Cameron Diaz is a perpetual motion machine.
The star of "Shrek Forever After" is booked solid this summer, finishing up the raunchy comedy "Bad Teacher," appearing as a presenter for the 2010 MTV Movie Awards on June 6, then promoting the action comedy "Knight and Day," opening June 25 with her co-star Tom Cruise.
As she makes her fourth and final turn voicing Princess Fiona in DreamWorks' animated fairy tale, Diaz admitted that sometimes her career seems like something out of a Cinderella story.
"I'm pretty blessed, absolutely," she said in a phone interview. "It doesn't go unnoticed by me that I pretty much live an extraordinary life. It's amazing." Like all good folktales, it has a moral, she said.
"The moral is to appreciate everything you have. If you appreciate what you have, you're in need of nothing else. And also to love what you do and to put out into the world what you want to get back."
Spoken like a true princess. Diaz said she's truly sorry to be saying farewell to Fiona. Not only did the role make her Hollywood's highest-paid actress, she considers the ogre a good role model for girls.
"She's never depended on anyone to rescue her, which is a different message from Snow White and Rapunzel, waiting for a Prince Charming to come rescue her. She was capable of getting out of the tower herself. She definitely took on Shrek as her partner rather than as her rescuer."
That do-it-yourself ethic has fueled Diaz's bustling career. While she doesn't boast the range of a Meryl Streep, she moves easily from lowdown comedies to heavy drama, action romps and romances. They haven't all been critical or popular hits, but Diaz doesn't disown any of the choices she's made.
"I don't think any choice is a bad choice. Whether or not the film is successful in the box office or not, I feel like every opportunity I get to work and make films, collaborate and learn, is an awesome opportunity, and I'm grateful for all my experiences. Everything I learn from one film I can apply to the next and the next.
"Working with smart, talented people with great ambitions is the way to go. If you can latch your trailer onto that truck, I say do it."
In her next films, "Knight and Day" and "The Green Hornet," Diaz returns to familiar territory, playing the reluctant sidekick of a superspy in the former and the demure love interest to a comic-book crime fighter.
"It's fun to blow (stuff) up," she said with a hearty laugh.