By People Staff
Updated May 11, 1998 12:00 PM

She loves rare steak and the greasiest french fries she can find. She swears like a trooper, listens to heavy metal and punctuates her sentences with a raucous, almost abrasive laugh. Cameron Diaz, says her friend, producer Stacey Sher, “works really hard at not falling back on her looks.”

That hasn’t stopped anybody from falling for the breakout star of She’s the One and My Best Friend’s Wedding. “She has an energy, an electricity in her face—a sparkle that is unmistakable,” says photographer Jeff Dunas, who discovered Diaz at a nightclub in L.A., nine years ago and brought her to the Elite modeling agency.

Now 25, the daughter of a Long Beach, Calif., oil-company foreman and an import-export agent spent five years posing all over the globe before setting out on a film career in The Mask, opposite Jim Carrey. “Cami is an extremely cool human,” Carrey told Rolling Stone, “despite having what normally can be character-crippling good looks.”

As Kathy Berkeley, makeup artist on Diaz’s 1997 crime drama Keys to Tulsa, explains, “She has a beautiful complexion and stunning eyes,” but more importantly, “everybody on the set just loved her personality. She was always positive and bubbly, as nice as she could be.”

And “comfortable in her own skin,” adds costumer Leesa Evans, who put the 5’9″ Diaz in an unflattering, baggy sweater for 1996’s The Last Supper. Diaz, who has been dating actor Matt Dillon for two years, “allows who she is to come through without fear,” says Evans. “She doesn’t get too caught up in overanalyzing what beauty is.”

Nor in working off those fries, notes Sher, at whose house Diaz once camped while between homes. “I’ve never seen Cameron exercise,” says Sher. However, “She always did the dishes.”