Cameron Diaz for “The Sweetest Thing”

After being critically lauded in Vanilla Sky, beautiful and luminous Cameron Diaz is back on screen in familiar territory, starring I the sometimes gross-=out screwball romantic comedy, The Sweetest Thing. And as she confides to Paul Fischer, she is having a ball.

Cameron Diaz could think of better things to do some 48 hours after having been a presenter at the Oscars. Occasionally yawning, the pretty Hollywood star laughingly admits to “wondering what I’m doing at this junket” but “schedules are crazy so you just have to grin and bear it.” This time around, Diaz is in a film for the fun of it, an irreverent, often outrageous romantic comedy, The Sweetest Thing, a film that will prompt comparisons to Something about Mary. “No, I just choose, chose it because it was really far for me and I figured I’d take a challenge. Why not”, she offers sarcastically. “I don’t think you do these kinds of movies unless you get it, you know? So yeah I just did it because I wanted to have some fun and I think it’s funny.” Paired with Christina Applegate and the scene-stealing Selma Blair, Diaz stars as sexy and bold Christina Walters who, after years of avoiding meaningful relationships with men, unexpectedly meets her perfect match (Thomas Jane) one night while hanging out with best girlfriends Courtney (Applegate) and Jane (Blair). When she finds out the next morning that he’s suddenly left town, she and Courtney set out to find him on a wild road trip, encountering a series of hilarious misadventures on their journey. Their search ultimately leads them to a surprising discovery and the realization that love is, after all, the sweetest thing.

As in Mary, Diaz has a chance to let her hair down in Sweetest Thing presenting that wacky side to her persona we know and love. “I love my job, so I just felt like it was time after doing a couple of films that were a little more dramatic and serious that I just wanted to have something fun.” Not that those other films WEREN’T fun, “but I just wanted to have fun on film in and basically be myself.” It appears that Hollywood is returning to the kind of frat humour exemplified in the eighties, and Diaz believes that it’s in the air. “I mean you look at what the Farrelly Brothers did and the can of worms they opened up. They did and for the first time such humour was really accepted by the masses. People were like: Oh, my God, I too can laugh at a mentally disabled person that punches somebody in the throat, because we weren’t making fun of those people, we were making fun of people who make fun of them so it was empowering in a way. I think it is in the air and people want to see that and you know we’re not doing anything mean or malicious in this movie after all.” While she admits that The Sweetest Thing has “gross-out elements” Diaz point out that “it has a heart and is soft around the edges.”

One of the ‘themes’ of The Sweetest Thing, is the notion that it is important to adhere to a set of rules when it comes to love. Diaz doesn’t necessarily stick to that in her personal life, she confesses. “I’ve heard a lot about the rules that men are from Mars and women are from Venus and that kind of stuff, but I haven’t gotten to that yet.” As for her own rules, Diaz is straightforward enough. “I think that the rules are no tricks, honesty, communication, treat people the way you want to be treated and unconditional love.” As to whether Cameron follows her own rules, she laughingly confesses that “I try to, you know but rules are made to be broken.”

Diaz remains cagy when discussing her views on dating. Asked whether she has the same fear of commitment as her latest character, the actress begins looking at the trim on the door before begrudgingly responding. “I’m not afraid of commitment. I am a commitment person and commit to everything I’m doing. I’m hopelessly loyal.” she says, half-smilingly.

Even when she is unexcited about doing press, Diaz remains guarded but chirpy. Talk to anyone about working with Cameron and they all say that she is consistently happy and smiling. “I think that’s my nature and it’s also the way I was raised. My mom is the nicest person on the face of the earth, who treats everybody the same and my father is the funniest man who just has the greatest sense of humor and is completely twisted.” This explains where her twisted sense of humour comes from and what accounts to her keeping her life real. As big a star as Diaz is, she still manages to remain grounded.

“I think you are who you are, this is who I’ve always been and I don’t really know how to think differently. I’m sure that I could train myself to do so and there are things that I am changing and working on.” Not that she knows what, exactly. “You never know how other people perceive you. so it’s nice to hear kind things about yourself, but basically it’s just who I am and it’s the same thing as going: Can I afford this dress or should I pay the rent? Oh, I can’t pay the rent even if I buy this dress! Dah! So it’s that mentality that you grow up, so what you are given as a child always remains with you.”

Yet Diaz has also learned to keep her private life ferociously private, and to achieve that, she laughingly confesses, “I just say no thank you and THEN I say ‘get the fuck out of my face’. I handle the situation whatever way it needs to be handled to maintain what is important to me.” Not necessarily going out in disguise. “The disguise thing is really funny because if you get found out it’s so embarrassing”, she laughingly admits.

Diaz has joined the exclusive $20m club and is expected to be paid that salary for Charlie’s Angels 2, which is her next project. “We start training in June and then in August we start to shoot” is all that she’ll say on that project. There’s also that long-awaited Gangs of New York, whose release is being constantly moved. “I know that there’s a rumor that they’re holding the movie because it’s no good, but I thought it was because it was so good and they’re holding it for Oscar consideration at the end of the year.”