The actress took up modelling as a teenager before making the move into films, and landed her breakout role in The Mask at the age of 21.
Diaz has dominated headlines over the years for her high-profile romances with stars including Jared Leto and Justin Timberlake, but the actress is in no rush to settle down despite her early dreams of family domesticity.
She tells Redbook magazine, ""I thought I was going to be married and have two children by the time I was 21. I think I felt I had to model my life after my mother's.
""But then my career was starting to take off and there were still so many things I wanted to do. So that dream for me was shattered early on. After that I never put another timeline on anything in my life.
""I'm sure a lot of people would expect that I would have had a child by my age. But it's not what I've wanted out of my life thus far. There's a box people put themselves in, and when you (live) outside of it, that makes them uncomfortable - they have to look at themselves and question their own choices.""