Cameron Diaz: ‘The mid-1990s are an era that will never exist again’

Cameron Diaz at in-store appearance for...

How many times have we all suggested that some celebrity “take a break” or just take some time away from the spotlight? I feel like I personally give that advice to a lot of struggling celebrities, but few of them actually do it. I don’t think I ever said that Cameron Diaz needed a break, but that’s fine – she took one anyway. She’s basically been away from the spotlight for five years (minus one book promotion). No movies, no international promotional tours, no interviews, just the occasional appearance on social media, or the rare tabloid report. Every now and then, one of her movies will come on and I’ll watch one – The Holiday is always a favorite – and remember how much fun she was to cover, and to just enjoy as an actress, and I sort of miss her. Which is weird, I know, because she was never really my fave. Anyway, Cameron participated in InStyle’s 25th anniversary issue and her piece is written as a first-person essay about why she’s on a break and how much happier she is. I believe that – I bet she loves living a different way now. Some highlights:

On fame: “I started when I was 22, so 25 years ago — that’s a long time. The way I look at it is that I’ve given more than half of my life to the public. I feel it’s OK for me to take time for myself now to reorganize and choose how I want to come [back] into the world. If I decide to. I don’t miss performing. Right now I’m looking at the landscape of wellness and all that. But whatever I do, it has to be something I’m passionate about — something that just feels effortless.

‘90s nostalgia and the changing landscape: “At this point, I’ve done so much, I feel fulfilled with the adventures I’ve sought out in my life. I’m in a great place, and the world is so different now too. The mid-1990s are an era that will never exist again. I’m just so grateful that I got to witness and partake in it. I look at technology now, and it’s unbelievable. Sure, you can post anything at any time on Instagram and you’re able to control your own narrative, and that’s incredible. But you’re tied to your phone, and you’re so dependent on it… We’ve lost touch with our humanity and our humanness, and I think it’s really healthy to not have to be accountable for every minute of our day.

She doesn’t owe anyone anything: “It’s fun to just not have anybody know what I’m up to. 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.

On her 40s: “You know, I think the 40s are the best decade. You just get to be real with yourself, and you can also make necessary changes because you have the experience of looking back on four decades. Looking at patterns and seeing what things really work. You get to let go of giving a sh-t about anything. You’re done! Don’t care. I really don’t. It’s such a relief. You also start to go through changes on a physical level and realize there’s nothing you can do about them. Then you get to look back at pictures and think, “Oh my god, I hated myself at that moment, but look how young I was.” … I know right now I’m the youngest I’ll ever be. I’m a 47-year-old woman who’s like, “Hell, yeah!” I’m fine with it. I’m grateful for every moment I have.”

On her marriage: “I just want to build better, stronger friendships with the people who are in it with me. Of course, that includes my husband [musician Benji Madden]. Getting married to him was the best thing that ever happened to me. My husband’s the best. He’s the greatest human being, and he’s my great partner. Marriage is certainly hard, and it’s a lot of work. You need somebody who’s willing to do the work with you, because there’s no 60-40 in marriage. It’s 50-50, period. All the time. I don’t know if I was ready [when I got married], but I knew Benji was special. He’s just a good man. There’s no bullsh-t. It’s really refreshing. I’m really grateful for him.”

What’s next: “I like doing my own thing. I like creating, so I’m just looking for the project that makes the most sense for me now. I have some things brewing, but it’s a little too early to talk about them. I love everything that my girlfriends are doing, like what Gwyneth Paltrow has done with Goop and my sister-in-law Nicole Richie with her House of Harlow. Overall, I feel lucky that I got to be in the world and explore it when it was a different place. It was a real privilege.

[From InStyle]

I’ve wondered about her marriage to Benji Madden, just because they still, to this day, seem like such an odd couple. I wouldn’t say that Cameron’s picker was “off,” but I would say that it just never seemed like she was interested in dating the traditional hot-guy actor. She seemed to like guys who were a bit offbeat, so maybe Benji fits with that. I guess I wondered if Benji wanted her to stay home and just be his wife and she agreed, or if SHE wanted to take time off. It sounds like everything about her life right now is her choice though, and honestly, good for her.

Photos courtesy of Instagram, Avalon Red.

