A mum at 47 and a comeback: Cameron Diaz's 30-year life in the spotlight.

In 2018, Cameron Diaz confirmed the rumours about her long absence from the film industry: she had retired.

After three decades in the spotlight, the award-winning actor had decided it was time to learn who she was beyond Cameron Diaz, the Hollywood star.

“It’s fun to just not have anybody know what I’m up to,” Diaz told InStyle in 2019. “Because my time is all mine. I’m not selling any films, and because I’m not selling anything, I don’t have to give anybody anything. I’m not doing this anymore. I’m living my life.”

It was a stunning move. But it seems, perhaps it wasn’t a permanent one.

Speaking to her longtime makeup artist, Gucci Westman, for her YouTube series Makeup & Friends in April, the 48-year-old said she wouldn’t rule out a return to the big screen one day.

Cameron Diaz and her surprising celebrity friend. (Post continues.)

Video by Mamamia

“You know, look, I’m never going to say never,” she said in the video, “because I’m not a person who says never about anything, clearly.”



From model to comedy star, and blackmail victim.

In 1990, 17-year-old Cameron Diaz’s face beamed out from the cover of the iconic American girls’ magazine, Seventeen.

The San Diego-born teen scored a modelling contract with Elite the previous year and booked campaigns with major labels, including Levi’s and Calvin Klein. Her career seemed all mapped out.

“I’ll probably model until I’m old and grey,” she said in the accompanying interview. “Actually, my ultimate dream is to be a zoologist. Maybe go on safari in Africa and study lions.”


But it was a nudge from her management four years later that started her down the path to Hollywood. There was a movie being cast based on a popular comic book, and producers were looking for a model to play the lead.

That film was The Mask.

"There were no barriers up. There was a brain behind her," casting director Fern Champion told Variety. "She was just wide-eyed and blue-eyed, saying, ‘Yeah, I want to act, Sure. What do I have to do?’

There was “a light around her," co-star Joely Fisher (Maggie) continued. "She was just breathtaking in person. The character was so on the money for her to play. I knew she was going to be a star.”

Three and four years after her role as Tina Carlyle, Diaz was cast in the films that would make her a household name: the 1997 romantic comedy My Best Friend's Wedding, in which she starred opposite Julia Roberts; and 1998's There's Something About Mary. That scene with the 'hair gel' and another involving an, erm, unfortunate zipper accident are considered among the most iconic comedy film moments of the 20th century.

'Is that hair gel?' Image: 20th Century Fox.

Roles in major box-office hits followed steadily over the next 10 years, from Charlie's Angels (2000) to the animated classic Shrek (2001).

Critical acclaim came via her performances in the dramas Being John Malkovich (1999) and Gangs of New York (2002), both of which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

With her success came those looking to exploit it.

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In 2003, prior to the release of the Charlie's Angels sequel, Full Throttle, Diaz was approached by photographer John Rutter, who had taken topless pictures of her for an editorial spread when she was 19.

The photographs never made it to print, but now that she was famous, Rutter offered to sell them back to her for US$3.5 million (AU$5.5 million). Diaz later testified in court that Rutter told her he could get more money from other buyers who would use them to portray her as a "bad angel".


Rutter was convicted of forgery, attempted grand theft and perjury in 2005 and sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.

Finding "the real thing" with Benji Madden.

Throughout her career, Cameron Diaz's relationships have been a tabloid editor's dream.

During her early success, she was with Something About Mary co-star, Matt Dillon, who described her as his "muse". Then came a four-year relationship and engagement to actor and 30 Seconds to Mars frontman (and possessor of glorious hair), Jared Leto. The pair split in 2003.

Cameron and Justin in 2006. Image: Getty.

Later that year, she met and began dating singer Justin Timberlake. Their relationship ended four years later, after both spoke about Diaz's reluctance to marry: "I’m a commitment-phobe. Don’t want to do it," she said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2006.

She was later linked to magician Criss Angel and dated baseball star Alex Rodriguez on and off for a year in 2010-11. He later said, "I don’t like talking about my relationships, but I will tell you about CD: She’s probably one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met, and just an amazing light."

But in 2014, the 'commitment-phobe' found her person.

Diaz started dating Good Charlotte musician, Benji Madden, in mid-2014, after being introduced by her friend and Madden's sister-in-law, Nicole Richie. The pair were married the following January in the living room of their Beverly Hills home.

In an interview on Radio Andy in 2016, she said they had an instant connection.

"No one compares. Everything else just like washes and slips away. You realise like, ‘Oh this is like the real thing is. This is what real love is. This is what real commitment and devotion is. This is the person you build your life with,'" she said.


Speaking at the 2017 Goop Wellness Summit, Diaz added, “We women are objectified so much. Somehow my husband has just been able to kind of show me what it’s like not to have that be a part of a relationship, and being an equal.”


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A post shared by Benji Madden (@benjaminmadden) on

The couple now has a child together. Diaz gave birth to their daughter, Raddix, on December 30, 2019.

In an April interview, the former actor described their new family life — in the midst of California's COVID-19 lockdown — as "quiet and still".


"After we do bath time with our baby and we put her to sleep, Benji puts her to bed, he's so good. He's such an amazing father," she said during an Instagram Live chat with friend and Who What Wear CEO, Katherine Power.

"He puts her down and I go into the kitchen and I pour myself a nice glass of red wine. I start my cooking, I put on my show, whatever it is."

The 48-year-old recently spoke to model Naomi Campbell about becoming a mother later in life, during last week's episode of Campbell's No Filter YouTube series. 

"A lot of people do it the other way around ... they get married [and] have a family in their youth," said Diaz. "I'm kind of doing it in the second half of my life."

"The only pressure for me now is I have to live to be, like, 107, you know? No pressure!" she joked. 

Diaz went on to call motherhood "the most gratifying time" in her life.  

"Even with all of the amazing experiences I've had in travelling and accomplishments of working hard and putting things into the world I'm proud of ... I know, this is really the most gratifying time in my life, to be in this place, to get here."

"Having a family when you're young ... it's like anything when you're young: You do it. But when you're my age and you decide to do it, it's a real choice. You really have to work hard for it."


"I don't miss performing": stepping away from the spotlight.

Cameron Diaz's last appearance on the big screen was in the 2014 film Annie. Years of rumours and tabloid headlines about her absence from the industry followed: 'Where is Cameron Diaz?', 'Cameron Diaz's silence'. In 2018, she confirmed she had left it all behind.

"I started [experiencing fame] when I was 22, so 25 years ago that’s a long time,” Diaz told InStyle. "I've given more than half of my life to the public. I feel it’s okay for me to take time for myself now to reorganise and choose how I want to come into the world. I don’t miss performing."

Diaz has turned her attentions to the wellness space, and has written two books: The Body Book in 2013, a number one New York Times bestseller about 'nutrition, exercise, and the mind/body connection'; and 2016's The Longevity Book, which contained interviews with experts in nutrition, medicine, neuroscience etc. about maintaining optimal health while ageing.

But more recently, she's relishing her role as a parent.

"I love being a mother. It's the best, best, best part of my life," she said during her chat with Katherine Power. "I'm so grateful and so happy and it's the best thing ever, and I'm so lucky to do it with Benj and we're having the best time. I'm thrilled. I can't believe it."

This article was originally published on April 2020 and was updated on November 2, 2020.

Feature Images: Getty.

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