Cameron Diaz has been avoiding the restaurant at Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont. “We haven’t seen you in a while,” the maître d’ says as he drops her off at our table. Cameron nods wistfully, “I know! It’s not that she dosen’t like famously posh place – it’s that she can’t resist their fried-chicken special. There was a time when the 38-year-old camde here every Sunday to treat herself to the fattening feast. Not anymore. As the blonde beauty shrugs off her beige blazer to reveal a fitted gray sweater underneath, she tells us she stopped eating fried food this past January. “I’ve always worked out, but I woke up one day and realized that, while I looked fine, eating the way I was didn’t make feel fine,” she orders a low-cal meal of roast chicken, quinoa, and kale.
Hmm… could this change in diet have been influenced by her romance with Alex Rodriguez, the notoriously health-conscious baseball superstar?
Perhaps it gave her the idea, but she shrugs off the notion that she’s ever change just to please a guy. “I really don’t care what other people think,” she says with a shake of her head. “It’s my life; I live it the way I want to.” That’s Cameron’s go-to mantra, and she applies it to everything – from the movies she stars in to the crazy adventure trips she goes on with BFF Drew Barrymore to whether she’ll let her steamy relationship progress to the next step.
Her Most Wicked Role Yet
As good of an actress as Cameron is, there’s nothing more fun than watching her be naughty. In Bad Teacher, she plays Elizabeth, a weed-smoking, sex-obsessed techer who’s trying to save enough money for breast implants. She swears at students, falls asleep on the job, and tries to seduce someone else’s crush. It’s a role plenty of actresses would’ve stayed away from, worrying it crossed too many lines. Cameron isn’t concerned. “C’mon, you don’t think there are teachers out there who get high after school or want a boob job?!” she laughs, slapping her knee. “I was drawn to her because she’s real. She lives how she wants to and doesn’r apologize for it. She’s not perfect, and I liked that she isn’t a totally changed woman at the end of the film, because that’s just not realistic.”
Turning a less-than-appealing character into a role that fans will love to watch is part of the fun for Cameron. “I like being challenged,” she says. Which is ecactly why she loves to do some of her own stunts. Tom Cruise describes a crazy one that took place on the set of Knight and Day, which he and Cameron starred in together last summer.
“Cameron was known as CD for short, and the stunt coordinators couldn’t stop talking about her. They’d say, “Wait till you see CD drive this car,” She was pulling 180s right on the mark. Some of this stuff she was doing could be considered dangerous, and she just blew everyone away.”
Dangerous? “It’s just fun,” says Cameron, as if it were no big deal to have put her multimillion-dollar bod at risk. “Who doesn’t dream of being able to master a car chase?”
According to her best friend, Drew Barrymore, Cameron has a definite kamikaze streak. “She’s my sister, but we bro out and have crazy adventures. I always know that she is game. Most people don’t know this, but she’s very edgy.” says Barrymore, speaking from the office of her production company, Flower Films. “That has been a big part of our friendship, knowing that she will throw down at any time, as well as that sisterly, cozy, nurturing love that we have.” Their travels have included sky-diving in California and swimming with sharks in Tahiti. Swimming with sharks? Were they protected by cages? “There was no cage,” Barrymoresays with pride, “We need no cage!”
If course, beingbuds isn’t about doing cool things. Cameron believes everyone should be authentic to theirr true self. So when she sees Drew making a move that dosen’t seem right for her, she isn’t afraid to tell her. “It’s all in how you say it,” Cameron explains. “Rather than saying ‘Hey, you always do this…,’ you can say ‘Have you ever realized that when you do that, this happens?'”
A closefriendship like theirs isn’t one-sided when it comes to doling out advice. “Drew is wise and a solid friend,” Cameron says. “It’s crucial to have friends who will have your back, and Drew always has mine.”
Cameron credits her no-bullshit, be-yourself life philosophy to two recent factors: getting older and losing her dad. “I think you get better as you age. You know what you want, and you become stronger mentally, emotionally, and physically,” she says with a serious nod. “But also, things have happened recently that have pushed me to grow. My father died, and having gone through that really made me think about my life and how I want to live it.”
About That White Dress…
One life decision Cameron’s still unsure about is marriage. She has dated some of the hottest men in Hollywood – including Jared Leto and her Bad Teacher costar Justin Timberlake – but those relationships always seemed more about fun than forever. And although she’s in no rush. “Marriage hasn’t been important to me, because I believe we are with who we’re supposed to be with them. If I try to lock something down, I’m missing out on all the possibilities of what it could be,” she says.
And while many women her age either come down with a case of baby fever or simply give in to the cocietal pressure to get prego, Cameron isn’t feeling kids. “You can’t have a child just because you think it’s something you are supposed to do” she says. “It dosen’t make sense for everyone. And it’s not an absolute for me.” So if she’s not sure a family is in her future, where does she think she’ll be in 10 years? “There’s no destination,” she says, leaning back into her chair, utterly content. “All I can say is that I’m in a contant forward motion.”