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71 Responses to “Cameron Diaz: ‘The mid-1990s are an era that will never exist again’”

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  1. Lila says:

    She looks great. Aging while not in the Hollywood fishbowl was a smart idea. I’m not sure how much work she’s had done, but whatever she’s done, she looks like a normal (albeit beautiful) person. She’s far enough away from the crazy that she hasn’t filler’d her looks into oblivion.

    • AB says:

      She does look great, and I think it’s because she left her eyes alone. She’s also much more television than photogenic, which I always find interesting. She was smart to step away and not stress.

  2. tw says:

    If I had her money and success, I would be doing the same. I would take a few years off from work and just enjoy my life and relationships.

    • tealily says:

      100% It seems really healthy to me.

    • lucy2 says:

      Same here. Do it while you’re young and healthy enough to enjoy it, to travel, to find passions. Few people get that opportunity.

    • perplexed says:

      Yeah. I’ve always wondered why other famous people don’t do the same (unless you genuinely enjoy working — that’s different). I’m not talking simply about women. I’ve wondered about some of the men who’ve had great success but aren’t that talented (i.e Stephen Segal or whoever). You’ve experienced everything so I think you’d be less likely to crave what you’ve already experienced. Then again, it’s the people who suddenly choose to be more private (because they can afford to be) that you start to miss and want to see more of again. Go figure.

      If the Kardashians suddenly chose to go private, I don’t think I’d miss them though. Not unless their replacements were even worse.

  3. broodytrudy says:

    She has amazing skin. Maybe i should read her book.

    • Redgrl says:

      Had an unpleasant experience with her in a hotel elevator. She was there with her hubby and visibly tried to close the door as we were getting on . We hadn’t been paying attention and didn’t know who was in the elevator until she did that – so we got on anyway (WTF?). She was rolling her eyes like “how dare these plebs get on a public elevator in a big city hotel while I’m on it?!” Sorry, Cammie, not going to wait for another elevator for you – our time is just as valuable as yours! We didn’t acknowledge her and just kept talking amongst ourselves on the ride up. So not a fan of hers – and she actually doesn’t have amazing skin in real life..

      • E says:

        I was just going to say, she really has awful, acne-scarred skin in person.

      • Holly says:

        It’s difficult to know the dynamics of a situation when you walk into the middle of one; Cameron could have been tired or a unwell, or been pestered by fans all day. The fact you copped it may have just been bad timing, and nothing to do with you, or her. To add a comment about the amazingness or otherwise of her skin is not necessary to the narrative.

      • Redgrl says:

        @holly – responding to the poster who said she had great skin and should buy her book – so yeah, relevant since that’s how I saw she had bad skin. But thanks for the unnecessarily judgy post policing! 🤦🏽‍♀️

  4. Eleonor says:

    I get what she is saying about the ’40s: I am 38, and I feel that way I feel like I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, I don’t have the kind of pressure that comes from “being perfect” or “cool”, or fashion, or hot, I had when I was younger. I felt I had to prove all that things: now I am a happy single woman who lives with her cat, read books, travels a lot. And I have friends I love more than anything. And it’s beautiful.
    I would never go back to that ocean of insecurities I had in my ’20s.

    • Kitten says:

      Your life right now sounds exactly like mine 3 years ago before I met my BF.
      It’s a happy and simple life. Cats make it even better ;)

      • Eleonor says:

        A single woman without a cat? No way. I want to do this “spinster thing” properly! Single woman with the cat. And she is BLACK. LOL.

      • Kitten says:

        LOL I like your commitment, Eleanor!

        And I know you’re just poking fun at yourself with the spinster comment but when I was 37 and all I had was my cats, my awesome 2 bed/2 bath apartment, and what was shaping out to be a fairly lucrative career, my life felt pretty damn complete. One of the things I miss most about being single is having so much TIME: time to clean, time to read, time to work on projects or travel. Never had to coordinate my schedule with someone else–could just up and leave when I wanted (as long as I had a cat sitter in place lol). It is harder to do that now that I live with someone.

        There’s an amazing freedom that comes with being single when you’re old enough to have a solid career, a decent paycheck, and no outside responsibilities like kids. Enjoy every second of it because things can change in a snap ;)

      • Eleonor says:

        I have been in a long relationship for the last 13 years of my life, at the beginning I was terrified, now I really appreciate this new freedom, and I am really proud of me! 🙂

    • paranormalgirl says:

      I love my 50′s. I’m married to a great partner, have kids ready to go off to college, and we try hard to keep it simple. I want to cut back on my caseload and spend all of my time in the Bahamas with friends and family, and maybe dust off the old family medicine license and open up a clinic.

