Life Advice from Diablo Cody: Walk Into Every Room Like You Own It


Are you a filmmaker with dreams of making female-driven comedies that are packed with quippy dialogue and retro pop culture references? Well, good news! Your patron saint Diablo Cody is over at The Cut doling out life advice (and talking about 90210).

Cody’s first suggestion is to walk into every room like you own the damn place:

When I was in college in the late ‘90s, I dated this guy who was completely out of my league, looks-wise. At the time, there was this Versace campaign that was splashed everywhere, and people actually thought he was the guy. That’s how hot he was. He had sideburns like Jason Priestley and Luke Perry, which was really considered an asset in a partner in 1996. I just couldn’t believe my luck. Unsurprisingly, he dumped my ass, like five weeks in. Poor me and my pixie cut and my frosted eye shadow.
We had met at this coffee shop that I went to every single day. And one day, a few weeks after I got dumped, my dad called me and he said, “So, how you doing?” And I said, “You know, I’m fine, I’m hanging in there,” probably while I was holed up in my room listening to Fiona Apple all day. And he goes, “Have you been going to the coffee house?” I said, “Dad, are you kidding me? No way! It would be so mortifying if I ran into my ex. He could be there and I don’t want to see him.” And my dad was like, “Tomorrow, I want you to go to that coffee house, and walk in like you own the place.”

Cody has carried her dad’s advice with her, but amended it to be a little less haughty. “I get scared because [Soho House] is like the unofficial high-school cafeteria of Hollywood,” she tells The Cut. “I’m inevitably going to run into somebody I pissed off. I just have to say to myself, “You know what? Fuck it. Be a grown-up. Maybe that’s a relationship you can rebuild.’”

She also recommends that you remain open to criticism and collaboration:

…We romanticize the idea of the man who stands alone and marches to the beat of his own drum, but sometimes that’s a really bad idea. My work is a collaborative process and that’s torture for me, because I really prefer the solitary aspects of my job. I like to be with my laptop, I like to be in my sweatpants and create. The instant you bring other people into the equation, you have to learn to collaborate, you have to learn to listen to people. I guess I had to make a decision at some point to become more humble and more receptive to criticism and to listen.

That’s some pretty good advice, Diablo.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via Getty.

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