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Cameron Diaz in the 90s and early 00s: how did she explode so early and so fast?

I just landed on her IMDb and realized that her career between around 1994 and 2002 was an absolutely insane run of massive box office and critical successes:

-The Mask -She’s the One -My Best Friend’s Wedding -There’s Something About Mary -Being John Malkovich -Charlie’s Angels -Shrek -Vanilla Sky -Gangs of New York

Each of these movies was a major success. It’s an insane streak for someone who started at 22. The only other people I can think of with a similar trajectory are Julia Roberts, and maybe Jennifer Lawrence. I suppose Margot Robbie would be the current equivalent.

Was Cameron extremely talented? Extremely lucky? Both?

by Anonymousreply 91February 29, 2024 2:14 PM

She was pretty, but also effective in comedies and drama. Her only competition at the time was Gwyneth Paltrow, who was too much of an ice queen. Also, Cameron was pretty shameless…in a good way. There wasn’t much she wouldn’t say or do.

by Anonymousreply 1February 6, 2024 9:12 AM

That's just how fame worked back then. Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, and Sandra Bullock were all elevated from bit-parts to America's Sweetheart very quickly

Movies were sold on the strength of their stars, so studios needed a steady pipeline of hot, new actors aged 25-35 to sell their product

If your agent and whoever was promoting your latest movie could get you on the cover of a few key magazines and late night shows, the rest of the media would fall in line and promote you without payment or further encouragement

I'd qualify that by saying Diaz didn't really join the other beloved names I mentioned above until There's Something About Mary. Until that movie, she was one of a number of hot girls who may or may not make it to leading roles

She could have gone the same way as Liv Tyler, Denise Richards or Alicia Silverstone, who made a splash in their debuts and became very famous without really becoming viable leads in the long term.

by Anonymousreply 2February 6, 2024 9:16 AM

She seemed a less intimidating version of Michelle Pfeiffer when she first hit it big.

by Anonymousreply 3February 6, 2024 9:18 AM

R3 I remember when The Mask came out, she was often likened to a young and more classically beautiful Ellen Barkin.

by Anonymousreply 4February 6, 2024 9:20 AM

The red dress in The Mask is one of THE all time iconic Hollywood entrances. A star making moment, seared into the memory of every 90s kid. And to think, Anna Nicole Smith turned down the part because the pay was too low.

by Anonymousreply 5February 6, 2024 9:24 AM

I loved her when she broke out and rated her very highly until her failure with Gangs Of New York and dating Justin Timberlake.

by Anonymousreply 6February 6, 2024 9:29 AM

R1 I never thought of Cameron and Gwyneth as competitors. Gwyneth was positioned as the new Grace Kelly, whereas Cameron was more down to earth and likable, the chick you could go to a bar and drink beer and playing drinking games with. Goop was for the female gaze, Cameron the male gaze.

by Anonymousreply 7February 6, 2024 9:31 AM

R6 The quality that made Cameron the perfect 1990s it-girl backfired spectacularly in a period piece. She seemed anachronistic.

by Anonymousreply 8February 6, 2024 9:33 AM

I’ll admit it, I miss Cameron Diaz movies. I hadn’t realized I’ve seen so many of them.

by Anonymousreply 9February 6, 2024 9:40 AM

R8 aka Julia Roberts syndrome

by Anonymousreply 10February 6, 2024 9:45 AM

Not many people realize, she had a backend deal for Bad Teacher and made $42 million, or around 20% of the gross. She has fuck you money.

by Anonymousreply 11February 6, 2024 9:46 AM

R1 And now neither acts, and they’re BFFs.

