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Joanne Soh
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Showbiz

The charmed one

The New Paper | Joanne Soh | Friday, Apr 18, 2014

(From left) Leslie Mann, Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton in The Other Woman.

Hollywood, as they say, is a fickle-minded place.

Actors fall in and out of favour, replaced by better-looking, younger and eager substitutes.

Expiry dates and market values are particularly real for actresses, especially the blonde ones who specialise in romantic comedies. After all, have American sweethearts Kate Hudson, Katherine Heigl and Reese Witherspoon seen a box-office hit lately?

This year marks Cameron Diaz's 20th year in showbiz since the former model made her debut in Jim Carrey's comedy hit The Mask in 1994. Despite having her star quality fade a little in the past couple of years following her 2011 sleeper hit Bad Teacher, the 41-year-old is set to reclaim her Queen of Rom-Com title with The Other Woman.

The "throne" has left pretty vacant, as Diaz's strongest competitors in the field of chick flicks like Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock have branched out towards broad comedy (Horrible Bosses, We're The Millers) and even drama (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Gravity) respectively over the years.

Opening here tomorrow, The Other Woman sees Diaz playing glamorous career woman Carly, one of the other women involved with married man Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

She strikes up a friendship with Mark's wife, suburban housewife Kate (Leslie Mann), and his other mistress, the young, voluptuous Amber (Kate Upton) and the three blondes bond over a revenge scheme to take down their three-timing lover. The Other Woman seems to signal a new year of a more grown-up Diaz-brand of comedy and she is not slowing down.

"I love my work because I love stories and I love telling stories," she said.

"Even though this movie is a comedy, I really feel it's to let people know that women can be good to each other and champion one another. I feel blessed with everything that I have in my life. I do not take any of it for granted."

And if The Other Woman isn't enough to show there's more to Diaz than just doing her kooky character schtick, the still-bankable US star, who is regarded as the highest-paid actress among the over-40 set, is expanding her physical comedy skills with Sex Tape, co-starring Jason Segel, coming up in August.

Then, she'll transform into the mean villainess Miss Hannigan at the end of the year in the movie remake of the musical Annie. Here's why we think Diaz hasn't lost her touch...

BOMBSHELL

In The Other Woman, she faces stiff competition in the form of sultry Sports Illustrated model Upton. Both have a teeny-weeny bikini face-off moment and although the camera favoured Upton, Diaz still has one of the most enviable bodies in the business.

She even has a book, aptly titled The Body Book, to tell you how to attain a svelte figure like hers through healthy living. Upton may have the bigger cleavage, but Diaz has the whole package, especially her flawless gams - fruits of her routine workouts, surfing and snowboarding.

She told Glamour UK magazine: "Now that I'm getting older, people have stopped asking me about proving myself. They have started asking me whether I'm worried that I won't get any interesting roles any more, when, actually, older roles are the best roles for a woman.

The ingenues are not getting the interesting roles now - they weren't really ever. They were just being objectified."

BRAINS

She may have made a name for herself playing ditzy blondes, but Diaz is no airhead in real life and she knows that diversification is the key to a longer shelf life.

Besides being a published author, she got into the fashion business by becoming New York-based luxury shoe brand Pour La Victoire's artistic director and she recently unveiled her first Fall 2014 footwear collection.

"I understand branding. I understand marketing. I understand how to speak to people and get them to understand what something is," she told Footwear News.

The shoe line will be available on shopping website Shopbop.com later this year.

BEST FRIEND

Charlie's Angels and its sequel were girl-power movies driven by the chemistry and real-life friendship between Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu.

History is repeating itself with The Other Woman, which again puts the relationship between three women at the forefront. It also helps that Diaz, in real life, also values sisterhood, thus making her appealing and relatable to the female movie-going demographic.

She said: "I have no interest in making a movie about revenge or adultery. That's not what this is about. This is about friendship... It's all about acceptance and wanting one another to be stronger and better, helping each other through hard times, celebrating the good times, being there through life as it plays out, not being judgmental, but being honest."

This article was published on April 16, 2014 in The New Paper.

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