Exclusive New England Interview: Actress on being called ‘bisexual,’ mom fetishes and her disappointment in the ladies
By: Chris Azzopardi*/Special to TRT—
Cameron Diaz is all about breaking the rules … especially when someone else is breaking them too. Strutting into a room at the Four Seasons at Beverly Hills, the actress surveys the space and lugs an oversized sofa chair to the opposite corner where she gets comfortable, her slender legs curled behind her, heels still on.
In person, Diaz really is the sweetest thing, but don’t cross her. At least not in The Other Woman, where the actress, along with Leslie Mann and Kate Upton, serves some nasty shenanigans to a lover she learns is secretly married. (And because you need that sassy colleague to give you sage advice on getting even, Nicki Minaj co-stars.)
For this gay press exclusive, the actress recalls the faux lesbian action on the set of The Other Woman, clarifies statements she made regarding her sexuality (don’t call her bisexual), and advises the ladies to “step it up a little bit.”
Chris Azzopardi: Recently I was at the gay club and they played that unforgettable sing-along from The Sweetest Thing: “The Penis Song.”
Cameron Diaz: No way! That’s so awesome.
Q. When you did that song with Selma Blair and Christina Applegate in 2002, did you ever think the gays would still be dancing to a song about penises this many years later?
A. Not at all, but I guess we should have figured! We should’ve guessed that. It’s quite obvious.
Q. Because the penis is timeless.
A. (Laughs) Exactly. The penis is timeless.
Q. Because of its girl-power fierceness, The Other Woman aligns itself with Nine to Five, Sex and the City and The First Wives Club. Why do you think gay men in particular are so drawn to these movies?
A. These women are underdogs. In Nine to Five it was really about discrimination. Gays and lesbians know what it’s like to be discriminated against, to be the underdog and to have to fight to be seen. That’s something that could be relatable. It’s that feeling of beating all the odds and pushing through, and continuing to go on even though you get beat down and you feel like you can’t possibly make it through.
Q. Going back, what movie of yours do you attribute to the beginning of your gay following?
A. I don’t know!
Q. How about Being John Malkovich from 1999?
A. Because Lotte! I mean, of course! Lotte found out who she was. She was self-realized and empowered by it, and that’s what I really loved about her—her recognizing herself and honoring herself, and no matter what she just kept going until she was able to fully express herself.
Q. Actually, Lotte sounds a lot like you. In the last few years you’ve been expressing your own sexuality with honesty and openness, saying in interviews with Glamour UK and Playboy that just because you’re sexually attracted to women doesn’t mean you’re a lesbian. The Kinsey Scale actually suggests that everyone is a little bisexual. Is that what you believe too?
A. What I really think is a problem is that for some reason everybody needs to label. There needs to be a label for something, and you have to qualify it with a label. If we didn’t put these labels on ourselves, I think we would probably live in a much better society. We would just let people be who they are and we wouldn’t have to define them.
Over the years I’ve known people who are male who love women, who want to be in a relationship with a woman, who want to raise a family with a woman, who have that relationship and that’s where they want to put their energy – but they also are sexually attracted to men. And just because someone’s sexually attracted to a man he has to choose whether he wants to be with a woman or a man, and vice versa with women. Women may want to have a relationship with a man, and to raise a family with him, but may also be sexually attracted to women.
Because we have to label it, because we make people choose who they want to be, people aren’t happy. They’re ruining relationships and friendships and marriages, and they’re feeling like they can’t have all sides of themselves. They feel like they have to choose. If we just allowed people to be themselves and to be open to it and not have to be absolute one way or another, life could be really full.
Q. This view of sexuality seems to be a recent trend, and now people often refer to themselves as “queer” because it’s more indefinable.
A. Right, right. But does sexuality really define a person? Who you’re sexually attracted to – does that define you as a person? It’s just a part of who you are. Does who you love define who you are? It doesn’t. We need to see ourselves in the full spectrum of the human being.
Q. Since making these statements about your own sexuality, people have tried putting you in a box. The press is saying, “Cameron Diaz is bisexual.” But it sounds like you don’t want to put yourself in that box?
A. I don’t. People get uncomfortable (when you don’t). I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it’s a beautiful thing that we can appreciate beauty in other women. I think that’s amazing. If they’re confident in themselves and know who they are, heterosexual men can look at another heterosexual man and go, “Yeah, he’s pretty hot. He’s a sexy man.”
