Why Cameron Diaz Left Acting Behind for a Better Life
At the peak of her acting career, Cameron Diaz was essentially Hollywood's 'it' girl.
She was the golden girl everyone wanted in their movie and who fans loved to see. It wasn't hard to see why Cameron was so popular. Tall, blonde, and absolutely stunning with a knack for comedy, she was everything Hollywood could've wanted in a leading lady for basically any film.
With a string of successful movies like her break-out film The Mask and the ones that followed like Charlie's Angels, Shrek, and My Best Friend's Wedding, she seemed to be on a roll. Diaz seemed to be in everything and, according to Fobes, she was the sixth-highest-earning actress the year she disappeared from the spotlight. Diaz very quickly went from "It's me!" to "Wait, where'd she go?"
And that's what we want to know—where exactly did she go? What's she doing? Most importantly, what's she going to do next? Will she ever return to Hollywood?
Has Cameron Run Out of Time—and Chances?
You know her. You love her. But she doesn't seem to love Hollywood anymore; she hasn't appeared in a major film since 2014's Annie and seems to be enjoying a lowkey life with her husband and new baby. Or is it the other way around? Could Hollywood be giving Cameron the cold shoulder?
Have the Hollywood elites blacklisted Cameron? The film industry is notoriously unkind to aging women—especially those like Cameron who have spoken out against society's harsh beauty standards. Could she now be facing backlash? Especially because her last few films have been met with harsh criticism from film critics. Has Cameron run out of chances?
From "The Holiday" to an Extended Vacation
Before she disappeared, Cameron Diaz gave us some fun films. The Holiday, the Shrek series, Charlie's Angels, and My Best Friend's Wedding—just to name a few. But those were all filmed while she was young and hot; she was Hollywood's It Girl for a solid decade, but as we all know, Hollywood is notoriously unkind to aging actresses. Or was it her audience who got tired of seeing her?
Whether she was picking really bad scripts or people got tired of her playing the same hot-but-uptight character over and over, films like Sex Tape and 2014's Annie flopped. Royally. In fact, Cameron hasn't starred in a movie with a "fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes since 2007. Ouch.
Where it Went Wrong: An Investigation
Maybe directors got tired of working with a failing actor. Maybe she was a bit too vocal about the unfairness of being an "It Girl" in Hollywood. Or maybe Cameron is enjoying life with her new little family and has no desire to return to acting. Or maybe...
Maybe it's all of the above. Maybe Cameron has a few secrets she's waiting to reveal in an upcoming memoir and her absence is building suspense. Let's investigate all the little clues she's left us and take a look at her career up until now...
A Rough Start
Diaz began her path to fame as a model, nabbing photo shoots for Calvin Klein and Levi's before she turned 18. But all that modeling took a dark turn at the age of 19, when she posed topless for an S&M leather spread.
Typically, your career is all but done when you go "adult", so it seemed like Diaz was finished before she even got started. But of course, we know that's not where the story ends for Ms. Diaz...
Early Movie Star Career
However, Diaz had put her racy past behind her (or so she thought) when she landed her first major film role at age 21. Diaz was recommended for an audition for the movie The Mask, which soon became one of the top 10 highest-grossing films of the year.
Her role as the lead actress launched her into the spotlight as an in-demand Hollywood star, playing characters in movies like She's The One, Head Above Water, and There's Something About Mary. Suddenly every director wanted to work with Hollywood's new It Girl.
Success (Almost) Spoiled
But the crowning jewel of her career was Charlie's Angels, which she starred in back in 2000. And it's also when her past came back to haunt her...
Before the release of the sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, the photographer from that racy photo shoot asked her if she wanted to buy his footage--otherwise he was going to sell it to the highest bidder. Thankfully, she sued...and won.
Queen of the A-List
After her breakout role in The Mask and her critical success as the titular role in There's Something About Mary, Cameron Diaz became a major Hollywood A-Lister.
Everyone knew and loved her. She was the gorgeous actor, free spirit, and comedic queen that held the public's attention.
The Golden Girl
Diaz couldn't get enough of the attention--magazine covers, countless interviews, and being stopped by adoring fans every time she went out.
The only problem? She played the same role in every movie, and it was starting to feel stale.
