Catching up with old friend Cameron Diaz in Monaco…

DiazCameron Diaz has just arrived in Monaco from New York, and having spent most of the day on TAG Heuer’s enormo-yacht, she ’fesses straight up to feeling a bit woozy. ‘I can’t even remember my own name,’ she says with a giggle.

It’s all a bit surreal. For a start, it’s Cameron blooming Diaz, rumoured to be the world’s highest-paid actress, a mind-bogglingly beautiful woman, not to mention a seriously rapid star in our reasonably-priced car. We’re also sitting in the depths of the yacht, in the spa room in fact, and there’s a fish tank right behind her head. On top of that, this is a round table interview, which means that topgear.com is sharing the moment with a couple of Swiss female journalists whose agenda is – how can I put this – rather different to mine.

So if you ever wandered what Cameron Diaz’s favourite time of the day was, it’s the morning. She likes sunshine. She lived in Japan by herself for three months when she was 16, and might have ended up being a zoologist. She doesn’t know what her last movie role would be, if she could choose such a thing. If she met the 15-year old Cameron, she’d probably high-five her. Well you would, wouldn’t you? You are Cameron Diaz and life is largely ace.

So I decide to break the ice by telling her that she looks like she’s wearing a fish tank on her head. It seems to work, because she lets rip with a frankly huge laugh. Then it’s onto cars, a subject on which she is clearly very knowledgeable and genuinely passionate about. I’m from Top Gear, I tell her.

‘Ahhhh! Top Gear!’ she gasps. ‘I could play the Stig in a movie. There you go – my last movie role will be playing The Stig!’

Good answer. I can see her in the white race suit. So how was he?

‘Oh, a great instructor. Tom [Cruise] and I didn’t have much time to learn the track so you really have to pay attention. I still find myself just thinking, ‘OK, brake, turn, now accelerate…’ The whole experience has really stayed with me. Dunsfold pops into my head at the strangest times, and I run the track through in my head. ‘I can go faster there and there…’

As one of the most visible exponents of the Toyota Prius in Hollywood, I say, isn’t it a bit frustrating that you can’t be seen knocking about in a big old gas guzzler?

‘You know what I’ve got now? A Tesla Model S. It’s baaaadasssss. It’s like a rocket ship, the way it accelerates. When I take people out in it for the first time, they all have the same reaction – ‘waaaaahhhhh!’, and their legs fly up. It’s so thrilling. Because it’s all torque. It’s all there from a standing start…’

This is good knowledge. It turns out that one of the Swiss journalists is also a car nut, and everyone gets a bit excited about the Model S. Apart from the lady who asked Cameron what colour Friday was.

‘By the way,’ Cameron says firmly, ‘I was the first one to have a Prius. Before Leo. Before any of those guys…’

So it really is your fault…

‘Come on! I still get in it and jam about town. The Prius is a really fun car…’

It really isn’t, it’s too heavy and not even that economical…

‘You just don’t know how to drive it properly, honey.’

My legs buckle slightly at this point. I’m arguing with Cameron Diaz about the Toyota Prius. The fish flutter about above her. But surely you must have a big old American muscle car in the garage…

‘No. But I do have a Maserati Quattroporte. (We knew it) Let me tell you, the Model S is much better. The Maserati feels so heavy. It’s a great cruising car, but I have pictures of the Maserati and the Tesla side by side and the Tesla is much sexier. I designed my Model S: piano black interior, black wheels, it’s dope. And I’ve also got a 911 Carrera, I’ve had it 13 years. Just had it fixed, and it’s waiting for me when I get home.’

We are being wound up. Last question. Does she have a favourite movie car chase?

Ronin. That’s a cool one. Wait a minute… Bullitt. You’ve got to go with Bullitt, haven’t you? I haven’t seen Drive yet, but I hear it’s good. When you’re making movies you don’t often get much time to actually see them. [pause] Maybe I should let my pony-tail down. I can’t think straight…’

Something strange might happen, your brain might fall out, I stutter inexplicably.

‘Exactly.’

In the tank, a small fish faints.

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