Cameron Diaz on Playing the Mother of a Sick Child in “My Sister’s Keeper”

In her upcoming movie My Sister’s Keeper, Cameron Diaz plays the tough mother of two teenage girls—the oldest is battling cancer (Sofia Vassilieva of NBC’s Medium), and the youngest (Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Sunshine) was genetically engineered to save her sister’s life. Diaz can be seen shaving her head in the film’s trailer (watch it here), but the actress told the L.A. Times that it wasn’t necessary for her to cut her hair in real life. Instead, she used a bald cap because she only needed to be hairless for one day of shooting. It was a different story, however, for Diaz’s co-star Vassilieva, who completely went for it. “I have so much respect for this child because she shaved her head when she was 15 years old,” Diaz told the L.A. Times. “She had hair down to here. She shaved her head, she shaved her eyebrows, and she owned it. I mean, she was scared at first. I won’t say that she … she pushed through that fear, and I was just so inspired by her.  She was an inspiration to us all.  At the end of the day, she’d have the makeup artist paint all these things around her head and paint around her eyes and wear these big earrings and like big scarves. She just really owned it and sort of made it something special for herself."

Diaz says she researched her role by talking to mothers with seriously ill children at The City of Hope. “Although their circumstances might be different, whether it was economics or the dynamics of their families, maybe not married or separated from their husbands or divorced or whatever, the one thing that was the same for all of them was that when you have a sick child, all you do is try to save that child. There’s nothing else. You don’t go, 'Oh, no, it’s OK, don’t worry about it.  It will be fine.' Or you don’t say, 'Oh, there’s nothing else we can do?  OK, cool.'  It’s like there’s a vigilance that these mothers have to take part in and be there 24 hours a day, and they know what treatments their child should be having.”

Read the rest of the interview here.