Why Cameron Diaz Took a 5-Year Break from Acting: 'She Just Wants to Enjoy Her Life,' Says Source

For the past five years, the actress has lead a low-key life with husband Benji Madden

Cameron Diaz catapulted to stardom after her very first movie The Mask in 1994 followed by a string of box office hits including My Best Friend’s Wedding, There’s Something About Mary and Charlie’s Angels.

But after 20 years in the spotlight, Diaz, 46, has spent the past five years on a Hollywood hiatus and hasn’t appeared onscreen since Annie in 2014. Instead, she has been living a quiet life with her husband, Benji Madden, 40, of the rock band Good Charlotte.

“While she was always in the spotlight, she was never comfortable in that role,” a film source tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “It was stressful, and over the years it took a toll on her. She needed a break.”

Cameron Diaz

For more on Cameron Diaz, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

Diaz recently opened up in InStyle‘s 25th anniversary special and discussed why stepping away from her career was the right move for her. “I started [experiencing fame] when I was 22, so 25 years ago that’s a long time,” Diaz said. “I’ve given more than half of my life to the public. I feel it’s okay for me to take time for myself now to reorganize and choose how I want to come [back] into the world. I don’t miss performing.”

benji madden and cameron Diaz
Benji Madden and Cameron Diaz. Donato Sardella/Getty

Diaz and Madden live a low-key life in L.A., often spending time with Madden’s brother, Joel, and his wife, Nicole Richie. They vacationed this month in Saint-Tropez.

“She loves married life and just being with Benji,” says another insider.

And though she’s no longer on-set every day, Diaz still leads a very busy life. The actress coauthored two books about health and hinted to InStyle that she’s working on a project in the wellness world.”

Right now I’m looking at the landscape of wellness and all that. But whatever I do, it has to be something I’m passionate about — something that just feels effortless,” she said.For the time being, she is happy doing all the things she wasn’t able to do when she was constantly working.”She likes taking trips, watching movies and socializing with friends,” says a source. “She just wants to enjoy her life now.”

With additional reporting by Pernilla Cedenheim and Linda Marx

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