Diaz is well known for her roles in films like There’s Something About Mary, Charlie’s Angels and Shrek.
But the last movie appearance of her 20-year career came in the 2014 adaptation of Annie.
“I got a peace in my soul, because I finally was taking care of myself,” Diaz told Gwyneth Paltrow, on the fellow actress’s health podcast.
The Hollywood stars who quit acting
“It’s a strange thing to say, I know a lot of people won’t understand it, I know you understand it, but it’s so intense to work at that level and be that public and put yourself out there,” added the 47-year-old.
“There’s a lot of energy coming at you at all times when you’re really visible as an actor and doing press and putting yourself out there.”
Diaz confirmed her retirement from acting in 2018, but has previously stated that she will not rule out a return one day.
The star, who made her breakthrough in the 1994 comedy The Mask opposite Jim Carrey, said the pressure of being responsible for multi-million dollar movies could be “overwhelming”, but that actors were mollycoddled and she wanted to be more self-sufficient.
‘They own you’
“I stopped and really looked at my life,” she continued. “When you’re making a movie, they own you. You’re there for 12 hours a day for months on end, you have no time for anything else.
“I really needed to know that I could take care of myself, that I knew how to be an adult.”
Diaz married 41-year-old Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden in 2015 and the couple had their first child, daughter Raddix, in December 2019.
She credited Paltrow with having encouraged her to become a mum.
“Being a mother at the age that I am, I don’t think I could have been this parent at 25,” Diaz admitted.
“I would not have become a mother if it wasn’t for you,” she told mum-of-two, Paltrow.
“You used to talk, I’d be like, ‘I’m not having kids’. And you’re like: ‘You are having kids, you’re getting married, you’re having children’.”
In a separate interview with British Vogue, Paltrow herself stated that the term “conscious uncoupling”, which she was roundly ridiculed for using to describe her separation from ex-husband Chris Martin in 2014, sounded “a bit full of itself”.
‘Mockery and anger’
The pair issued a joint statement about their split at the time, containing the phrase which she revealed they were introduced to by their therapist.
“Frankly, the term sounded a bit full of itself, painfully progressive and hard to swallow,” she said.
“I was intrigued, less by the phrase, but by the sentiment,” she added. “Was there a world where we could break up and not lose everything?
“Could we be a family, even though we were not a couple?”
Paltrow, who is now married to TV producer Brad Falchuk, went on to say that the often-quoted phrase led to a “a strange combination of mockery and anger that I have never seen.”