In Bad Teacher, Cameron Diaz stars as a pot-smoking, profanity-spewing, inappropriately slutty would-be molder of young minds. Footage of the June 24 comedy screened for theater owners at the annual CinemaCon gathering, where she was honored by the group as its female star of the year.
The actress sat down with EW to discuss the world’s worst educator (see the film’s NSFW curse-filled red-band trailer below), as well as her upcoming role in the Joel and Ethan Coen-scripted Gambit remake, and the fake reports that she’s making a baseball movie with boyfriend, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So we’ve got Bad Teacher, but there have also been movies like Bad Santa, and Bad Lieutenant. How about getting them to join forces in one film, like the superheroes in The Avengers?
CAMERON DIAZ: Definitely. Sure. [Laughs] We could have a series of Bads who team up.
Bad Doctor, Bad Lawyer …
Something good could come of that!
“Bad teacher” is a relative term, isn’t it? When I was in school I might have found this woman … very inspiring.
Absolutely. It’s like, “I can learn from that woman.” [Laughs] But she’s not a good teacher of curriculum that has been set out by the school for the sake of education. And she doesn’t really care, which is what makes her such a bad teacher.
Did she start out that way or lose her idealism at some point?
No, she hit the ground running with absolutely no passion or love or desire to be a teacher. To her, it’s her Me-time in the classroom. That’s her alone time, when she gets to catch up on things for herself. It frees up her time to pursue her passion, which is finding someone rich to take care of her. She’s out trying to capture someone.
And her new prey is a dweeby substitute teacher played by Justin Timberlake?
Yes, the poor thing just walks into the lion’s den, unknowing. He’s there because he’s really passionate about teaching. He’s got money. He doesn’t have to work, but wants to. … She’s skimming by on the bare minimum.
Which of her bad behaviors did you savor the most?
I really enjoyed working with the kids. It was fun to be mean to them, and see them respond in mock terror. Something in me felt empowered that I was squashing these young children, and taking them down. But, aww — they’re just acting.
Your next film is with Colin Firth, a remake of the 1966 thriller Gambit. When does that start?
This month. I go to London and we start the first week of May.
It’s a Coen brothers script (The Last Station‘s Michael Hoffmann directs), so what’s the tone of this version?
I describe it as a good, old-fashioned romp. It’s an art, uh, I wouldn’t say “heist,” but they’re scamming. My character gets caught up in a scam by this curator of an art collection for a very wealthy publisher. He’s trying to do a little fraud. But it’s not heavy.
I read you were developing a baseball film for you and Alex. That for real?
Totally untrue. That’s one of those things where somebody made it up out of thin air. They put it right out onto the Internet, and I’ll probably get a lot more questions of it. But, no.