Eva de la Caridad Mendez, known professionally as Eva Mendes, is an American actress, model and businesswoman. Her acting career began in the late 1990s, with a series of roles in B films such as Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror and Urban Legends: Final Cut. Mendes’s performances in Training Day marked a turning point in her career, and led to parts in the commercially successful films 2 Fast 2 Furious and Hitch, the latter of which made her one of the first minority actors to play the lead in a mainstream romantic comedy. Take a look below for 30 more awesome and interesting facts about Eva Mendes.
1. Mendes was born in Miami, Florida, to Cuban parents Eva Perez Suarez and Juan Carlos Mendez, and was raised by her mother in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silverlake.
2. After her parents’ divorce. Mendes was raised a Roman Catholic and at one time even considered becoming a Catholic nun.
3. Her mother worked at Mann’s Chinese Theatre and later for an aerospace company, and her father ran a meat distribution business.
4. Mendes had one older brother, Juan Carlos Méndez Jr. (1963–2016), who died from throat cancer.
5. She also has an older sister, Janet, and a younger paternal half-brother, Carlos Alberto “Carlo” Méndez.
6. She attended Hoover High School in Glendale, and later studied marketing at California State University, Northridge, but left college to pursue acting under Ivana Chubbuck.
7. Mendes began her acting career after a talent manager saw her photo in a friend’s portfolio.
8. Her first film role was that of one in a group of young people who become lost in middle America in the direct-to-video horror film Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror. Mendes was disappointed in her performance and soon hired an acting coach.
9. She subsequently took on the roles of a bridesmaid in the comedy A Night at the Roxbury (1998), with Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan, a housekeeper in the fantasy family film My Brother the Pig (1999), with Scarlett Johansson, and that of an ill-fated film student in the slasher film Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000).
10. Mendes starred opposite Steven Seagal in the action thriller Exit Wounds (2001), which made over US$73 million worldwide.
11. According to Mendes, her voice was dubbed in the editing, with a producer telling her that she “didn’t sound intelligent enough”.
12. Her breakthrough though came later in 2001 with her performance as the mistress of a corrupt cop in Antoine Fuqua’s crime thriller Training Day, alongside Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke.
13. Mendes appeared in the Pet Shop Boys’ music video for “Se a vida é (That’s the Way Life Is)” in 1996, Aerosmith’s music video for “Hole in My Soul” in 1997, and Will Smith’s music video for “Miami” in 1998.
14. She also appeared in the music video for The Strokes’ “The End Has No End” in 2004.
15. In 2005, Mendes was employed by Revlon as an international spokesperson, and participated in their campaign to raise funds for breast cancer research.
16. In December 2007, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) used a nude photo of Mendes for their anti-fur campaign.
17. Mendes was a spokesmodel for the 2008 Campari calendar, and in July 2008, she was announced as the international face of Australia’s 30 Days of Fashion & Beauty event.
18. She also appeared nude in a 2008 print advertisement for Calvin Klein’s Secret Obsession perfume, an ad which was banned in the United States.
19. Mendes has been a spokesperson for Calvin Klein, Magnum, and the chocolate milk brand Cocio.
20. She also promoted Thierry Mugler’s Angel fragrance, Reebok shoes, and Pantene shampoo.
21. Mendes has a line of bed linens and dinnerware that is sold at Macy’s.
22. In February 2013, she partnered with New York & Co. to launch her own fashion line, Eva by Eva Mendes.
23. In 2010, Mendes sang on “Pimps Don’t Cry,” a song featured in The Other Guys, and performed a duet with CeeLo Green on “Pimps Don’t Cry.”
24. Many media outlets have cited her as one of the world’s most beautiful Latin women, and she has been often considered a sex symbol.
25. Mendes ranked 54th, 12th, 7th, 7th, and 11th in Maxim magazine’s Hot 100 issue in 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2010 respectively, and appeared several times on the cover.
26. Mendes was in a relationship with filmmaker George Augusto from 2002 to 2010.
27. In 2011, she began dating Ryan Gosling, whom she met on the set of The Place Beyond the Pines, in which they both starred. The couple have two daughters. Their first was born in September 2014 and their second was born in April 2016.
28. Mendes is a pescatarian for both ethical and health reasons. She also practices Transcendental Meditation.
29. She ranked 80th, 23rd and 44th in FHM magazine’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World” supplement in 2004, 2005, 2006.
30. She was voted number four in the 2008 edition, and number one in the 2009 edition, of AskMen.com’s Top 99 Most Desirable Women.