Cameron Diaz Talks About the Romantic Comedy, "The Holiday"

Cameron Diaz stars in "The Holiday". © Sony Pictures

Cameron Diaz stars as the owner of a media company that specializes in producing movie trailers in the romantic comedy, The Holiday, co-starring Kate Winslet, Jude Law, and Jack Black. The holiday-themed comedy follows the foursome as they get over bad relationships and find new love where they least expect it.

Relating to the Relationship Issues Addressed in The Holiday: “I think that was another thing that I loved about it so much was that it’s highly relatable to everyone," said Diaz.

"I mean, I can relate to Iris and I can relate to Amanda. I think that we’ve all been through these relationships before. Judging by the age in this room we’ve had relationships before. That’s life. It’s the journey of love. This lifetime is to try to figure out how to make love work and nurture relationships. There’s definitely something that I think everybody can see a bit themselves, maybe not the exact same experience, but certainly the human aspect of it.”

Relationships, Romantic Comedies, and Smart Female Characters: “I think everybody has problems in romance. Who doesn’t? The great thing about romantic comedies, I think, or just love is that it’s imperfect. People spend a lot of time on it. What would we do if relationships were perfect? What would we do with our time? People spend their time trying to figure out whether it’s going to a movie to be entertained by it or have a catharsizes, learn something from it.

There’s a certain level of energy and attention that we give to that. I think in these movies the women are smart because it’s more fun to watch a smart woman than a not very smart woman. I think most people want to go and see something that they consider themselves smart, and they want to go watch somebody that they can relate to.

I left it up to somebody like Nancy Meyers to write somebody smart and I just act it.”

The Awkwardness of Love Scenes: So how does it feel to do a love scene with Jude Law while she’s in a relationship with someone else? Diaz answered, “Well, it’s a funny thing we do. It’s a weird job. I’m not going to say that it’s not. You guys have all been around it long enough. You’ve asked these questions every time, I’m sure, to other actors. As actors we commit ourselves to certain emotions for the movie and for the sake of telling the story. That’s what we do. We’re storytellers. I’m sure as you ask every other actor, they’ll all tell you it’s uncomfortable first off to think about having to be intimate with somebody who isn’t the person that you’re intimate with. But, you’re acting and it’s your job. There’s certainly a level of professional that is essential to do that kind of work. You’re in a room with 50 people and the camera is right here. It’s about making people believe it’s something, but it’s never that. For some people, I’m sure it’s happened, but it’s just not that for me anyhow. We’re acting.”

Diaz added, “Jude Law is a wonderful partner in these things. Kate and I talk about it and she says, ‘The level of professional with him…it’s just not weird.’ He’s totally respectful.

He’s a very nice professional guy. He’s the perfect person to do something like this with.”

A New Appreciation for Movie Trailers: Diaz’ character owns a company that puts together trailers for movies. Doing that job onscreen gave Diaz a new appreciation for trailers in general. “I think movie trailers are so important to our business. Not to the world, but to our business. As far as what they convey, we’ve all watched a trailer and have gone, ‘Oh my God, that looks so funny.’ Then you go in and they’re like taking axes to the back of each other’s heads and you go, ‘What the hell is this? I thought it was a comedy.’ It’s one of those things where I think our industry has gotten very good at using them as a tool - for better or for worse.”

Not Just a Chick Flick: Diaz believes The Holiday will appeal to anyone who's romantic.

“It’s a relatable story. Jude and Jack are not the dudes in this film. They are going through their own issues. They need to reconcile things for themselves and get to understand themselves in a certain way, and know what they want and go after it. There’s a moment where you have to be with them as well, and they make the decision of what they don’t want. I think that guys will definitely relate to it.”

Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road: In one hilarious scene in The Holiday, Diaz freaks out when she has to drive down a small road on what for Americans is considered the wrong side. Laughing, Diaz said, “The great thing about that was the streets were shut down, blocked off. Nobody could get on the street that didn’t know I was behind the wheel of the car. Everybody could look over their shoulder and make sure that nothing was happening. But it’s crazy, driving on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car both things. She’s like, ‘I can do this, I can do this!’ Like, ‘Really I can do it, I can do it!’ I can barely walk properly in England. It’s crazy because you step off the curb and it says look right. Every time it says to look right, but you always only see that when you look left first.”

Diaz Shares Only One Scene with Jack Black and Kate Winslet: “I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with Jack and Kate,” Diaz revealed. “Kate and I spoke a lot on the phone often, but I didn’t get to really get to know Jack too well - just a little bit. He’s great. He’s fantastic, lots of fun.

That was the first day of Jude and mine’s, the first day of shooting. So, of course, like all movies, you shoot the last day on your first day.”

Working with the Dog: When Diaz’ character agrees to switching houses with Winslet, she also agrees to take care of Winslet’s character’s dog. Diaz recalled, “The dog was hilarious. The dog was really old and he was over it. He’s like, ‘I’ve been doing this way too long to even be about to make you guys happy.’ Nancy [Meyers] played the dog a lot. She was off-screen [barking]. Nancy was barking. It was fun.”

Page 2: Cameron Diaz on Working with Kids and the Status of Shrek the Third

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Bonding with the Girls who Play Jude Law’s Daughters: Totally joking, Cameron Diaz said she bonded with the young actresses by smacking them around. “Why do I think that’s so funny? I don’t know. It’s clearly not a thing you should joke about in print. ‘She doesn’t want kids, she smacks around the ones she works with, and she doesn’t even want a dog.’ No, they were so sweet. It was a lot of fun.

What was so great about them was that they had never done it before. It was really great to watch them grow as actors. It sounds funny, but really they learned so much.

We watched them from the first day they were on the set to the last day. It was amazing what they picked up on, their understanding from the first day to the last day of what they were doing because they had no idea. They were like, ‘We’re making a movie with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law.’ They didn’t have any idea of what their responsibilities [were], what it meant to be doing that. It was a real learning process for them. It was really fun to sort of be there and help guide them through it, and give them as much as you can to learn about it. They were so sweet and did such a great job.”

An Update on Shrek the Third: Diaz is currently at work providing the voice of Fiona again for the third film of the Shrek franchise. Asked how it’s coming, Diaz responded, “It’s going.

It’s working. It’s happening. It’s about to land in your guys’ laps I’m sure.”

Diaz enjoys lending her voice to the part and feels they’ve got the character of Fiona down pat. “I think that certain characters they have down - like Shrek and Fiona. Every time I think they really strive to make a good statement, a solid, informed, good statement that’s uplifting.

I think the characters are all really rounded in this film.”

Diaz is also happy about the way kids get into the Shrek films and how much they seem to love the character of Fiona. “I love that people enjoy those films. It’s wonderful. I’m just thankful for someone like Jeffrey Katzenberg who has this spirit and the drive to bring those movies forward, and dedicates himself to all of the people who work on it to bring it forward and bring it into the world. I think it’s amazing.”