      • Nicegirl says:

        @paranormalgirl HELL YES that sounds amazing, and you’ve earned it. I’ll be looking for your updates here on bc! 💕🖖🏽

    • Grant says:

      Cats are the best!

      • Lena says:

        @Paranormalgirl. Just do it! This summer I’ve been watching those HGTV shows where people just move away to the Caribbean and work from there. My dream.

  5. Ertia says:

    I thought she was such a terrible actress, and now I respect what she’s done (other than telling people what to do with their pubic hair). Make a bunch of cash, get out of the industry before you’re pushed out by agism, and enjoy your many millions of dollars.

    • ME says:

      Yeah I mean why not retire when you have money to last the rest of your life? The ones who are super rich and continue to stay in the spotlight do so because they crave attention. She doesn’t.

    • Carmen says:

      I haven’t seen her in many films but I thought she was great in The Counselor.

      • Carol says:

        I think Cameron is a much better actress than many of her counterparts and is totally underrated. Only towards the end of her career did I feel like she was phoning it in like Sex Tape and the horrible The Other Women.

    • Christin says:

      Completely agree. Once you have enough money, just enjoy your time. If I were an actress who had a good run of paydays early on, I would get out no matter how many awards and/or magazine covers I once had.

  6. ME says:

    I absolutely hate the way the world is right now. I hate seeing people all day long hunched over looking down at their damn phones while driving (idiots), while crossing the damn street (morons), and even kids texting while riding their bikes ! It’s insane.

    • perplexed says:

      I don’t think people should be attached to their phones, but I do think they make long commutes on a train with smelly people more tolerable. I’m conflicted.

      • ME says:

        I think there is a time and place for everything. What I really hate is how irresponsible people are with their phones. People need to realize that driving is NOT the time to be on your phone, or while walking across a busy street, or while riding your bike. Using your phone to pass time on a train where your attention isn’t needed elsewhere and where safety is not a concern is completely fine.

      • Myrtle says:

        Books were really good for that, too! ;-)

    • Lena says:

      I remember when books, newspapers and magazines always did that trick on trains, planes, doctors offices, whatever and they had the additional plus of hiding your face (well newspapers anyway!).

  7. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Cameron seems really happy. And good for her for stepping away and being okay with doing so. I think people have this idea that if you’re an actor or famous or both that it’s something that you always want to do. It isn’t. That was definitely was the case for me. I LOVED acting and did it for a significant portion of my teens and twenties. But I have literally no desire to go back to it. And I think that’s where Cameron is on a much bigger scale. Couple that with the scrutiny of fame and it’s probably even more refreshing. And being older helps because you aren’t looking for strangers validations. You truly don’t care. I think her husband came around at the perfect time because she herself has stated that she was scared of commitment and marriage. I think being older and wanting to create your own solid base changes that a bit.

    • ME says:

      Now you have me wondering what shows/movies you’ve been in !

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        I was a theater actress. But if you keep your eyes peeled you may see me for a second as an extra in the movie Hardball with Keanu Reeves. 😂

    • Dee Kay says:

      I think this is such a great perspective and thank you for sharing it. I often wonder about people who are older and still doing the same jobs they did when they were in their twenties — didn’t they get bored with that profession? Didn’t they want to try anything else, or explore hobbies, given that they’ve made their money and can do *anything* they want? At the same time, I think some people really are born with lifelong callings that they will feel the need to devote themselves to, no matter what anyone thinks of the quality of work. What they did at 20 is exactly what they want to do at 80.

      I think Cameron Diaz never really thought of herself as a real actress, but I always liked her a ton. I think she’s a very gifted and natural comedienne, so selfishly, I would like to see her star in more comedy and romcom type TV shows and films as she ages. But it sounds like she’s super happy now, so she shouldn’t go back to working in the business just to make me happy :) :) :) .

  8. Dani says:

    The Madden brothers are good guys. I’ve loved them since I was like…10…and have met them countless times. They grew up rough and made it out alright. They are ‘off beat’ because they have that Punk persona but they are sweethearts and super talented. I LOVE the Cameron married Benji. And I absolutely adore her and still do.

