Why Cameron Diaz Walked Away from Acting Even Though She Loves It

The Charlie's Angels star announced in 2018 that she had retired from acting.

Photo: Getty Images

It's been years since Cameron Diaz stepped away from the silver screen, and much has changed for the 48-year-old star. Since announcing her retirement from acting in 2018, Diaz became a mom and shifted focus to other endeavors, including Avaline, her clean wine label. Recently, Diaz opened up about the decision to move on from acting, revealing how at 40, she felt her life had become consumed by her craft.

Appearing on Kevin Hart's Peacock talk show, Hart to Heart, this week, the actor asked Diaz what had motivated her to stop. "When you do something at a really high level for a long period of time...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 like 'the talent' — everything around you, all parts of you that isn't that has to be sort of handed off to other people," she said.

Diaz then elaborated to Hart how "every aspect" of her life was being managed, from her finances to her home. "Me as a human being — not me as Cameron Diaz, because Cameron Diaz is a machine — but for my personal, spiritual self, I was realizing that it's kind of like that one part of me that functioned at a high level wasn't enough," she continued. (ICYDK: Burnout Is Now Recognized As a Real Medical Condition By the World Health Organization)

The actress, who starred in Charlie's Angels and The Sweetest Thing, among other films, also cleared up speculation in Thursday's interview that she quit acting because she doesn't enjoy it. "It's fun to do, I love it. I love acting. I could go forever. I literally sometimes feel like I have unlimited energy," said Diaz.

Despite her passion for acting, however, Diaz said that there were certain areas of her life she "wasn't touching" or "wasn't managing" because of her mega-watt career. "I couldn't really manage it because it was so big, everything was so massive," she said. (Here's how to make time for self-care even when you have none.)

Ultimately, Diaz said she decided to step back from acting "to make [her] life manageable." "Like, my routine in a day is literally what I can manage to do by myself," she said. "It's the best feeling. I feel whole."

Retiring from acting afforded Diaz the "time" and "space" for "all those things [she] didn't have time for before," such as starting a family with husband Benji Madden. The couple welcomed daughter Raddix in December 2019.

This isn't the first time Diaz has spoken candidly about walking away from a two-decade career in Hollywood. Last year, she joined Gwyneth Paltrow on In Goop Health: The Sessions, sharing, "I just decided that I wanted different things out of my life."

"I'd gone so hard for so long, working and making films, and it's such a grind," she told Paltrow at the time. "I didn't really make any space for my personal life. And then I decided to stop making movies and really focus on my personal life, my personal relationships with my family, with my friends."

Although some fans may be sad over Diaz's absence from films, that feeling of burnout is something anyone can understand. Props to Diaz for taking such an important step to take care of herself. (Looking for a big life change yourself? Here's how to manifest something you really want so you can finally go after it.)

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