Cameron Diaz was the queen of romcoms and in the 90s with a string of award nominations under her belt and one of the highest paid Hollywood actresses, she had reached the top of her game.
But it was at that peak of stardom that she decided to step away from the limelight deciding that the life of a screen starlet was not for her.
The blonde bombshell had started her career as a model, signing with Elite model agency when she was just 16 years old and traveled around the world appearing in ads for Calvin Klein and Levi’s.
Five years later the California-born rising star auditioned for and secured a part in The Mask playing jazz singer Tina Carlyle opposite Jim Carey. She had no previous acting experience and started acting lessons after being cast.
From a model with no acting experience the then 21-year-old became an integral part of one of the highest-grossing movies of 1994, launching her as a much in demand actress.
For the next 20 years Diaz starred in over 40 movies averaging around three movies a year during the 90s. She appeared in everything from romantic comedies such as My Best Friend’s Wedding and There’s Something About Mary to critically acclaimed movies such as Being John Malkovich and Oliver Stone’s sports drama Any Given Sunday.
She received four Golden Globe nominations, was nominated for a BAFTA award and received three nominations for Screen Actors Guild Awards as well as securing a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
But at the height of her career the then 40-year-old top-earning actress made a decision that would change the course of her life.
In an interview with comedian and actor Kevin Hart the Hollywood beauty admitted that she felt a need to manage her life on her terms.
“For me, I just really wanted to make my life manageable by me. My routine in a day is literally what I can manage to do by myself.”
She said that her career was just feeding ‘Cameron Diaz the machine’ and not herself, her spiritual side and she had to take a step back.
“I think you probably can relate to this,” Diaz said on Kevin’s show ‘Hart to Heart.’
“When you do something at a really high level for a really long period of time, there’s a lot that — when you’re the person who’s sort of delivering on this one thing. You’re the person on the screen, you’re the person who’s ‘the talent’ — everything around you, all parts of you that isn’t that, has to be handed off to other people.”
She said stepping away from her career and only filling her day with what she could manage herself made her feel “whole” again.
Diaz had dated fellow Hollywood actors as well as musician Justin Timberlake but in 2014 she was introduced to Good Charlotte band’s lead guitarist Benji Madden.
The couple had been introduced 10 months earlier by Diaz’s close friend Nicole Richie who is married to Madden’s twin brother Joel Madden.
The following year the couple got married at Diaz’s home in Beverly Hills on January 5.
Diaz said while she met Joel Madden first, she was only attracted to the rockstar’s twin, asking herself “how come I didn’t see him before?”
The actress revealed to Hola.com she was instantly interested in Benji, “I saw him walking towards me and I was like, ‘Huh, he’s hot. I haven’t seen him before,’” however when she found out who he was she thought “Oh, you, you, you’re special. You’re the guy. You’re the hidden gem in my life.”