Cameron Diaz talks The Body Book, Health & The Other Woman

When Cameron Diaz was in London for her new film The Other Woman recently, I had the chance to chat to her about relationships, health and why she is afraid of bungee-jumping (although jumping off the plane is quite okay).

Yes Cameron Diaz just appeared in yet another comedy, but there is definitely more to Cameron than that signature-smile and happy-go-lucky attitude that made her the queen of American comedy. Last year she was very busy. Diaz completely stole the show in Sir Ridley Scott’s thriller The Counsellor, wrote The Body Book and made a few statements on ageing gracefully (or rather on people refusing to do so in Hollywood).

“I don’t look like that on every morning” as she laughs off my compliment about her looks. “I’m going to be on Graham Norton’s show later on.”

William King (WK): You have so many comedies coming out this year. The Other Woman, Sex Tape, Annie. Some of them are quite rude. Do you think that’s something filmmakers have to do these days to stay edgy and funny?

Cameron Diaz (CD): Not necessarily. There are so many different types of humour, that’s why there are so many types of comedy, just take your pick. I love a good dark comedy, like Fargo, which is a bit more twisted, when you kind of laugh at humor of the situation, not at people trying to be funny. A bit of rudeness doesn’t hurt either, I loved Ted for instance. I also enjoy something like Shrek, which is for kids and for adults.

WK: That’s probably why you did the franchise so many times…

CD: Exactly! Thats why I do so many comedies, because they are not the same kind of humour or tone. Each role is actually different.

Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz in The CounsellorWK: In The Counsellor, you did such fantastic job playing Malkina, yet were very different to your regular screen self. Do you think roles like this don’t happen often enough in your career?

CD: A role like that just don’t come along every day, period! That movie was an exception from the beginning. The script, the actors, the director was just not something you come across all the time. It was a film which you know has a limited audience. You just do those roles for yourself. It doesn’t matter for me if people see them or not. If you do something that you love doing, that’s the gratification. That’s what I get to take with me, not adulation or applause. I don’t need any other way of validating it.

WK: You wrote The Body Book where you advised women on staying fit and healthy. If you could narrow it down to three rules that you swear by what would those be?

CD: Okay, let’s do it. ‘Consciousness’. You have to be aware of how your body and mind work together. Be aware of your choices. Hear what your body is saying to you and what its needs are. Then goes ‘knowledge’. That’s why I wrote the book, because I want people to understand what’s happening in their body at cellular level if you eat certain foods, how it extracts nutrients and where it puts them.

WK: How did you learn all about that?

CD: I just did a lot of research. This is my philosophy too, being conscious and aware and knowledgeable, which empowers you to make choices. It’s about things which you know are good for you. Okay, here goes the third rule: consistency and practice. Every day you have to stay consistent with being good to yourself.

WK: Do you eat everything?

CD: Yes, just in moderation. I do that equation constantly: what did I eat during the last meal and how much? Was the balance good or bad? What do I have in front of me now? What am I gonna have in the future? We all have to eat eventually, so we can embrace our hunger, but stay clever about it at the same time.

WK: When I was doing my research on you, I saw headlines like ‘Life starts at 40’, sorry about touching on age…

CD: That’s okay, I have absolutely no issues with that.

WK: If you had a friend who was, let’s say 30, what advice would you give her on life?

CD: It’s a great age, these next 10 years, if you do it right, are going to get you in the right place, given you pay attention and do the work, you learn your lessons and apply those lessons to life. If you’re conscious and aware, then what happens when you get to 40 is that you leave all that nonsense behind. You can let go of all the stuff that doesn’t matter. It really becomes clear. It is really easy to do and you are left with what are really the most important things and you can put your energy into those them. Just be in the moment and experience it, that’s the best thing about life. If you’re present in the moment and are not worried about the future and you’re not dwelling on the past, the present is a gift, as they say. You’re right here, so do the best that you can.

WK: Not a long time ago you told Oprah Winfrey that although you used botox in the past, you’re really against it now. What led you to that conclusion?

CD: No, I’m definitely not anti-botox. I don’t judge people. If it makes people feel better then that’s great. I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m saying be aware of the fact that you’re not stopping getting older. There’s no such thing as anti-ageing. You can slow it down but you can’t stop it.

WK: Damn…

CD: I know, right! But there is so much to gain from getting older. You don’t put enough value on the right things. We think we are loosing a lot, but are not looking at what we’re gaining. Your body doesn’t have to deteriorate. It’s up to you to take care of it and is your responsibility to nurture yourself and do the things that are good for you. Not just for this moment, but for longevity for the rest of your life.

WK: Maybe some people demonise Botox and plastic surgery when it could be seen as not much different to dyeing your hair or teeth whitening?

CD: It’s all about intention. If it’s to escape something and act like it’s not happening, sort of ‘if I don’t have lines on my face then I’m not getting older’, then it means you’re hurting yourself and tricking yourself into believing something that’s not true. But if treatments are something that just makes me feel better while I go through this process, then why not? For me too, I’m not saying never.

WK: In The Other Woman your character finds out that her boyfriend has a wife. She handles it with a lot of self-control. Is that how you’d approach a situation like that it in real life?

CD: It is a bit of a strange situation and I wouldn’t even know how I would act. Carly is kind of extreme. It’s also a very awkward situation. She was falling in love with someone. He was in her home, in her bed and then she finds out that he is married. But Carly is very clever and more practiced at it, than myself. Experience always helps, in real life too.

WK: Where do you see yourself in another 40 years time?

CD: When I think about the future for me, I just wanna be happy, healthy and valued and capable and strong and able… I don’t know in doing what.