New York Film Locations

Special Feature: Cameron Diaz (Day 3)

13 December 2021

In the film adaptation “Charlie's Angels”, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu played the trio of investigators in Los Angeles. The film was one of the highest-grossing films of the year, grossing $264.1 million, though before its release, Diaz had starred in the virtually unknown “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her”, a romantic drama film written and directed by Rodrigo García. The film was shown at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and won the Un Certain Regard Award. Two years later, the film was given a limited release, opening in 52 screens in Spain. “Charlie’s Angels” was directed by McG, and written by Ryan Rowe, Ed Solomon, and John August. It was the first instalment in the Charlie's Angels film series, a continuation of the television series of the same name created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, which is also a continuation of the series story. Unlike the original series, which had dramatic elements, the film features more comical elements.

Besides the female stars, John Forsythe reprised his role as the unseen Charlie's voice from the original series. Bill Murray also starred as John Bosley, replacing David Doyle who played the role in the original series. It also starred Sam Rockwell, Tim Curry and Kelly Lynch while Crispin Glover, Matt LeBlanc, Luke Wilson and Tom Green appear in supporting roles.

In 2001, Diaz starred in the Sundance-premiered independent drama “The Invisible Circus”, as a young woman who commits suicide in Europe in the 1970s, and next in the year, she appeared in her third New York-based film “Vanilla Sky”, as the former lover of a self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate played by Tom Cruise. A wide critical response and commercial success greeted “Vanilla Sky” upon its release; Los Angeles Times called her ‘compelling as the embodiment of crazed sensuality’ and The New York Times said she gives a ‘ferociously emotional’ performance. San Francisco Chronicle similarly stated of the film, ‘most impressive is Cameron Diaz, whose fatal-attraction stalker is both heart-breaking and terrifying’. She earned nominations for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globe Awards, the SAG Awards, the Critics' Choice Awards, and the American Film Institute Awards for her performance in the film. “Vanilla Sky” was shot in New York City, most notably the empty scene in Times Square. Other locations included the office building at 42 West 44th Street, the loft apartment at 57 Jay Street in Brooklyn, at the corner of Riverside Drive and West 96th Street, The Mall in Central Park, Grove Street and West 4th Street, the building at 12 East 57th Street and at the corner of Water Street and Jay Street in Brooklyn.

Also in 2001, Diaz voiced Princess Fiona in the DreamWorks Pictures' animated film “Shrek”. In the film, her character is plagued by a curse that transforms her into an ogress each and every sunset. Locked in a dragon-guarded castle for several years, she is rescued by the title character, whom she later comes to love. The film was a major commercial success, grossing $484.4 million worldwide and became the first movie to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

In 2002, Diaz headlined the romantic comedy “The Sweetest Thing”, playing a single woman educating herself on wooing the opposite sex when she finally meets the man of her dreams. The film was a moderate commercial success with a global gross of $68.6 million.

After completing “Shrek”, Diaz starred in Martin Scorsese's epic period drama “Gangs of New York”, set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of New York City; she took on the role of a pickpocket-grifter and the love interest of Leonardo DiCaprio's character. The film received positive reviews by critics and was a box office success, grossing a total of $193 million worldwide.

In 2003, Diaz reprised her roles in the commercially successful sequels “Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle” and “Shrek 2”. In her following film, Diaz played opposite Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine in “In Her Shoes”, a comedy-drama film based on the novel of the same name by Jennifer Weiner, which focuses on the relationship between two sisters and their grandmother. The film received generally positive reviews from critics, and Diaz garnered acclaim for her performance of a dyslectic wild child engaged in a love-hate struggle with her plain, sensible sister, with USA Today calling it ‘her best work’ at the time.

Continues tomorrow with a special feature about “The Holiday” film locations.


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