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by Anonymousreply 12February 6, 2024 9:50 AM

Wikipedia says she is the fifth-highest-grossing actress at the domestic box office.

by Anonymousreply 13February 6, 2024 9:51 AM

I was 13 in the theater watching The Mask and when the camera pans up her legs to the red dress to her face, I think I stopped breathing for a minute. I don’t think I realized women like that were out there. Nobody in Fort Smith, Arkansas looked like that.

by Anonymousreply 14February 6, 2024 9:56 AM

Did she ever 'carry' a movie, or was she always a co-star?

by Anonymousreply 15February 6, 2024 10:00 AM

My ex did hair in Hollywood. He still says CD is the nicest mega-star he worked with, always chatty, happy and delightful!

by Anonymousreply 16February 6, 2024 10:01 AM

R15 She definitely carries Bad Teacher. It was maligned upon release, but did well at the box office and is a bit of a cult classic now. She’s very funny in it.

by Anonymousreply 17February 6, 2024 10:03 AM

There were so many rumors about the nature of her career around the time of The Mask. She got her start as a nude model. The videos of her doing S&M stuff/soft core porn were a hot commodity on file sharing services back in the day.

by Anonymousreply 18February 6, 2024 10:08 AM

I was told by a friend in the industry that Cameron Diaz hates Julia Roberts. This made me like Cam a lot more.

by Anonymousreply 19February 6, 2024 10:20 AM

She was delightful and effervescent as the dizzy blonde ingenue. Unfortunately, you can’t be the dizzy blonde forever. She made the smart choice retiring with her millions.

by Anonymousreply 20February 6, 2024 10:39 AM

I always think of Diaz as the Gen X Goldie Hawn.

by Anonymousreply 21February 6, 2024 10:48 AM

R21 Excuse me

by Anonymousreply 22February 6, 2024 10:49 AM

Sucking on Weinstein's dick made her a STAH!

by Anonymousreply 23February 6, 2024 12:21 PM

R19 , I don’t know the reasons for that, but Cameron almost stole My Best Friends Wedding from Julia, who surely wasn’t happy about it

She gives a great performance there. It is a pity she chose so many bad movies instead of some parts where she may have gone out of her cmfort zone, she was quite a versatile actress. But good for her in knowing how to call it quits and get out ofthe race to enjoy her millions in peace.

by Anonymousreply 24February 6, 2024 12:32 PM

Bad Teacher is hilarious. The character Amy Squirrel is a riot.

by Anonymousreply 25February 6, 2024 1:40 PM

I loved her in The Counselor. She looked hot with gold teeth and tattoos.

by Anonymousreply 26February 6, 2024 1:51 PM

No insult to her intended, because she was fun and pretty and I liked her, but my favorite memory of The Mask was that amazing dog.

The scene: Carrey is jailed, the keys to his cell are in a sleeping cop’s pocket, and he tells the dog to get the keys. The dog obediently picks up a cheese sandwich on the cop’s desk and Carrey whispers, “Not the CHEESE; the KEYS. Put the cheese down.”

And in one shot the dog reluctantly puts the sandwich down, looks to Carrey for direction, and carefully lifts the keys out of the cop’s chest pocket and brings them to him.


by Anonymousreply 27February 6, 2024 2:09 PM

Look up the MBFW reunion on one of those morning talk shows. When EW did a spread with Julia, Rupert, Dermot and Cameron. There was a couple of awkward moments. Julia and Rupert pretending there was no falling out, Cameron mumbling that she thought they were best friends and the palpable sexual tension between life long fuck buddies Dermot and Julia.

by Anonymousreply 28February 10, 2024 11:52 PM

Was she a Harvey girl?

by Anonymousreply 29February 10, 2024 11:57 PM

R29 no.

She was in a huge hit. The Mask. That was the film that gave her career a kickstart and made her a name. After that she had a string of hits, solidifying her as a star and she became a household name.

by Anonymousreply 30February 11, 2024 12:02 AM

Yes, and she liked Chillicothe sandwiches!

by Anonymousreply 31February 11, 2024 12:03 AM

[quote]I was told by a friend in the industry that Cameron Diaz hates Julia Roberts

Everybody hates Julia Roberts because she is a cunt.

by Anonymousreply 32February 11, 2024 12:03 AM

Spike Jonze cheated with her while he was married to Sofia Coppola--the idiot movie star character Anna Faris plays in Lost in Translation is based on her.

by Anonymousreply 33February 11, 2024 12:19 AM

The last thing I remember seeing her in was the Annie remake/update with Jamie Foxx. She was pretty funny in it although her Miss Hannigan was really just a variation of her Bad Teacher character. I’m surprised she never went the voiceover route. She has a distinctive voice that would do well in animated films

by Anonymousreply 34February 11, 2024 12:33 AM

She retired after that I believe. She just filmed a movie with Jamie Foxx as a favor to him (they’re friends) and that’s it.

