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Cameron Diaz on why she hit "pause" on acting – and how it involved wine

Cameron Diaz on her shift in priorities
Cameron Diaz on her shift in priorities, new wine brand 08:09

When the blockbuster comedy "The Mask" hit theaters in 1994, Cameron Diaz – just 21 at the time – became one of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses. Leading roles in every genre soon followed. But in 2014, after 20 years and 40 memorable roles — in such films as "There's Something About Mary," "Charlie's Angels," "Being John Malkovich" and "The Holiday" — Diaz made the decision to hit "pause" on acting, at a time when she was the highest-paid actress over 40.

"CBS Saturday Morning" co-host Dana Jacobson asked Diaz, "At the top of your game, you leave your career. Why did you leave it behind?"

"When you're doing something that you know and you've done well and you know how it works and it's consumed your whole life for so long, it's kind of a nice thing to kind of go, 'You know what? Let me just step back for a second, take a look at what the whole picture looks like for me, and what are the things that I could do better and be more engaged with that would make me feel more whole?' And I did that."

Actress and wine entrepreneur Cameron Diaz.  CBS News

When asked if she missed acting, Diaz replied, "I miss aspects of acting, or making movies. Yeah, making movies is a particular skill set that is fun to exercise and be a part of. But yeah, it's a different lifestyle. And you kind of have to be ready to do that."

Now, after an eight-year hiatus, she's ready to return to the big screen in a film aptly titled "Back in Action," reteaming with her "Annie" costar Jamie Foxx.

"Everybody only has 100%, and you always have to figure out how you're gonna divide up that 100% to spread it to all the parts of your life that matter," she said.

Much of what matters today is family. A year after stepping out of the spotlight, she married Benji Madden, of the rock band Good Charlotte. They're now parents to a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter whom they've chosen to keep out of the public eye.

Jacobson asked, "Has motherhood changed you?"

"Yeah. Definitely."

"What do you enjoy most about it?"

"Gosh. I think just being able to, you know, have influence on a child that's developing, you know? All mothers have that moment where you're watching your child and they're doing something the first time and you're like, 'I remember doing that!' It's really cool!"

One of Diaz's other loves is cooking. "Food is my love language," she said. "My husband married me because of my cooking, I'm certain!"

It's a passion that goes back to her childhood – memories of cooking every night with her mom. "My mom is still my favorite cook," Diaz said. "My mom's food is the food that I wanna eat, because it's, like, the food that I associate with my heart."

And it's only natural that her love of food goes hand-in-hand with her love of wine: "I'm curious. I want information. I want knowledge about, you know, first how my body works, then how my body ages, and then, how does wine work?"

That curiosity led her to Avaline, an organic and vegan wine label she launched in 2020 with her friend and entrepreneur Katherine Power.

Diaz said, "From the beginning we were told that we couldn't do it, you know?"

Power said, "There were a lot of obstacles in trying to bring, you know, this clean, delicious wine, these organically grown grapes and this kind of wine with these kinds of standards to market."

Correspondent Dana Jacobson with Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power, who together started the organic and vegan wine label Avaline.  CBS News

Their company started out just as girl talk over a glass of wine, wondering what it was they were consuming, and they quickly learned it was often more than just fermented grapes.

"There are over 70 additives that can be added to wine during the winemaking process without any disclosure," said Power. "So, you know, you're just not aware of what is going into your glass when, you know, if you eat something, you're able to look at the nutritional information and the ingredient list. And also, the majority of vineyards here in the United States are not organic, and often farm with harmful chemical pesticides."

They made a commitment to source their grapes from organic farmers from around the world. They also took a closer look at the wine-filtering process.

Jacobson said, "The thing that shocked me in reading about your wine – wine has to be vegan, right? I mean, people look at it, it's wine. Wine is vegan. Apparently not all wine is vegan?"

"I remember the moment we learned that," Diaz said. "We looked at each other, we're, like, 'Wait, how …?'"

"Oftentimes wine is fine or filtered using animal byproducts," said Power. "So, we learned that and we thought, 'God, what about the people that are, you know, vegan who are consuming wine and they don't even know that because it's not typically put on a bottle?'"

Transparency is the cause they're championing, and their main goal is simply to offer wine-drinkers another option. "Having Avaline in the market is just one step closer to, you know, providing an industry with a road map – something they may have not considered before," said Diaz. 

The decision to launch Avaline seems to have been an easy one for Diaz, who has long been committed to health and wellness, writing two books on the subject, including one, "The Longevity Book," about aging.

Harper Wave

Jacobson asked, "Your second book, to me, seemed unpredictable for somebody in Hollywood. It talked about aging and doing it gracefully, not saying, 'Let me not age.' It was about letting yourself age."

"Look, aging is something you can't stop," Diaz said, who will turn 50 this year. "You can just do it as good as you possibly can.

"But what helps you do it more gracefully [is] the total experience of aging, not just sort of the one aspect that we're so focused on … the 'look' of it, which by the way, no judgment, if people want to … like, if it makes you feel better, great. But also, don't ignore all the other aspects of what is happening as you go along that journey."

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