Sex Symbol No Longer
Diaz has made it very clear that she knows her looks have helped her get as far as she has, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
However, she has made it blatantly clear that she doesn't want to play the hot girl anymore--and good for her. But it's costing her...
Bombing at the Box Office
With several critically acclaimed successes under her belt, it's to be expected that Diaz would have at least a few box office flops. But Diaz had hit a full-blown rough patch in her career by the early 2000s.
Even starring in action movies with Tom Cruise couldn't save Cameron's plummeting career.
Box Office Fails
Diaz tried taking more serious roles, starring in movies like In Her Shoes, The Box, and Knight And Day, but nothing seemed to make an impact at the box office.
Her fans had come to know her as a comedic actress, and Diaz struggled to find her footing in the world of drama.
It's no secret that Cameron Diaz hasn't been in a film since the 2014 film adaption of Annie. Before that, she starred in Gambit and The Other Woman. All three found no fans with critics.
However, things did improve a little with her role in The Counselor. While the movie itself wasn't beloved, fans and critics praised Diaz's performance.
Tired of Being a Celebrity
The word "celebrity" has taken on a whole new meaning in recent years. Almost all movie stars have some type of side hustle that helps them generate even more revenue (makeup and clothing lines, blogs, and the like).
Diaz has made it pretty clear that she doesn't have any interest. And unlike most celebs, she's managed to resist the allure of posting thirst traps to Instagram and selling detox tea.
"I Can't Wait"
Diaz has made it clear that she looks forward to the day she can officially step permanently out of the spotlight.
In a 2005 interview with People, she said, "I can't wait to be that age and hanging out with a bunch of people hanging out all day playing golf and going to the beach, all my own age. We'd be laughing and having a good time and getting loopy on our prescription drugs, driving golf carts around. I can't wait."
A Private Life
Cameron Diaz has been pretty adamant about keeping her life as a celebrity and her personal life as separate as she can. Diaz has dated several high profile guys like Justin Timberlake and Jared Leto. Back in 2015, she married musician Benji Madden, and they seem very happy together. Both of them have been very careful to keep their personal lives guarded against prying public eyes. And in this day and age, that's a smart move.
They welcomed their first child in January 2020, at ages 47 (Diaz) and 40 (Madden). They announced Raddix Madden's birth via Instagram, and shared that, "while we are overjoyed to share this news, we also feel a strong instinct to protect our little one's privacy. So we won't be posting pictures or sharing any more details, other than the fact that she is really really cute!! Some would even say RAD:)"
Return to Instagram
It seems Cameron took a hiatus from social media as well as Hollywood. She posted about the My Best Friend's Wedding cast's reunion in February of 2019, and posted extremely minimally until this year. It seems that the birth of her daughter, Raddix, has inspired her to get back into posting more frequently.
Does this mean she's gearing up for her big return to the silver screen? Or maybe the release of a new book! Only time will tell!
Taking a Break
At the 2017 Goop Wellness Summit event, Diaz has said that she's simply taking a "break" from the movie industry.
She went on to say that her life had been at a crossroads and "I just went, 'I can't really say who I am to myself. I felt the need to make myself whole."
Writing Books > Acting
In 2016, Cameron released her second book, The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time.
Cameron seems to be completely comfortable using her voice and platform to discuss the aging female body. So why has she stopped the discussion? Or did Hollywood hush her up?
What's Next for Cameron Diaz?
Cameron Diaz can do anything she puts her mind to, but that probably won't be acting in the future. Her friend and former co-star Selma Blair made a remark in an interview with the Evening Standard, saying that "I would have liked to do a sequel [to The Sweetest Thing], but Cameron's retired from acting," Blair said.
She added, "She's like 'I'm done'...I mean, she doesn't need to make any more films. She has a pretty great life, I don't know what it would take to bring her back."
Diaz did officially state she'd retired from acting in a March 2018 interview with Selma Blair and Christina Applegate for Entertainment Weekly. However, she did say that if there were ever plans for a sequel to The Sweetest Thing (that all three starred in), she'd be more than happy to reprise her role.
For now, she seems to be enjoying her retirement from the limelight. She's worked hard, and it's time for her to enjoy some well-deserved R&R!