Cameron Diaz comes out of retirement – but why did Hollywood star step away from acting?

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Cameron Diaz is returning to films despite announcing her retirement years ago.

The star’s big break came in 1994 with Jim Carrey film The Mask. Roles in My Best Friend’s Wedding, There’s Something About Mary, Charlie’s Angels, Shrek andThe Holiday solidified her as one of the most bankable Hollywood stars.

Diaz’s last film role was in a 2014 adaptation of Annie and, in 2018, during a conversation with her Sweetest Thing co-stars Selma Blair and Christina Applegate, she described herself as being retired.

Blair had previously said: “Cameron’s retired from acting. She’s like ‘I’m done.’”

But, why did Cameron Diaz retire from acting?

The actor clarified her decision in 2020 during an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow, saying that it left her with “a peace in my sould because I was finally taking care of myself”.

Diaz said the pressures of leading huge films became “overwhelming”, adding: “It’s a strange thing to say, I know a lot of people won’t understand it, I know you understand it, but it’s so intense to work at that level and be that public and put yourself out there.

“There’s a lot of energy coming at you at all times when you’re really visible as an actor and doing press and putting yourself out there.”

While speaking to Kevin Hart on talk show Hart to Heart in 2021, Diaz said: When you do something at a really high level for a long period of time, when you’re the person that is delivering one thing, you’re the person on the screen, all parts of you that isn’t that has to sort of be handed off to other people,” she said.

Diaz, 49, added that this included “different parts of my life, my home, every aspect, from finance, just the management of me as a human being, not me as Cameron Diaz the machine”.

Cameron Diaz last appeared on screen in 2014 (Getty Images)
Cameron Diaz last appeared on screen in 2014 (Getty Images)

She told Hart: “For my personal, spiritual self, I was realising that that one part of me that functioned at a high level wasn’t enough. It’s fun to do, I love it, I love acting, I could go forever, I sometimes feel like I have unlimited energy and inertia.

“I just looked around and there were so many parts of my life that I wasn’t touching and that I wasn’t managing, and I couldn’t really manage, because everything was so massive.”

She said that there were people in her life “who were not serving my best interests always, but you don’t have time to figure those things out if you are just going with blinders on, you’re in the tunnel”.

She continued: “For me, I just really wanted to make my life manageable by me. My routine in a day is literally what I can manage to do by myself. It’s the best feeling, I feel whole.”

Diaz is married to Good Charlotte star Benji Madden, and the couple had their daughter Raddix in December 2019.

Cameron Diaz will make her return to acting in 2023 (Getty Images)
Cameron Diaz will make her return to acting in 2023 (Getty Images)

After stepping away from films, Diaz said: “I met my husband, we started a family – all the things I didn’t have time for before. And not just the time fo, but didn’t have the space to make the decisions, the right decision for me at the time.”

The project that has lured Diaz to make her film return is the aptly titled Netflix comedy Back in Action from Horrible Bosses director Seth Gordon. She’ll be in it alongside her Annie and Any Given Sunday co-star Foxx.

Speaking to Foxx about her return, Diaz said she was “anxious”, adding: “I feel excited but I don’t know you to to do this, y’know?”

At the time Diaz confirmed her retirement in 2018, she said she wouldn’t rule out a return one day in the future.

Cameron Diaz in 1998 film ‘There’s Something About Mary’ (Glenn Watson/20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock)
Cameron Diaz in 1998 film ‘There’s Something About Mary’ (Glenn Watson/20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock)

“I’m never gonna say never, because I’m not a person who says never about anything.”

Back in Action is set to be released on Netflix in 2023.