Cameron Diaz Can't Wait To Turn 40: Actress 'Loves Getting Older'

05/10/2012 12:59 pm ET

For many actresses, turning 40 can mean the end of their career, or a sharp change from playing romantic leads to playing the mom.

But Cameron Diaz is actually excited about her upcoming birthday. The "What to Expect When You’re Expecting" star who turns 40 in August, tells "Access Hollywood" she "loves getting older."

The actress's positive attitude toward aging is refreshing: She says age has brought her spiritual and mental growth.

"As I get older, I become happier -- because I'm wiser, I know myself better [and] I connect to people better," she explained. "I think that in our society we don’t honor older generations enough because we think of it as being bad because the appearance changes."

For Diaz, every year is a blessing: "Look, the alternative to getting older is [being dead]. I feel very fortunate to have a very full, loving, blessed life, so, I'm living it to the fullest," she explained.

And while Hollywood is all about idolizing youthful beauty, the actress says her body is actually improving with age. "My ass is definitely higher than it was when I was 20," she told "Access Hollywood." "The thing that people don't understand -- take care of your body [and it will] get better!"

Diaz plays an expectant mom/TV fitness guru in "What to Expect When You're Expecting," marking the second time she's played a mother -- the first was in "My Sister's Keeper."

When promoting the latter movie in 2009, she told reporters:

"I didn’t really even think about that I would be playing a mother, I didn’t think about it in terms of what it meant to my career. I thought of it as what it meant to the story and who this woman was and what her life experience was. I didn’t think oh my gosh, If I play a mother and a mother of teenagers, what is it going to mean to my career? “

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