Cameron Diaz is back to show it’s not all over for actresses after 40

Cameron Diaz retired from acting after her last film – a remake of Annie in which she played Miss Hannigan – was released in 2014. She casually confirmed that she was no longer acting in an interview met EW in 2018, telling her co-stars of the early noughties romcom The Sweetest Thing that she was “actually retired”. Twee jaar later, she expanded on her decision to step away from Hollywood, telling Gwyneth Paltrow that she had grown tired of being “infantilised” by her industry and realised she had to learn how to become self-sufficient. The move brought her, she said at the time, “a peace in my soul”.

Obviously, Diaz has since learned how to boil the kettle and make herself a cuppa, because she is coming out of retirement after eight years. Jamie Foxx broke the news op Twitter, announcing that he and Diaz would be starring in a new film for Netflix called, appropriately, Back in Action. Foxx added a clip of him on the phone to Diaz, who claimed she was feeling anxious. “I don’t know how to do this," sy het gese; Foxx then recruited the retired and then not-retired NFL star Tom Brady to give her a little guidance on how to stage a comeback.

Not much is known about the film, maar Deadline is calling it an “action-comedy” and production will start this year. Diaz, who will turn 50 next month, is most known for her comedy work, but a glance at her IMDb page is a reminder of her sheer range, van Being John Malkovich aan Shrek aan There’s Something About Mary. Diaz returning to the action genre seems a wise and intriguing choice and not just for fans of the Barrymore-Diaz-Liu Charlie’s Angels holy trinity.

Men get to be action heroes for as long as they want. Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves are still box office titans. One of the most awaited films of the next couple of years is the fifth Indiana Jones movie, starring Harrison Ford, who is now 79. The same is starting to apply to women. The biggest role in years for Charlize Theron, 46, was as an immortal warrior in The Old Guard. Carrie-Anne Moss, 54, returned to The Matrix. Sandra Bullock, 57, pulled off a retro action hit with The Lost City. It is horror, more than action, but Jamie Lee Curtis, 63, is about to leave the Halloween franchise after 44 years with Halloween Ends.

There is plenty of debate and satire about what happens to female actors after they turn 40, but in action films there appears to be a clear answer: they get to kick ass.

Soms, all you need is the news that Kirstie Allsopp accidentally swallowed an Airpod while purposefully swallowing her vitamin pills. “I don’t recommend it,” she tweeted, reassuring followers that she had managed to “chuck it up” without going to hospital, although it left her with a sore throat. Some were sceptical about her ability to confuse a headphone with a tablet, though they have clearly not seen the size of a supermarket’s own-brand combination vitamin D and calcium, which I take whenever I want to cosplay being a Borrower.

Maybe this is why, unlike Giant Chocolate Buttons, Giant Tic Tacs were not a thing. You never know what could happen if you needed minty fresh breath while enjoying the latest episode of This American Life. Allsopp has taken a combative approach to the surprisingly large number of Airpod-ingestion deniers on Twitter, pointing out it would be a stupid thing to lie about.

Incredibly, she is not the first human being to claim to have made the same mistake. Having trawled through the bins to retrieve one of my Airpods (not swallowed, just tossed), surely cables have made a strong enough case for their usefulness to be allowed a comeback.

To paraphrase some lesser musical act, dit was 20 years ago today, ish, that Avril Lavigne taught the band to play, or at least taught fans to wear baggy trousers that scraped the floor when you walked, dislodging a strip of fabric between hem and trouser leg, which one of my loosest-trousered friends would repurpose as a tied-on wristband.

Though it was a good early example of zero-waste fashion, a tatty bracelet made from puddle-splashed denim is a concept that remains stranded in 2002.

Lavigne marked the 20-year anniversary of the release of her debut album, Let Go, by posing for a photograph in New York City that recreated the cover. The shoes were a little higher and the trousers a little less billowing, but you had to squint to be able to tell that 20 years had passed. (Shawn Mendes pulled a similar trick last week, recreating the cover of his 2016 album Illuminate with the caption, “back in time”. Hy is 23, so by the time he hits the 20-year mark, his nostalgia is going to be through the roof.)

Lavigne’s sartorial impact may come and go, but her musical legacy has proved to be robust. At Glastonbury last weekend, Olivia Rodrigo covered Lavigne’s big hit Complicated, which she has been performing on her Sour tour. In April, in Toronto, she brought out Lavigne to perform it on stage with her. Astoundingly, Rodrigo has not yet celebrated her own 20th anniversary: the song came out almost a year before she was born.

Rebecca Nicholson is an Observer columnist

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