by Anonymousreply 35February 11, 2024 12:35 AM

I know someone who had to deal with her for a photoshoot about a decade ago and said she wasn’t nice to anyone but the photographer.

by Anonymousreply 36February 11, 2024 12:36 AM

I'd never heard of her or seen anything of her until Something About Mary but she was SO charming in that. It's not often that there's a model-beautiful woman who comes across as somebody really fun and awesome you'd want to have beers with, but she did. Part of it was the way the character was written, obvs, but not everybody could have made it seem real.

by Anonymousreply 37February 11, 2024 12:40 AM

"The Sweetest Thing" is so underrated. It's such a quintessential guilty pleasure film. I think it's the only "raunchy girls" comedy film I've ever enjoyed in my life, mostly because the 3 main characters (Diaz, Applegate and Blair) were actually likeable, genuinely funny and had good on-screen chemistry.

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by Anonymousreply 38February 11, 2024 12:43 AM

The Mask was her debut role. That was a huge hit and shot her to fame. She was unknown then everyone was asking who that beautiful girl was. After that she did a few smaller films but in 1997 My Best Friends Wedding was a huge hit and right after that she was in There’s Something About Mary and quickly became a huge star and leading lady.

by Anonymousreply 39February 11, 2024 12:44 AM

She got her start in a soft core porn which tells me she wasn't against fucking to get what she wanted. As we now know, Hollywood was and/or is full of dudes who were willing to make young girls who were willing to play the game very rich.

by Anonymousreply 40February 11, 2024 12:45 AM

SOFTCORE porn isn’t the same as hardcore. It’s all simulation.

by Anonymousreply 41February 11, 2024 12:47 AM

Do you really think Julia was not gonna put a stop to her OP?

by Anonymousreply 42February 11, 2024 12:56 AM

Diaz was very, very lucky and fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to land herself a massive career.

With regard to modeling in the 90s, she actually managed to almost reach the ‘supermodel’ strata, as she had a few very high end luxury campaigns under her belt by age 19, had filmed a Coke commercial, magazine covers, etc.

Back in the 90s, if you were past 20 you were practically dead. Her agents at Elite (one of the best agencies in the world) started shopping her around for other projects since the politics of the time meant the modeling work would dry up very soon. Her agent was friends with a casting director who let her know they hadn’t cast the actress for The Mask (Anna Nicole Smith dropped out at the last minute) and basically just gave her the role. Diaz had 0 acting experience and I don’t even think she’d considered being an actor at that point, but took classes and turned out to be pretty solid for an absolute beginner.

Her coming out of nowhere I think really worked to her advantage, and while she was a very successful model, she wasn’t so famous that people could pick her out like Linda or Cindy. It was the right mix.

Tons of models have since tried to mimic Diaz’s career and failed miserably. Tyra Banks, Milla Jovovich, Rosie Huntington Whiteley etc are all widely considered terrible actors, although Milla found a niche as an action heroine.

by Anonymousreply 43February 11, 2024 12:58 AM

Tyra never tried to become a serious actress. Tyra wanted to be a mogul and all around entertainer because she knew there is a street date as a model, which she was. She wanted to do it all.

Her end goal was always to produce projects and work behind the scenes.

by Anonymousreply 44February 11, 2024 1:01 AM

Cameron pre The Mask.

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by Anonymousreply 45February 11, 2024 1:01 AM

I’ve always been a fan. She’s excellent in comedies but also has dramatic chops. Perhaps more than anything else, though, she’s unpretentious and naturally likable. I sort of regard Emma Stone as her current-day counterpart for the same reasons.

Remember her turn in “Being John Malkovich”? That was a great performance and she played totally against type. I don’t think many people thought she was capable of a performance like that. She was also great in “Gangs of New York” and “The Box”.

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by Anonymousreply 46February 11, 2024 1:09 AM

[quote][R6] The quality that made Cameron the perfect 1990s it-girl backfired spectacularly in a period piece. She seemed anachronistic.

