Eva Mendes (born March 5, 1974) is an American actress, model, singer and homeware designer. She began acting in the late 1990s, and after a series of roles in B movies such as Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998) and Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), she broke into the Hollywood mainstream with an appearance in Training Day (2001). She has since starred in many films including All About The Benjamins (2002); 2 Fast 2 Furious, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Out of Time and Stuck on You (2003); Hitch (2005); Ghost Rider and We Own the Night (both 2007); The Spirit (2008); The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009); The Other Guys and Last Night (both 2010), Girl in Progress (2012).
Mendes has worked as a spokesmodel for Cocio chocolate milk, Magnum ice cream, Revlon make-up, Calvin Klein underwear and perfume, Cartier jewellery, Thierry Mugler perfume, Reebok trainers, Campari apéritif, Pantene shampoo, Morgan clothes and Peek & Cloppenburg clothes. Mendes is the creator of a home decor line, Vida, sold exclusively at Macy's. She launched a bedding collection in 2008 and a dinnerware collection in 2010. Mendes is a singer: she has recorded a version of The Windmills of Your Mind and has collaborated with Cee Lo Green on a song entitled Pimps Don't Cry. She lives in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Mendes was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents, and was raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale by her mother after her parents' divorce; Mendes has said that her mother (who was a stay-at-home mom until she became an accountant when Eva went to school) "suffered so much to make my life OK" during her early years. Mendes was raised a Roman Catholic and aspired to be a nun. 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 acting under Ivana Chubbuck. Before Eva Mendes got her big break, she sold ‘Hot Dog on a Stick’ at Glendale Galleria Mall in California. Growing up, Eva's role model was Cindy Crawford.
While Mendes "always had high hopes" for herself, she didn't consider an acting career until a talent manager saw her photo in a friend's portfolio. Her first film appearance was in the direct-to-video Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror. Mendes was "so ashamed" by her performance in the film that she decided to hire an acting coach so that she wouldn't "squirm" when watching herself in future roles. In this period of her career, she also starred in A Night at the Roxbury, Mortal Kombat: Conquest, My Brother the Pig, The Disciples, Urban Legends: Final Cut and Exit Wounds.
Mendes' breakthrough role came when she appeared in Training Day as the girlfriend of Denzel Washington's character. She found it to be a fulfilling experience: "I thought, 'This is what people meant about acting." That performance led to roles in All About the Benjamins, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Once Upon a Time in Mexico (which earned her a nomination at the Teen Choice Awards), Out of Time and Stuck on You. She was the female lead in the 2005 comedy Hitch opposite Will Smith. They were the first minority actors to play leads in a hit romantic comedy. She then starred in The Wendell Baker Story, Guilty Hearts, Trust the Man, and Ghost Rider. In 2007, she starred alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, and Robert Duvall in the film We Own the Night. She also starred in Live! and Cleaner.
In 2008, she received a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her performance in The Women. She next starred in The Spirit, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, The Other Guys, Last Night and Fast Five. In August 2010, Mendes appeared in a Funny or Die video spoof, selling her "S.E.X. tape". She also sang for the Funny or Die music video "Pimps Don't Cry," a song featured in The Other Guys, released on August 6, 2010.
In 2012, Eva Mendes was featured in the PBS documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. She visited Sierra Leone to speak with rape victims and raise awareness of the problems in the area.
Mendes does not want to have children and has described marriage as "a very archaic kinda thing. I don't think it fits in my world today." She was in a relationship with George Augusto from 2002 to 2010. She began dating Ryan Gosling in September 2011. She lives in Los Feliz, Los Angeles.
Mendes spent several weeks at the Cirque Lodge addiction facility in 2008 to address "some personal issues". She later said that she will never publicly disclose details of her condition because "I have to think of the pain it might bring my mother." She now attends therapy sessions which have "enriched my life. I come from a family and a heritage where you don't really go to therapy unless you're crazy. I want people to know that that's so not the case." Mendes is an avid follower of transcendental meditation.