Cameron Diaz knew when she got into her 40s, she wanted to start over. The former movie star retired from acting in 2014 and doesn’t regret her decision. In a conversation with Gwyneth Paltrow for In goop Health: The Sessions released Wednesday, Diaz, 47, shares why she is at “peace” after leaving acting.
“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. And I didn’t make any space for my personal life,” she admits. “And then I decided to stop making movies and really focus on my personal life, my personal relationships with my family, my friends. And then Benji [Madden] and I met each other and we got married pretty much immediately because we both knew that we both had to do it.”
When Paltrow asks how she feels after walking away from a major movie career, Diaz says she feels “peace.” “A peace in my soul because I finally was taking care of myself,” she expresses. “I feel grounded and light. 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.”
“I do get the overwhelming energy of the attention that is being put towards me. Also, I really looked at my life and I saw what I had been… I had handed off all these parts of my life to all these other people and they took it and some people did,” she notes. “And I basically had to take it back and take responsibility for my own life. That’s my job. There’s a lot of things that I had to iron out and a lot of relationships I had to repair, a lot of relationships I had to build that I was absent in.”
Diaz also notes that during her life as an actress, and with the perks of getting everything done for her, she “never felt truly really comfortable with that… But I knew that was part of the job.”
Earlier in the conversation, Diaz also touches on how she knew that once she hit her 40s, she needed to change her life.
“I think you just build a life when you’re in your 20s and 30s, and into your 40s, as you know, it’s completely different,” Diaz expresses. “But here I am in my 40s, I’m completely starting over. I decided at the beginning of my 40s to completely start over after I had a whole life that I did something at a high level.”
She explains that, in your 20s, “we’re just trying to figure our s**t out,” while in your 30s, you’re getting your footing. Then 40 hits, she says, and you need a new plan.
“It is a funny journey that got me here. But I think that what I realized is that where I am now, I’ve just become comfortable with not knowing what is going to happen,” Diaz explains. “I have total faith that things are going to work out.”
Diaz is now mother to a 7-month-old daughter named Raddix. The former The Mask star also talks about being an older mother and how Paltrow inspired her to be a mom.
“I don’t think I could have been this parent at 25. I would not have become a mother if it wasn’t for you,” Diaz tells Paltrow. “I credit you so much with the fact that you never let up on me. I would say, encouraging.”
“And a pain in the a**,” Paltrow quips, about urging Diaz to get married and start a family. “I knew what a natural mother you are… You were born to do it.”
For more on Diaz and her life as a mother, see below.
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