Cameron Diaz on choosing family over Hollywood: 'All of my energy is here'

Melody Hahm
·West Coast Correspondent
·3-min read

As L.A. productions show glimmers of life and film festivals plan for in-person gatherings, the return of a cultural scene appears imminent more than a year after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.

But Cameron Diaz, who retired from acting in 2014, doesn't plan on returning to Hollywood. Diaz, 48, was once the world's highest paid actress but has since become a best-selling author and co-founder of clean wine label Avaline, along with entrepreneur Katherine Power.

On top of her new business venture, Diaz and her husband, musician Benji Madden, had a daughter, Raddix, in January 2020. In an interview with Yahoo Finance Presents this week, she said she can't imagine returning to the rigorous world of moviemaking while being a mother.

She first witnessed the realities of being a working mother in entertainment through a producer friend who was working on huge films and thriving in the fast-paced environment. But once that friend started a family, her priorities shifted.

"Her family started to evolve and I saw her go like, 'Oh, wait, I only have 100%.' You only have 100%, we don't have two 100%, we have 100%. Right? So you've got to break up that 100%...how much are you going to give to your family? How much are you going to give to your career?" she said.

'A different time in my life now'

When she worked as an actress, Diaz said, she devoted 100% of her energy to her films. But her priorities have shifted, too.

"So it's just a different time in my life now. Now I'm here and this is the most fulfilling thing that I've ever done in my life. [To] have a family and be married and have our little nucleus of a family. It's just completely the best thing," Diaz said. "So I can't give...I don't have what it takes to give making a movie what it needs to be made. All of my energy is here."

While jobs in the entertainment industry certainly involve schedules as unpredictable as they are grueling, the coronavirus pandemic has illuminated the unequal burden that many working mothers have, as they typically take the lion's share of the housework and homeschooling in heterosexual couples.

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1294A -- Pictured in this screengrab: Actress Cameron Diaz during an interview on July 22, 2020 -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1294A -- Pictured in this screengrab: Actress Cameron Diaz during an interview on July 22, 2020 -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Both Diaz and her Avaline co-founder Katherine Power acknowledged their privileged positions of being able to work from home and have a cushion of support.

"My career is so fulfilling to me, and so exciting. And it's, you know, partly what gets me up and motivated every day. And that is what allows me to look at things and say, 'Hey, I'm happy to work on balance, because I love doing all of these things,'" said Power.

But, she added, "I couldn't do it without having a wonderful nanny and a partner who's super involved and all of the great executives that work for me."

Melody Hahm is Yahoo Finance’s West Coast correspondent, covering entrepreneurship, technology and culture. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm and on LinkedIn.

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