    • Kitten says:

      My perspective as someone who obviously doesn’t know these people personally (lol) is that Cam finally found a GOOD guy after dating a lot of losers. Just being around someone who is genuinely caring and attentive–someone who doesn’t play games or put on heirs–can be really intoxicating after years of dealing with narcissistic man-babies.
      It’s easy for me to see how she would fall fast for him and how they’d be able to make a stable and loving life together.
      I’m happy for them.

    • PleaseAndThankYou says:

      LOL! NOPE! The Madden twins were certainly not “nice guys” back when I knew them, pre-fame. In fact, much of their behavior was pretty disgusting, even through their rise to national fame. I grew up with them and, while I’m glad you seemed to have had a positive experience with them, and I know that people can change for the better as they grow older – I’m sorry, but I just have to refute this idea that they were “good guys”, at least through their early 20’s. They engaged in some pretty inexcusable behavior towards girls, they were petty (whiny) and could not handle losing with grace, were consistently thrown out of places – and this was pre-fame and post-early fame. If you presented as a fan, I would assume you would’ve seen a different side of them, but as another human being that simply knew them? I’ll leave it at general details, but, no, they were not and never have been considered “nice” or “good” or “sweet” guys by anyone that knew them from back home. 😂 Yikes.

      • prettypersuasion says:

        your experience w/ them sounds like mine. benji was an arrogant jerk back 15-20 years ago.

    • PleaseAndThankYou says:

      @Dani

      And no, they did not actually “make it out” of some horrible childhood in poverty. The favorite and most blatant lie of theirs.

    • Penny says:

      @Dani me too!! Except I never met them 💔 I also love Joel with Nicole…they’re both great couples

  9. Kitten says:

    “Then you get to look back at pictures and think, ‘Oh my god, I hated myself at that moment, but look how young I was.’ … I know right now I’m the youngest I’ll ever be. I’m a 47-year-old woman who’s like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ I’m fine with it. I’m grateful for every moment I have.”

    All of this is so true. It’s weird to look back on photos of myself 15 years ago and remember thinking that I was over-the-hill at 25 LOL. And she’s right about enjoying whatever age you are now because you won’t be that age ever again. When I struggle with aging, I remind myself of that. It helps a lot to get me to refocus on enjoying every moment NOW and not worrying to much about what the future will bring.

    I’ve always liked Cammie even though this forum has always been hella harsh on her. I never understood the hate. She seems like a chill person to me. *shrugs*

    • Spicecake38 says:

      I found a photo of myself from when I was about 32,and I couldn’t believe how good I looked,but I remember the day place and time it was taken and I remember that I was feeling uncomfortable because my clothing felt a bit snug.
      I’m 43 and not quite as *shiny* as I used to be,but I do like how I’ve aged so far,but yeah looking back and realizing you didn’t like yourself isn’t worth it,cause when I’m another decade older I’ll think how great I look now.
      I’ve always liked Cameron-a lot!

    • Mab's A'Mabbin says:

      This is really one of the hardest things to act on. We start to realize our patterns of repetition and vow to put a stop to it — to logically, intelligently and effectively cap the well of self-sabotage. But we’re human and duality sneaks up on us more than we like to admit. Our inner good versus evil selves are relentless. We overthink. We over analyze. We dwell. We hang on or we let go. The cyclical pattern is cliché, but it’s cliché for a reason lol.

      • Kitten says:

        Oh completely, Mabs. It’s a deeply-ingrained mindset that is really difficult to break. Focusing on the immediate and being grateful for the things that I recognize as fragile and impermanent as we age: mobility, healthy parents, healthy sex lives (lol) etc are all things that bring me peace of mind and a feeling of appreciation. Also important to NOT be too hard on ourselves when we don’t live up to the aforementioned mindset and have moments of self-criticism, self-pity, or just general frustrations with our bodies as we age.

        We’re only human after all ;)

      • Mab's A'Mabbin says:

        We’re all on our own tightropes fer sure. I’ve noticed throughout my years when something special or important is happening, I consciously remind myself to remember everything about it, to enjoy, appreciate, be greatful. Then time passes, and I remember, it’s bittersweet but time doesn’t stop, and I’m never as earnest with my feelings as I though I should have been when the the thing I was remembering actually happened. Does that make any sense? I could be just a dog chasing my tail lol.

  10. Jillian says:

    She looks so great! I’m happy for her and Benji.