Same with Meg Ryan.

by Anonymousreply 47February 11, 2024 1:13 AM

A rare clip of ANS trying to decide between “The Mask” and a “Naked Gun” sequel. She was insulted by the $50,000 offer. Good news for Cameron, but Anna was badly advised being told to walk - this would have changed the trajectory of her entire career. “Naked Gun” failed to make much of an impression.

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by Anonymousreply 48February 11, 2024 1:24 AM

She was pretty, she could act in various genres (particularly good at comedy) and she was extremely likeable.

by Anonymousreply 49February 11, 2024 1:27 AM

She’s also good in The Last Supper just a year after The Mask. It’s a fun black comedy with a great cast, worth seeking out. Maybe even more relevant today than the mid-90s

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by Anonymousreply 50February 11, 2024 1:44 AM

I could never forgive her for pulling down "Gangs of New York" until her brilliant turn in "The Counselor". her "GONY" performance ism an indelible stain but her femme fatale "The Counselor" is one for the ages.

by Anonymousreply 51February 11, 2024 1:50 AM

The Counselor bombed. GONY was a mess overall but most say she’s terrible in it.

by Anonymousreply 52February 11, 2024 1:53 AM

Quite nice tits.

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by Anonymousreply 53February 11, 2024 2:08 AM

Not so big, though

by Anonymousreply 54February 11, 2024 2:09 AM

R53 the tits are nothing special.

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by Anonymousreply 55February 11, 2024 2:14 AM

Pre fame.

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by Anonymousreply 56February 11, 2024 2:16 AM

r31 doesn't disappoint.

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by Anonymousreply 57February 11, 2024 2:19 AM


It cracked me up and now my friend and just call each other “fucker”, in honor of one of her lines.

by Anonymousreply 58February 11, 2024 2:23 AM

The broken-nose-acne-scar-limited-talent-drunk-eye look was big at the time.


by Anonymousreply 59February 11, 2024 2:47 AM

One of those actors where their name sounds different and interesting for their time...kind of like Maude Adams in the 1970s, Renée Zellweger in the '80s, etc. All more gimmick than genius, forever-memorable talent, IMO.

by Anonymousreply 60February 11, 2024 3:42 AM

Renee Zellweger came out in the 90s. Not 80s

by Anonymousreply 61February 11, 2024 3:51 AM

Is Diaz actually Latina? She’s always left out of the conversation when people discuss Latina actresses.

by Anonymousreply 62February 11, 2024 4:01 AM

Diaz is only a small part Hispanic. I think one of her grandfathers was Hispanic, and her father was half Hispanic. Diaz is a Latin surname.

by Anonymousreply 63February 11, 2024 4:05 AM

What’s that movie she did with Toni Collette and her playing sisters? That is such a sweet little movie, super underrated. Shirley Mackaine is their grandmother I think?

by Anonymousreply 64February 11, 2024 4:27 AM

Cameron is ethnically Spanish IIRC (through her father, obviously), but the family immigrated to Cuba which is where her father was born.

by Anonymousreply 65February 11, 2024 4:30 AM

R51 "Gangs of New York" was a fucking mess of a movie with or without Cameron. I love Scorsese, but this is one of his weakest films: Daniel Day Lewis' character was annoying as fuck (that Oscar nom he got should've gone instead to Ed Norton for "25TH Hour") and DiCaprio seemed invisible.

R64 That film is "In Her Shoes" (2005)

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by Anonymousreply 66February 11, 2024 4:38 AM

R64 In Her Shoes. I just rewatched this last week. It still holds up - very cute and comforting, although you couldn’t pick two women who look less like sisters than Diaz and Collette.

by Anonymousreply 67February 11, 2024 4:38 AM

Was there a movie where Cameron Diaz played a cancer mom, or am I imagining that?

by Anonymousreply 68February 11, 2024 4:40 AM

R68 why do you keep posting this? Google and IMDB exist. It’s 2024.

