Cameron Diaz edges out Courteney Cox and becomes the perfect woman in ''Mary''

Most people already know that the Farrelly brothers latest flick, ”There’s Something About Mary,” is a gross out extravaganza. But you may not know that Cameron Diaz’s lead role nearly went to ”Friends” star Courteney Cox. When cowriters and codirectors Peter and Bobby Farrelly tackled the script, they wrote the character of Mary with Diaz in mind, but then fell for Cox during the casting process. Though the Farrellys were enamored with both actresses, Peter says, ”As we went on, we thought more of Cameron, especially after ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding.’ She just had that glow.”

Happy to be Mary, Diaz says the Farrellys lived up to their reputations as the bad boys of low comedy: ”Those guys are out of their minds. There were times when Ben [Stiller], Matt [Dillon], and myself were looking at each other like, ‘Can we go this far? Is this really something we can live with as actors?’ They put a lot of gross bodily sh– in the whole movie. It’s pretty sick, pretty twisted — and it’s a love story.”

So far, audiences are having their own love story with Diaz. Peter explains why the actress who topped EW’s 1998 It List is so appealing in ”Mary”: ”Cameron is the perfect woman. She doesn’t want a guy with a washboard belly. She likes a beer belly. Her idea of a perfect date is playing 36 holes, then going to a ball game. She plays into every guy’s fantasy.”

There's Something About Mary
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