Because the film stars Theron, was directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody — all three of whom have been nominated for or won Academy Awards — the project has been highly anticipated in Hollywood. Still, the movie has not played at any major film festival and has yet to be screened for critics ahead of its December release.
The expectation that the film is award-worthy worries Cody, the "Juno" screenwriter admitted at the Hollywood Awards on Monday night.
"I understand why it's there, because Charlize is an actor that people get very excited about, and rightfully so. Her performance is amazing," said Cody, who took home the evening's screenwriter award. "At the same time, it always freaks me out a little to see it on a list when nobody's seen the movie. It's definitely speculation."
Cody is also fighting anxiety over her impending directorial debut, which is set to star Julianne Hough and Russell Brand. To prepare, she said, she's been seeking advice from as many directors as she can track down.
"It's totally intimidating. I'm freaking out. It's so different from writing that it surprises me that writer-director is a natural trajectory," she said. "To me, I can't believe how different the directing gig is compared to sitting at a computer in my pajamas."
— Amy Kaufman
Photo: Quentin Tarantino presents Diablo Cody with the screenwriter award at the Hollywood Film Awards. Credit: John Shearer / Getty Images