Eva Mendes (born March 5, 1974) is
an American actress. She began acting in the late 1990s, and became known
after a series of roles in several major Hollywood films, including 2 Fast
2 Furious, Hitch, Training Day, We Own the Night and The Spirit.
Mendes was born in Miami, Florida from Cuban parents and was raised in Los
Angeles suburb of Glendale by her mother after her parents' divorce;
Mendes has said that her mother "suffered so much to make my life OK"
during her early years. Her father was a car salesman and her mother, also
named Eva, is now an elementary school principal. She is the youngest of
four children (she has two sisters and a brother). Eva Mendes was raised
Roman Catholic and aspired to be a nun. As a child, Mendes was teased
about her "buck teeth".
Mendes never saw herself as an actress while she was young and decided to
pursue other interests. She attended Hoover High School in Glendale and
later attended California State University, Northridge to study marketing,
but dropped out after wanting to begin an acting career. She studied with
One day Mendes caught the eye of an agent who convinced her to pursue
acting more steadily. She worked her way up through commercials to music
videos, including an appearance in Will Smith's video "Miami" and the Pet
Shop Boys music video for "Se a vida é (That’s the way life is)" in 1996
and Aerosmith's video "Hole in My Soul" in 1997, to guest roles in soap
operas and supporting film roles. Her first film appearance was in the
direct-to-video Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror.
Mendes received her first big-screen break when she appeared in Training
Day. That performance led to roles in Stuck on You, Once Upon a Time in
Mexico, and as the female lead in the comedy Hitch opposite Will Smith.
Her role in Once Upon a Time in Mexico also earned her a nomination at the
Teen Choice Awards. Mendes has also been in commercials for Fruit
Gushers(where her head morphed into an enormous orange), Revlon, and the
famous Levi's "Superlow" commercial with the singing bellybuttons. Mendes
costarred in Ghost Rider with Nicolas Cage, and recently starred alongside
Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, and Robert Duvall in the film We Own the
Night, and Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson in The
Along with acting, Mendes is employed by Revlon Cosmetics as an
international spokeswoman. She joins such actresses and models as Julianne
Moore, Halle Berry and Cindy Crawford, who appear in Revlon's television
and print ads. She is also a supporter and active participant in Revlon's
campaign to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Maxim ranked Mendes #7 in its 2007 Hot 100 issue. She also made her second
Maxim cover in the November 2007 issue.
Mendes appeared naked in Flaunt Magazine. Mendes said about the shoot, "I
actually did a little nude shot. You won't see anything. I was covering
myself... but I love 'Flaunt.' I think their artwork is some of the best
artwork out there as far as photography is concerned, so I took it off. I
felt really comfortable, it was fun. There's something really liberating
about it." She also appeared nude in an ad for Calvin Klein's Secret
Obsession perfume. In this ad she is seen rolling nude in a bed, exposing
her right breast and nipple.
In December 2007, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) used
a nude photo of Mendes for their anti-fur campaign alongside the tagline
"Fur? I'd rather go naked." Mendes is also a spokesmodel for the 2008
Calendar of Campari, inspired in fairy tales, by photographer Marino
In 2008, Mendes starred in The Women, a comedy ensemble film featuring Meg
Ryan, Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Debra Messing. The film,
which was produced by Victoria Pearman and Mick Jagger of Jagged
Productions, Bill Johnson of Inferno Productions, and English, is being
released by Picturehouse, a joint venture of HBO and New Line Cinema.
Mendes was voted as No. 4 in the 2008 and No. 1 in the 2009 edition of
AskMen.com's Top 99 Most Desirable Women.
Mendes posed topless for "Vogue Italy" in May 2008.
Mendes was announced as the international face of Australia's 30 Days of
Fashion & Beauty event in July 2008. She will make guest appearances in
that country at the month-long festival in September.
On September 4, 2008, Mendes announced she was launching a line of bed
linens that will be available in Macy's stores later in the month. In
October, she toured various stores in Europe including Harrods to promote
Calvin Klein's Seductive Comfort line of lingerie.
Mendes is in negotiations to star in the American remake of acclaimed
Mexican film Y Tu Mamá También. She is also starring in Last Night with
Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet.
Mendes also appeared in the music video "The End Has No End" by the
In early 2008, Mendes was reported to have been in a rehab facility in
Utah for several weeks. In a statement, her representative said that she
had been "working hard for the past year and made a positive decision to
take some much-needed time off to proactively attend to some personal
issues that, while not critical, she felt deserved some outside
In 2008, Mendes was outspoken in her support for Barack Obama's
presidential campaign. Eva and her boyfriend Peruvian film-maker Michael
Concepcion have been together since 2002.