Cameron Diaz Talks Candidly With Gwyneth Paltrow About Why She Stopped Making Movies In Hollywood

Cameron Diaz in In Her Shoes before retirement from movies

Cameron Diaz has been more and more active on social media in recent months, as she gains exposure and interest in various business sectors and also shines a spotlight on her new life as a mom. However, a topic of interest is still Diaz’s retirement, first rumored, then self-proclaimed. Now the actress has explained to Gwyneth Paltrow exactly why she stepped back and stopped making movies.

Speaking with Goop’s “Health: The Sessions,” Cameron Diaz spoke out about her new wine business and exactly why she quit acting after 2014’s Annie. She noted that acting had been a “grind,” also touching on her family life with Benji Madden as reasons.

I just decided that I wanted different things out of my life. I had gone so hard for so long, working, making films and it's such a grind. I didn't really make any space for my personal life. And then I decided, you know, to stop making movies. And really focus on my personal life, my personal relationships with my family and friends. And then Benj and I met each other and we got married pretty much immediately.

Gwyneth Paltrow took the conversation a step further by asking Cameron Diaz how she felt about dropping into a lower profile role in Hollywood and Cameron Diaz really opened up about what life was like for her when she was constantly on movie sets and being fawned over by those working for productions. It's fewer rainbows and butterflies and more stressors than you might imagine, as she talked about the long days, the constant buzz of people being around, the constricted schedules and lack of freedom of movement or even thought. Eventually, she realized she wanted to be on a different path.

I feel like it’s a strange thing to say. I know a lot of people won’t understand it. I know you [Gwyneth] 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… I realized I handed off parts of my life to all these other people and they took it and I had to basically take it back and take responsibility for my own life. That’s my job.

Cameron Diaz also touched on the crazy 12-hour days of filming movies at the peak of her career. She says she dropped relationships and was “infantilized” when she was constantly working at a high level and was never “truly comfortable” with the people enabling her to live in her narrow acting lane. She says it took real work to get to a point where she could not only build herself up but also her relationships up as well.

The conversation between Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow is remarkably candid, touching on how Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow have both shown growth throughout their lives and careers. Both A-list actresses share a lot of similarities and have moved on from major acting careers to other projects, Paltrow notably with Goop and Diaz with her new wine brand Avaline. Honestly, it’s a great conversation if you have time to watch the whole thing.

These days, both Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz have found more “self-sufficient” identities and loving partners. Diaz also credits her husband Benji Madden for helping her fully realize this post-acting version of herself. These days, she’s working on a bunch of different ventures, but I do occasionally wonder if she might pull a Michelle Pfeiffer and start taking a movie role or two one day down the line. Either way, she seems very happy these days and that sticking is clearly the important thing.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.