    I got bangs recently and I really regret it. Growing them is the worst

    • Spicecake38 says:

      We must have a connection,I was out a while ago and saw a girl with cute bangs,and thought about getting some cut,but then I recalled the last time I had bangs was about 14 years ago and how HARD it was styling them and growing them out,so I’ll just send you some internet support 😘about regretting your bangs and say I bet you look really beautiful.

  11. Mab's A'Mabbin says:

    She’s 100% correct. The 1990s will never exist again.

    • Kitten says:

      Yup. My heart sank a little when I read that because part of me really mourns that time period. Sigh.

    • severine says:

      Neither will the ’70s, the 60s, the 50s, the 40s., etc. Really, just an airhead comment. She is no great intellectual.

      • Yamayo says:

        Oh come on, we all know what she means.

        The 90s was the decade before the world went to shit, there was a certain freshness about it.
        The world was less mean back then.

        Now we have wars everywhere, Trump, Brexit, far-right back in fashion, anti vaxxers, flat earthers, internet ‘influencers’ etc

        Oh, and the music is crap.

      • Spicecake38 says:

        I know what you’re saying about past decades,but the 90′s were truly the end of something because the internet began and now most people don’t and won’t have a clue about life sans reality TV,and photoshopped to death instagram pics.
        It was of course pre 9-11
        And our icons like JFK Junior,and Carolyn Bessette,and princess Diana, were icons,not insta influencers.

      • Toi Filles says:

        @Spicecake: Someone also mentioned the advancements of the digital age is comparable to the Industrial Revolution.

        I watched the PBS documentary The Gilded Age, and feel like we’re experiencing a redux of the abuses of that era: corporate monopolies, severe income inequality, & the resulting discontent w/ our political system.

    • Toi Filles says:

      My days during 90′s in Texas: Ann Richards was governor. And during one election season, gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams made a rape joke, thinking it was off the record, and was *promptly* hounded out of the race. Without Twitter. Imagine that.

  12. SJR says:

    If she wants to longer be a public figure, good for her, her choice.
    Honestly, how many of us would choose to “retire” if we had $millions? Most of us I think.

    Btw, nobody needs more celebrity lifestyle branding products, IMO. Ever.

  13. Tiffany says:

    I have always like Cameron and I think she was not given enough credit as a good actress with great comedic timing (her turn in Vanilla Sky really threw me for a loop because she had the dramatic chops as well).

    But she also seems to have some self awareness that is rare now and days in high profile celebrities. Before her self imposed retirement she had a lot a life changes, including the death of her father who she absolutely adored.

    Death of loved one really does have you thinking about you life and Cameron wanted something else and good for her for making those decisions.

    I honestly think that if she wanted to, she can get her pick of any project she wants and that is awesome and I can’t wait to see her on the screen again.

    • Christin says:

      I did not know about her father. A parent’s death brings a lot of things into perspective.

  14. Nicegirl says:

    I do so enjoy watching most of her movies, they’re usually a lot of fun. I was looking through my dvds this summer and noticed she’s one of the leading actresses in my collection which I did not do on purpose- she’s funny and my man picks Cam Diaz for me sometimes cuz girl movies I guess- we have In Her Shoes, THe Holiday, Vegas Ashton dUmbish movie with cute Lake Bell, Other Woman, Mask, SweetestThing, Mary, Gambit, more I cant recall. Get your fun on Cami D

  15. Sorella says:

    I’ve always liked Cameron – and I feel IN HER SHOES was her best movie!! I do think at one point she was fighting the aging and getting work done and her face was looking a bit MASK like (pun intended haha). And I got the feeling she was struggling with that and likely no longer feeling like the hot blond she was often cast at – aging is HARD so it is even harder in Hollywood, with their faces on a big screen.

    I would like her to do TV, bite into a good miniseries. But if I had her money I would do the same, just live and enjoy life. I am always surprised more of them don’t cash and go, but then again, most of them are so narcistic and cant’ even leave IG for a day, let alone forever!

  16. Shana says:

    I DO think her picker was off. She dated Timberlake (biggest egomaniac) and Arod (biggest douche) after all. I think Benji is truly different and marriage to him includes less bullshit

  17. Rogue says:

    I kind of miss Cameron. She seemed unproblematic, had good comedic timing and was decent at drama. Glad she’s happy

  18. Joanna says:

    I think Cameron gets a lot of passes. I find myself wanting to like her. She presents herself as a down to earth, girl’s girl. But it sounds like maybe she’s not so nice…