Yes. My Sisters Keeper

by Anonymousreply 69February 11, 2024 4:42 AM


[quote]The last thing I remember seeing her in was the Annie remake/update with Jamie Foxx. She was pretty funny in it although her Miss Hannigan was really just a variation of her Bad Teacher character. I’m surprised she never went the voiceover route. She has a distinctive voice that would do well in animated films


by Anonymousreply 70February 11, 2024 6:34 AM

Mea culpa, r70. I never saw those movies and didn’t realize she had voiced the Princess character. I was thinking she should have gone the voiceover route after retiring from onscreen roles but she just stopped altogether.

by Anonymousreply 71February 11, 2024 9:33 PM

Dumb as a box of rocks.

by Anonymousreply 72February 11, 2024 9:45 PM

I thought she was great in "The Box", a very underrated sci-fi horror movie adapted from a Richard Matheson short story. I thought it was an extremely strange and unnerving movie. Lots of atmosphere. The material was much darker than what she is typically known for.

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by Anonymousreply 73February 11, 2024 10:06 PM

R8 true. In contrast a contemporary actress like Winona Ryder just in frail face and expressive dark eyes looked marvelous in period pieces.

by Anonymousreply 74February 28, 2024 5:02 AM

R32 She is very good friends with all her male costars. I think a part of it is that she was actually playing with the men in that time as far as power goes. She was on par with them with box office hits, salary, fame and stature in the industry. That probably created a kinship amount them.

by Anonymousreply 75February 28, 2024 5:14 AM

very hot and also charismatic, she seemed funny and not all stuck up. huge appeal to straight guys.

by Anonymousreply 76February 28, 2024 5:15 AM


by Anonymousreply 77February 28, 2024 5:15 AM

I didn't see her ending up with the husband she has, but I guess it works for her. I think she is pretty average with no makeup and she probably feels comfortable with him.

by Anonymousreply 78February 28, 2024 5:17 AM

The more horrible the character the wider license they have to be funny

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by Anonymousreply 79February 28, 2024 6:10 AM

She was wonderful in Being John Malkovich.

by Anonymousreply 80February 29, 2024 2:05 AM

She’s living well. I’d be retired too.

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by Anonymousreply 81February 29, 2024 2:09 AM

Her husband is so turdly

by Anonymousreply 82February 29, 2024 2:19 AM

Word on the street according to a celebrity makeup artist I know is that Diaz secretly battles severe psoriasis, and left Hollywood because she’s often covered in flaky skin and scales. It was getting worse and they were forced to bring in stunt nipples for one of her last romcoms, because her areolae were so crusty and cracked. She’s basically a monitor lizard under all that airbrushing.

by Anonymousreply 83February 29, 2024 6:36 AM

She had better taste in scripts than Drew Barrymore.

by Anonymousreply 84February 29, 2024 6:50 AM

R83 you’re saying she retired because she has chapped nipples?

by Anonymousreply 85February 29, 2024 7:57 AM

I liked her in that movie The Other Woman, that was a cute comedy. It was made 10 years ago and she was looking rough in it, I think she retired because she was aging out and just wants to enjoy her life.

by Anonymousreply 86February 29, 2024 8:31 AM

But was she looking dry and scaly, R86?

by Anonymousreply 87February 29, 2024 8:45 AM

I was a big fan. She was fun, unpretentious and had a sense of humor. Gwnythe and Winona are too stupid and up their own asses to have that kind of easy charm. Cameron Diaz also had a great body without a ton of surgery and was naturally pretty and cute. Too bad she’s married to that dipshit poseur.

by Anonymousreply 88February 29, 2024 9:13 AM

She exploded in the era where the ideal woman was beautiful but also could eat three dozen wings and burp and fart a lot watching football.

One of the guys, but fuckable.

She was the epitome of all that.

by Anonymousreply 89February 29, 2024 1:07 PM

"A lucky model who's been given a lot of opportunities, I just wish she would've done more with" --Mrs Ben Affleck

by Anonymousreply 90February 29, 2024 2:01 PM

I was kind of so-so on her though I thought she was a good actress. I just remember her Justin Timberlake years. She seemed really crazy about him. He really hated the paparazzi so Cameron once beat up photographer for him. She looked ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 91February 29, 2024 2:14 PM
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