Even before they first teamed up in 2011’s Bad Teacher, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel shared the same no-shame-no-gain approach to comedy. Now the two stars reunite for more awkward yuks in Sex Tape (rated R, out July 18), playing a married couple with kids who decide to revive a flaccid love life by making their own private porno — hilariously re-creating every position in The Joy of Sex — which naturally falls into the wrong hands. What follows is a madcap chase around town, including a late-night visit to the home of a seemingly straitlaced CEO played by Rob Lowe (no stranger to sex-tape scandals himself).
On screen, Diaz, 41, and Segel, 34, prove to be very game — and amazingly limber. Off screen, they were just as playful when we pulled a Coolhaus ice cream truck onto the Sony lot in L.A. last month. Over three scoops of ice cream, the duo bared all about their love-hate relationship with kale, achieving the perfect naked handstand, and unsexy mariachi music. All while keeping their clothes on, of course.
Cameron Diaz has salted chocolate ice cream between potato chip butterscotch cookies, while Jason Segel digs into a snickerdoodle sandwich with blueberry sweet corn ice cream.
You’re really going to town on the ice cream. How much did you have to give up to be in shape for Sex Tape?
Jason Segel Cameron lives her entire life in a healthy way of moderation.
Cameron Diaz Exactly, so I don’t have to all of a sudden restrict myself from everything.
Segel I’ve learned from Cameron that that’s the way to live. I look forward to a long, happy life.
Diaz You did good.
Segel I had a lot of weight to lose. I lost about 30 pounds.
In what amount of time?
Segel I’d say three to four months. Then I had to gain it back for the next movie [the upcoming indie The End of the Tour]. It was really unpleasant. I went on a Hot Pocket diet where I ate two Hot Pockets every four hours.
Diaz No! Is that what you did? You have to be really careful of that. Your liver…
Segel I only had the pepperoni pizza flavor. I didn’t go anywhere near the cheeseburger macaroni.
Have you ever watched any celebrity sex tapes?
Segel No, I figure it’s none of my business.
I do wonder why people keep making them.
Diaz Because they can make careers out of it afterward. Apparently they can go ahead and launch empires.
The OG sex-tape star, Rob Lowe, was willing to be in a movie called Sex Tape.
Segel He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever been around.
Diaz He was game for anything, and he put such a great twist on it in a way that we didn’t expect.
Both stars tuck into Whiskey Lucky Charms ice cream — right out of the container.
Let’s talk about the sex scenes. How choreographed were they?
Segel We were really spur-of-the-moment with it. We come from a similar place when it comes to comedy. We don’t have a tremendous sense of pride or shame.
Diaz You wanted it to be kind of ridiculous and humiliating; these two people did things because they love each other.
Was it painful to go back and watch the process?
Segel I didn’t.
Diaz I never watch dailies.
Segel I don’t want to let my sense of self-loathing cause me to change my performance.
How plotted out were all of the positions?
Diaz We kind of made s— up as we went along.
Segel I know this will shock your readers, but it turns out there’s a finite number of ways my body is able to move. I did manage to get up into a pretty great handstand. That’s a good example of why you need to do it with a friend. Just because of the sheer logistics of that shot, I wasn’t able to wear a modesty patch because I was upside down. It was legitimately gross, I would imagine.
Diaz Because we all felt safe together, it was hilarious. He laughed his balls off.
Were there any body doubles?
Diaz The girl who did the flip [in a particularly acrobatic sequence]. She was great. We flew her in from Cirque du Soleil last-minute.
Segel Hayley Wright is her name.
Diaz She did it full-on — well, she did it with nude-colored underwear and they just took it out later.
Segel Do you remember how terrifying that was for me?
Diaz His face, he was so scared!
Segel There was so much trust involved. I haven’t seen Cirque du Soleil in a couple years. I don’t know if it’s still…
Diaz …at that level.
Segel It turns out it was perfect.
Diaz The funny thing is, out of all the things we filmed in this movie, this was a small part of it. It probably took, what, four days?
Segel Five days… When we were writing, it was really important to all of us that if you’re going to call a movie Sex Tape, you need to end it with a sex tape. So we went for it all the way to the hilt. [Looks at Diaz] I was worried about ”all the way to the hilt,” which sounds vaguely sexual.
Diaz I did not register that.
In real life, there are repercussions when friends have sex. When you have fake sex on screen, does it also affect the relationship?
Segel If anything, it strengthened it. There are parts of what we did that are very embarrassing. You’re aware — I am, at least — that it’s there forever.
Diaz We were there to protect one another and also create something that we thought was really fun. But you know, as soon as we don’t have to be on set, we’re in our separate trailers.
Segel It’s 12 to 14 hours a day together. It’s a lot of friendship.
Diaz As we walk back to the trailers, we’re like, ”See you later.”
Diaz enjoys salted chocolate ice cream between chocolate chip cookies, and Segel goes back for a Whiskey Lucky Charms sandwich between snickerdoodles.
What’s the sexiest food you can think of?
Diaz Because it tastes like sex.
Diaz Peanut butter.
Segel Really? Interesting. I like a nice peanut butter.
Diaz It’s not particularly sexy when you’re [makes smacking noise].
Segel I’m not a big fan of kale. There’s nothing sexy about kale. I understand it’s good for you.
It’s like the state food of California.
Segel Things have gotten over-kaled. Kale is having its moment, but keep it to salads. I don’t need kale ice cream or kale pancakes.
Song that puts you in the mood?
Diaz [Sings] ”Bom chicka wah wah…” Doesn’t everybody get turned on by that?
Segel Yeah, totally.
Diaz That’s like a universal cry for getting it on.
Segel Mine’s ”Reveille.” I put one on every time before sex. [Makes trumpet ”Reveille” sound]
What song would take you out of the mood?
Diaz I’m not really into mariachi bands. I enjoy it for, like, a birthday party, but I’m not really into it for getting it on.
Segel All music gets me going. If ”Reveille” gets me going, anything will.
What song should never, ever be played when you’re having sex?
Diaz ”Itsy Bitsy Spider” should not be playing. Also, I don’t understand people who have sex with their dog in the room.
Segel Right, I agree. Nothing cute.
Because we’re sitting in front of an ice cream truck, if you had to create a sundae that exemplifies Cameron, what would you put on it?
Diaz No pressure. I know everything on it will be savory and salty, and I won’t take it personally.
Segel It would have to be the silkiest of textures and also healthy. It would be some sort of coconut-milk ice cream that I always see in the aisle and pass by. Then I’d cover it in bacon and potato chips. Is that how you want it?
Segel Popcorn, yeah, sure. What I’ve learned is just to ask Cameron what she wants and then do that.
Cameron, what would a Jason sundae be?
Diaz I would get him the most delicious, garbage-y, fun flavors that are out there, and I would put them all together because he would want to taste them all. You want to taste them all?
Segel I do. I like tasting things.
Diaz Then the topping would be some peanut M&M’s. I don’t know about the whipped cream, though.
Segel Maybe just some unsalted nuts.
Diaz It’s amazing that he didn’t turn into an unsalted nut.
Segel All I snacked on during this exercise, lose-weight period — which, look, I concede, I didn’t know how to do this totally properly — I would eat handfuls of unsalted nuts.
Diaz I would say, for the amount of calories and fat you’re eating in those nuts, you may as well just sit down to a nice meal that’s balanced.
Segel She didn’t understand that they were unsalted.