The Interview: Cameron Diaz

Saffron Lyons
Sunday 21 July 2002 00:00
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Cameron Diaz, 29, was born in San Diego to a Cuban-American father and Anglo-German mother. At 16, she was spotted in an LA club by a modelling scout. After five years as a model, Diaz got the part of Jim Carrey's girlfriend in The Mask. Her films since then have included My Best Friend's Wedding, There's Something about Mary and Shrek: the latest, The Sweetest Thing, is a comedy. Diaz lives in Hollywood with the actor Jared Leto.

Do you think romantic comedies set an unrealistic standard for relationships?

Yes, I think a lot of romantic comedies are like modern-day fairy tales. Prince and Princess charming. If you kiss the right toad, he will turn into a prince – that kind of thing. Those films are unrealistic about love, which is why we didn't want The Sweetest Thing to be a romantic comedy. We made a comedy which has a love story but doesn't have the perfect ending.

The film is about finding Mr Right. Do you have dating rules that you follow?

I've heard a lot about The Rules, and about men being from Mars and women from Venus, but I don't subscribe to that sort of thing. My rule is that there are no tricks in this game. I believe in honesty and communication and in treating people the way you want to be treated. Love should be unconditional.

Are you one of those women who dreams about her wedding day?

Oh sure, especially after having done three movies in each of which I spent two weeks in a bridal gown in front of people saying "I do" over and over again. It really takes the joy out of it! So no, definitely not.

There are a lot of scenes of embarrassment in your new film. Is there anything that embarrasses you?

No, I am pretty much impossible to embarrass. It's been this way my whole life. First of all, I believe you should not make fun of anybody but yourself. Secondly, I try not to pass judgement on people. I wouldn't ever want to laugh at somebody if they weren't willing to laugh at themselves. So since I'm willing to laugh at myself, I'll pretty much do anything for a laugh.

Has there ever been a place where you thought you would never be recognised?

I haven't ever thought about it. It's funny, I'm always surprised when people recognise me. I forget a lot of times that people know who I am. It's very weird.

Since you were the voice of Princess Fiona in Shrek, has your popularity among children increased?

Oh my God, yes. Children everywhere come up and say: "You're Fiona!" I've had mums telling me that my voice is in their house 24 hours a day.

What has been your proudest achievement?

Well, I got the Nickelodeon burp award once. That sits on my desk.

Is the job starting to feel easier?

Yes, it's just starting to sink in. I've had on-the-job training for the past eight years, so that helps. I still have no idea what I'm doing. I'm always learning.

What was school like?

High school was great. I liked my high school because there were over 3,000 pupils, so it was like a very diverse community. We had kids with turbans on their heads, kids wearing sarongs and tattoos. There were Arabs, Vietnamese, Chinese, everything. But I wasn't a great student. I just did what I had to do to get by.

Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York has taken almost two years to make. Are we ever going to see it?

Do you know why they keep pushing it back? They want to keep the film until Oscar buzz in the autumn. They didn't want to put it out in the middle of the year where it would get lost. It's Marty's masterpiece. I have seen parts of it and I wanted to cry. It gave me chills because it was so beautiful. My heart just swelled. And that was literally after watching not even a minute of footage. So I can't wait to see the whole thing.

And are the rumours that your pay cheque is huge true?

I don't like to talk about such an uncomfortable thing. How much do you make?

Not that much. Have you started filming Charlie's Angels 2?

I start training in June and we begin shooting in August. The script still has the "no guns rule" like the first one. But there are a lot of physical scenes, lots of action and, of course, a lot of laughs.

What is your favourite piece of clothing?

I am denim obsessed. Every week I have a new favourite denim thing. There are so many styles and makes of jeans. I have paper cloth denim, blue cult, low rise. I'm over the dark wash with the fade. I like the true dark wash. I definitely like the bootleg a lot. I like it when they are long. In fact, I love them all.

'The Sweetest Thing' will be released next month

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