Q. And you have said you can do the same with the ladies.
A. Of course.
Q. Could you see yourself in a relationship with a woman, though?
A. That’s not at all what I said. That’s not what I was saying. That’s what people are (saying). What I’m saying is that I can appreciate the beauty of another woman. I’ve said this forever: I think women’s bodies are beautiful—all shapes, all sizes. Every part of a woman is beautiful and that’s something that we’ve celebrated culturally throughout history.
Q. And men, as well. I mean, how about those Greek gods?
A. Exactly. Greek gods! You go to Florence and you see da Vinci and you go, “Oh, of course—this is a celebration of the body.” So, I feel like saying that is just stating something that’s obvious. People get weirded out when you bring in sexuality, when you say “sex,” when you say you find someone else sexually attractive—because people feel like they can’t control that! That if for someone reason they find somebody sexually attractive they’re going to lose all control of themselves and they’re going to question themselves and not know what it is. It’s not black or white. There is a spectrum.
Q. If a lesbian were to stop you on the street and reference one of your movies, which scene do you think they would point to? I mean, you f#$&ed a Ferrari – that, I’m sure, was enjoyed by many a lesbian.
A. Yeah, that’s always a good time. (Laughs) But I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. I’ve played so many different characters, and I don’t want to just generalize that all lesbians like the same kind of woman (smiles and points to herself). And there’s a lot to choose from! Everybody has different “preferences.” (Laughs)
Q. Your girl crush in 2006 was Pamela Anderson. Have your tastes changed at all?
A. Who do I have a girl crush on?
Q. Leslie Mann?
A. Leslie is just seriously one of the loveliest human beings. But I don’t know right now if I have a girl crush! I haven’t taken a second to look around because I’ve been working so much. Honestly, I think the girls need to step it up a little bit. I’m disillusioned with all the Botox and all the filler and all the fakeness. I really love a natural beauty, something that you can celebrate.
Q. Diane Keaton, Annie Lennox and Annette Bening are all aging naturally.
A. They are, because they’re self-possessed.
Q. So, as you age, you’re not interested in plastic surgery?
A. No. It can be done well, but what I see with the women who do a lot of it is, the objective is to look younger, but they just start to look different. They don’t necessarily look younger, but they do look different. I don’t think that I would ever want to look different. I don’t know if I could look into the mirror and be OK with seeing somebody other than myself.
Q. The idea of being a cartoon version of yourself isn’t appealing?
A. I did a little bit (of plastic surgery). I tried it out, and that’s what disturbed me. I didn’t look like myself. It scared me. I didn’t look younger. I just looked different.
Q. If you could team up with two of your gay friends to get back at a man who wronged you, a la The Other Woman, whom would you pick as your gay sidekicks?
A. Oh my god, for sure my friend Brad (Cafarelli). He’s my publicist and would be perfect because he’s so clever and stealthy. He’s just super keen. He doesn’t miss a detail. And he sees it all! I want him on my side for anything. And he’s hot. I would also say Teddy (Bass), my trainer, who is just fearless and could crawl into any space and get anything done.
Q. According to your co-star Kate Upton, there was some lesbian action happening behind the scenes of The Other Woman.
A. (Laughs) What did she say?
Q. That there was a lot of butt pinching.
A. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah!
Q. Feel free to elaborate.
A. We actually just did a very funny AOL “Unscripted” thing that just went off the rails. It was so funny.
Q. Was it lesbianic?
A. Yeah, totally. Like, full-on hilarity. But yeah, (what happened behind the scenes) wasn’t lesbian as in making fun of. It was putting it in a way that, you know, it’s…
Q. It’s playful?
A. It’s playful, exactly. Thank you. Totally playful. But Leslie (Mann) has this thing with butts, and it’s because she has daughters. As a mom she’s all like “goochy goochy goo,” “squeezy, squeezy, squeezy” and she’s always pinching their tooshies. So Kate and I, when her kids weren’t around, we got all the “squeeshy, squeeshy, squeeshy” and all the pinching and all the grabbing. (Laughs)
Q. So that’s as lesbian as it got?
A. It’s more like mom nurturing. It’s more like mom-ing. And, you know, some lesbians might find “mom-ing” really hot!
* Chris Azzopardi is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service. Reach him via his website at www.chris-azzopardi.com.