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Sex sells (they hope).

Sex sells (they hope). (photo)

Let's say you're a female movie star and your new movie is tracking poorly and the buzz around Hollywood isn't much better. What are you going to do about it? Well if you're Cameron Diaz, you're going to give an interview to Playboy in which you talk about how much you love cock. Yes, in an interview in next month's Playboy, which hits newsstands tomorrow, Diaz, star of the tepidly anticipated "Knight and Day," tells Stephen Rebello that she "can't even count how many times I've gotten on a plane for love. It's not unusual in this business; my lifestyle demands it. I'm always traveling for [whispers] cock. You've got to go where it is." She also describes her interest in sex as "primal on an animalistic level" and hints at bisexual interests, saying "Sexuality and love can be different things. I can be attracted to a woman sexually, but...

Let’s say you’re a female movie star and your new movie is tracking poorly and the buzz around Hollywood isn’t much better. What are you going to do about it?

Well if you’re Cameron Diaz, you’re going to give an interview to Playboy in which you talk about how much you love cock.

Yes, in an interview in next month’s Playboy, which hits newsstands tomorrow, Diaz, star of the tepidly anticipated “Knight and Day,” tells Stephen Rebello that she “can’t even count how many times I’ve gotten on a plane for love. It’s not unusual in this business; my lifestyle demands it. I’m always traveling for [whispers] cock. You’ve got to go where it is.”

She also describes her interest in sex as “primal on an animalistic level” and hints at bisexual interests, saying “Sexuality and love can be different things. I can be attracted to a woman sexually, but it doesn’t mean I want to be in love with a woman. If I’m going to be with a woman sexually, it doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian. We put these restraints and definitions on people, but it’s hard to define.”

Well, then. What else is there to say other than, these sage words from Hugh Laurie?

06172010_sexsells3.jpgSubjects interviewed by Playboy are expected to be provocative and open about their sex lives (or so I’m told from people who, unlike me, read the magazine, cause I would never do that, like, ever). John Mayer even got into trouble by trying a little too hard to be provocative and open in a Playboy interview last February.

But Diaz’s comments come just a couple weeks after Jennifer Lawrence, the star of the decidedly un-sexy Sundance hit “Winter’s Bone,” garnered attention — both good and bad — for posing for a salacious spread in Esquire. Lawrence later told Vulture‘s Bilge Ebiri that she did it out of a fear of being typecast in future work, but it’s hard not to imagine the pressure to sell a difficult-to-market movie on a more, um, gut level not weighing into the decision as well.

Any reason to see “Winter’s Bone” is a good one, and if those photos get more people into the theater, fantastic (though one worries that anyone who goes to see the film purely because of Esquire may be confused to find that the title is not some sort of sexual euphemism). But that doesn’t make them feel any less demeaning. It’s not enough for Lawrence to be a remarkable young actress, she’s got to be sexy too.

Nor is it enough that a film is a powerful portrait of hardscrabble life in the Ozark Mountains, with a beautifully written script and haunting performances, we’ve got to able to picture the lead in a bathing suit too. And what about poor Diaz, shilling for her movie by exposing the most intimate details of her sexual proclivities? It all feels kind of dirty and sad.

06172010_sexsells4.jpgOne question, though: would it still feel dirty and sad if the gender roles were reversed? Would it feel quite so icky if Tom Cruise was the one talking with Playboy, and he couldn’t stop raving about how much he loved boobies? Maybe not; nobody seems to raise a hue and cry when Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson bare their bodies to promote the “Twilight” series.

Then again, those movies are all about lusting over half-naked dudes: topless photos of the two may be selling a film with sex, but at least it’s selling a film with sex accurately. By the same token, I don’t think we can expect a scene in “Knight and Day’ where Diaz raves about the awesomeness of Cruise’s manhood.

Wait, is it too late for a rewrite?

[Photos: "Knight and Day," 20th Century Fox, 2010; "Winter's Bone," Roadside Attractions, 2010; "Twilight Saga: New Moon," Summit Entertainment, 2009]

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