There’s something about Cameron Diaz: Here’s looking at five of her best films
Mary. Natalie. Lotte. Fiona. Every character that Cameron Diaz has played in her 20-year career, has been infused with that X factor that made her such a big star. But just a few days ago, Diaz, now 45 and with her last major movie out four years ago (Annie, 2014), confirmed — there had been rumours last year — that she had retired from acting.
A rude shock it was for fans when she said it, because Diaz always lit up the screen, no matter what her look, and no matter what the movie genre.
Her first break, the 1994 action comedy The Mask, in which she played the luscious lounge singer Tina Carlyle, opposite Jim Carrey’s Stanley Ipkiss / The Mask, didn’t come easy — she auditioned 12 times for the role. And when the film was out, she was on her way to stardom, a position cemented by the 1998 romcom, There’s Something About Mary.
A huge box-office star, Diaz fronted The Sweetest Thing (2002), In Her Shoes (2005), and What Happens in Vegas (2008), and was also a part of critically acclaimed projects such as Any Given Sunday (1999), Being John Malkovich (1999), and Gangs of New York (2002).
Has Diaz really retired? Who knows for sure? In the meanwhile, let’s check out five of her most memorable films.
1 There’s Something About Mary
In the 1998 film, one of her smash hits, Diaz played a twenty-something American girl, Mary, who’s confused about her suitors and decides to take her time and figure out whom she loves. Mary is hounded by three men who are eyeing her at the same time, before she finally falls for Ted, the character played by Ben Stiller. There’s that iconic laugh-out-loud scene, in which Mary is out on a date with Ted, and a tuft of her hair sticks up, because she has mistaken a rather yucky substance — won’t name it here! — for hair gel. This was the highest grossing film in North America, and the fourth highest grossing film in the world, that year.
2 Being John Malkovich
This Oscar-nominated 1999 fantasy drama saw Diaz playing pet store clerk Lotte Schwartz. Lotte and her husband Craig, played by John Cusack, discover a portal that can take them into the head of actor John Malkovich, playing himself in the movie. In this amazingly original story, Diaz was completely unrecognisable, with her messy hair, dowdy clothes, and de-glam look. She said in an interview later that she never imagined she‘d be playing such a character. “I didn’t realise that people weren’t going to recognise me until I put the costume on and I stood around talking to people working the production. I just assumed they knew it was me, but they thought I was a stranger. It was kind of interesting,” she said. The film received three nominations at the 2000 Academy Awards, including a Best Director nom for Spike Jonze.
3 My Sister’s Keeper
Diaz played the role of a mother who‘d do anything to save her cancer-stricken daughter from dying; so much so, that she gives birth to another daughter, so that the younger one becomes the saviour sibling (a child who is born to provide an organ or a cellular transplant to a sibling who’s afflicted by a fatal disease). It‘s easily one of the most intense roles ever played by Diaz. The 2009 film proved that she was not just a star, but also a fine actor.
Diaz voiced the animated character of Fiona, a stunning redhead princess who‘s trapped in a tower and cursed into becoming an ogre every night, until her “one true love” rescues her. The first instalment in the Shrek franchise won the Best Animated Feature Film award at the 2002 Oscars, and Diaz’s Fiona became one of the most loved animated characters of the 21st century.
5 Charlie’s Angels
Apart from making a name for herself in the drama and comedy genres, Diaz proved that she wasn’t one to only do the damsel-in-distress kind of roles. She kicked some serious a** playing Natalie Cook in the action comedy franchise, Charlie’s Angels. The two films, along with Uma Thurman’s Kill Bill ( Vol 1 and 2), are among the few Hollywood action movies with female protagonists to have done extremely well at the box office. The two Charlie’s Angels films (2000 and 2003) made more than $500 million.
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