When it comes to discussion of positive body images, who else better to offer advice than the voice of Fiona Shrek?
Neuqua Valley senior Olivia Schmitt remained a bit starstruck after her one-on-one interview with actress Cameron Diaz for the school’s “Wildcat Weekly,” a newscast created by Neuqua broadcast journalism students.
Diaz, 41, was in Naperville on Thursday as part of her world tour to promote her new book, “The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body.”
In addition to her interview for the “Wildcat Weekly,” Diaz sat down with three editors with the Echo student newspaper before addressing the students who packed the auditorium of Neuqua Valley High School. The editors had roughly 40 minutes to ask questions of Diaz on health and nutrition and her formula for becoming a happier, healthier and stronger person. The actress then took time out to autograph books that students purchased.
For Olivia, Diaz was the most famous person she’s ever interviewed.
“I did get to meet David Beckham once, but I never got to sit down and ask questions,” Olivia said.
Among the questions Olivia asked was why Diaz wanted to speak to high school students.
Diaz said she would have preferred to start discussions of positive body image early in kindergarten. But high school is when bodies start changing, and Diaz said it is imperative to learn how a healthy lifestyle can help a young person manage the pressures around them.
The actress urged young women to stop the negativity of comparing themselves to others.
“If younger women start to understand that, it will free up all that negative energy that can be used in positive ways,” Diaz said. “Young women can have a better understanding of their bodies.”
During her conversations with Olivia, Diaz noted that a person might have 10 choices a day. “If you made more good choices than bad, you will be ahead,” she said.
Most students weren’t even born yet when Diaz’s first movie, “Mask,” came out in 1994.
Sydney Kalich, a junior and Echo public relations editor, said most high school students grew up knowing Diaz for her role as Fiona from “Shrek.”
The bad weather earlier in the week had seniors Sara Saggar and Riley Wagner, Echo co-editors-in-chief, a bit nervous their chance to meet and interview Diaz might fall through. Sara said she knew Diaz was on the East Coast before coming to Illinois.
Overall, the girls were thrilled with the opportunity.
“I thought she was real personable, and she took time to answer all my questions,” Olivia added.