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Cameron Diaz: Great year for ‘Bad’ actress

Comedy Impact Report 2011: Bigscreen Bigshots

Bad Teacher,” starring Cameron Diaz as a smokin’ hot but oh-so-bad teacher, grossed $216 worldwide and proved that, while most sex symbols are just not that funny and most comediennes are not that sexy, Diaz is the exception to the rule. The former model — who launched her career as the eye candy opposite Jim Carrey in 1994’s “The Mask” and quickly capitalized on her innate comedy talent (“There’s Something About Mary”) — cursed, smoked and drank her way through the R-rated comedy with a gleeful abandon that underscored her ability to combine laughs and sex.

Diaz says she’s happy to play unlikeable, and unconcerned about strutting around a carwash scene in Daisy Dukes shorts. “It’s comedy,” she says. “It’s not meant to be taken seriously.” As for her manipulative character, “I think she’s a horrible person — and it’s really fun to play it every once in a while.” The actress, who also appeared in the critically drubbed but financially successful superhero action-comedy “The Green Hornet,” which grossed $227 worldwide, next stars in “Gambit” and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”