Actress Cameron Diaz is probably best known for her performance in romantic comedies like There's Something About Mary, Shrek and My Best Friend's Wedding. This summer, she's taking on a new kind of role, playing the mother of a cancer-stricken young girl in My Sister's Keeper. Cameron's character has dedicated her life to saving her daughter, but when she and her husband have a second daughter for "spare parts," the family faces even more emotional battles.
Ali Wentworth, Mark Consuelos and Gayle King, who saw a screening of the movie, say they still can't stop thinking about it. "It's agonizing," Gayle says. "You understand all points of view. It's so well done and so well cast."
Though the story of My Sister's Keeper is unique, Cameron says audiences will relate to the family's struggle. "It's about a family who's losing a member. You learn about everyone's experience," she says. "This is something that happens with families with special needs in it. Everybody's energies go toward keeping that person alive."
Cameron says one of the main lessons of the movie is how one person's illness affects so many different aspects of family life. "A family needs all the components, and when one of them is taken out, all the other relationships suffer—in this case, the mother's relationship with her other children suffers, the husband and wife's relationship suffers. Everything starts to be compartmentalized and deconstructed."
Cameron lost her father when she had only three weeks left of filming My Sister's Keeper, but she says she's still not sure if the experience influenced her performance. "I don't know if I could say even now, a year later, if it hurt me or helped me—if I was present with it or if I was completely in shock," she says.
Oprah calls My Sister's Keeper a three-hankie film, but Cameron says it's more than just a tearjerker. "It's just as much about celebrating life as it is about the tears," she says.