to the 1930s to make love to Adolf Hitler - "Back to the Fuhrer."
About Cody's phone call from George Lucas (didn't happen) to rewrite "Star Wars" from the point of view of Princess Leia with a cynical Carrie Fisher reprising her role and Penny Marshall directing.
"That would be f------ awesome," Reitman said.
And about the "Juno" Q&A sessions they've been doing around the country, such as the one Monday night at the Bridge at Penn.
Cody: "Someone asked what the movie would have looked like if Juno had not gotten pregnant . . . "
Reitman: "If Juno had not gotten pregnant, that's kind of like in 'Star Wars' if Luke had never left . . . "
Reitman: "No, his home planet, Hoth."
Cody: "No, Hoth is the ice planet. . . . Luke is not from Hoth."
Reitman: " . . . If he'd never left his two-sun desert planet and it was just a movie about him being a farmer. People often ask questions as if Juno was a real person - what would have happened if she had . . ."
Cody: "I have not written alternate-reality 'Juno.' This is the one single narrative. And I take this as a compliment but people constantly ask me, 'What happens to the characters after the movie is over?' I, uh, kind of froze them there. That was the end of the fictional story."
Reitman: "You know what you need to do . . . It's crazy . . . Mark goes nuts and joins the army. So now Mark is in Iraq. And Vanessa, one day, for no reason, gets hit by a car, she's in a coma . . . and Juno becomes a Young Republican and goes to work for Big Pharma. . . . Bleecker starts a glue-sniffing habit that stays with him his entire life. It's awful."
Reitman: "I know we only have one Q&A left, but if someone asks, we've just got to go for it . . . "
Cody: "We'll go balls-out." *