Someone's wearing lipstick in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday. It's
not Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx or LL Cool J, and it's certainly
not Charlton Heston. Cameron Diaz plays the beautiful but tough-as-nails
football team owner Christina Pagniacci in the gridiron drama, which
marks the latest step in one of filmdom's least predictable careers.
When you look like Cameron Diaz, producers are going to fall over
themselves offering you the "big" roles as the romantic interest of
the real star of the film. But after initial stints as Jim Carrey's
objet d'amour in The Mask and as Dermot Mulroney's fiancée in My Best Friend's Wedding,
Diaz has chosen some seriously off-kilter parts. From
the emission-coiffed heroine of There's Something About Mary to the
psychotically anal-obsessive bride-to-be in Very
Bad Things to the frowzy, would-be transsexual in
Being John Malkovich, Diaz decimates any attempts at
During a recent press junket, Diaz spoke to reporters about her role in Any Given Sunday. Playing the ruthless Christina, she gets to explore her inner bitch, chewing out Pacino's football coach in the process. As Heston notes in the movies, she is someone who "would eat her young."
Q: So this wasn't a stretch for you at all, was it?
Cameron Diaz: I know, it's so me. I wasn't acting at all.
Q: I read that football and sports are kind of your thing anyway.
CD: I get this question asked a lot, and last night I was thinking,
"God, I'm sure I gave the answer that nobody wanted to hear!" [Laughs]
Q: Which is?
CD: I was at one time a huge sports fan. I grew up with it it was
very much a part of my life. But in the last five or six years, I've
kind of let it go, been really busy and haven't followed and kept up
with it. It's not as much a part of my life as it once was. But I do
really enjoy sports. I love the game. I love football. It's part of my
makeup, in there genetically somewhere.
Q: Were you intimidated by the script when you first read it?
CD: Yes, I was intimidated, of course. Just the whole thing.
Oliver [Stone], Al [Pacino], James Woods everybody involved.
You want to go in and do your best, but I did sort of feel like
sometimes, being that 12-year-old girl with braces on, trying to be
I put a lot of trust in Oliver, of course why wouldn't you? He's a
genius filmmaker. That was the reason why I wanted to do the film,
because of him.
Q: Was it fun to be so tough?
CD: Yeah, it was fun, it was a challenge it was just a great
experience. I like to try on different shoes.
Q: Were you a little nervous about getting in Al Pacino's face?
CD: Yes, I was. I was very nervous. It's Al Pacino! And he's such a
strong presence. He's such a nice man, and incredibly patient. But it
was sort of like, "Okay, I'm ready to go!" It's like you're running out
to the field, and you're like, "I'm ready! I'm going to do it!" Then
you're like: "I'm gonna go back into my trailer and I'm gonna cry!"
Q: What about those locker room scenes [being surrounded by naked
CD: [Coyly] What about those locker room scenes? Next time I'll look
Q: You were looking at the ceiling?
CD: Eye-to-eye contact is the best way to handle those situations.
Q: After being so frumpy in Being John Malkovich, was it nice to
actually look really good again?
CD: Me, personally, I'm kind of in the middle of Lotte and Christina.
I'm sort of a blend, a mixture of the two. It was fun to play Christina;
it was fun to be that girl. I felt [it was] very important for her [to
not] come off as a man. I wanted her femininity, the fact that she was a
woman, to be apparent, and for it to be obvious that she wasn't afraid
of it, and that it was important to her. The way that she presented
herself was well thought-out it was strategic as well as fulfilling
her own needs as a woman.
Q: How did you like shooting in Miami?
CD: You know, I love Miami! I love being there. I love
everything about Miami. I love the air and the water. I like the water
that's in the air. I like the whole thing.
Q: Did every Cuban that you met stop you and try to talk to you in
CD: Mm-hmm. You know they do, absolutely.
Q: And how do you handle that?
CD: I go, "God, you know, it all sounds so familiar. I know what
saying, I really do. I just cannot respond to you back in Spanish. I can
barely speak English properly." I didn't grow up in a Cuban or Latin
community. I grew up in Southern California on the beach, basically. And
I'm third generation. I'm of Cuban descent, but I'm American.
Q: That was a question on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
CD: Was it really?
Q: Yeah, and they got it wrong. They picked you [as having been born
in Puerto Rico], not Ricky Martin.
CD: Well, you see, I just keep people guessing! Put the wrong
information out there.