Going out for me is usually a very relaxed situation. I’ve probably been out to a bar or a club maybe once in the last two years. I know what my alter ego wants to do.
Eva Mendes, is an American actress, model, and businesswoman.
Mendes’s performance in Training Day (2001) marked a turning point in her career, and led to parts in the commercially successful films 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and Hitch (2005), the latter of which made her one of the first minority actors to play the lead in a mainstream romantic comedy. She starred in Ghost Rider (2007) and The Spirit (2008), both film adaptations of comics, and ventured into more dramatic territory with We Own the Night (2007), Bad Lieutenant (2009), Last Night (2010), and The Place Beyond the Pines (2012). Her other films include Out of Time (2003), The Women (2008), The Other Guys (2010), and Girl in Progress (2012).
Mendes has appeared in several music videos for artists like Will Smith, and has also been an ambassador for brands, including Calvin Klein, Cartier, Reebok, Pantene shampoo, Morgan, and Peek & Cloppenburg. She has designed for New York & Company and is the creative director of CIRCA Beauty, a makeup line sold at Walgreens.
Beginnings and breakthrough
Mendes began her acting career after a talent manager saw her photo in a friend’s portfolio. 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. 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).
Mendes starred opposite Steven Seagal in the action thriller Exit Wounds (2001), which made over US$73 million worldwide. According to Mendes, her voice was dubbed in the editing, with a producer telling her that she “didn’t sound intelligent enough”. 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. She described her role as “privotal” in her career, stating that it motivated her to keep going as an actress, as she was “bored” doing “terrible cheesy horrible” films before she obtained it. Training Day was a box office hit, grossing US$104.5 million.
Her role in Training Day led to larger film parts and Mendes soon established herself as a Hollywood actress. While her sole film release in 2002 was the crime comedy All About the Benjamins, in which she played the girlfriend of a con artist, Mendes had roles on four studio feature films released throughout 2003. 2 Fast 2 Furious teamed her with Paul Walker and Tyrese Gibson, portraying a United States Customs Service agent working undercover for a notorious Argentine drug lord. The film gave Mendes a much wider exposure, grossing over US$236 million globally. The Western action film Once Upon a Time in Mexico saw her star with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, as the daughter of a Mexican drug lord. While reviews for the film were mixed, it made US$98.1 million.
Mendes reunited with Denzel Washington for the thriller Out of Time, in which she played the soon-to-be ex-wife of a well-respected chief of police. The film was a moderate commercial success, and Roger Ebert, in his review for the film, described Mendes’ role as a “curiously forgiving character, who feels little rancor for the straying [husband] and apparently still likes him; maybe there would have been more suspense if she were furious with him”. Her last 2003 film was the comedy Stuck on You, with Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear, in which she played an aspiring actress. She starred with Will Smith, as the love interest of a professional dating consultant, in her next film, Hitch (2005), making her one of the first minority actors to play the lead in a mainstream romantic comedy. USA Today described it as “her best screen role to date”, and Detroit Free Press remarked: “Smith and Mendes are terrific together. He brings her game up so high you’d think she has had as many good parts as Smith”. Hitch was the highest-grossing comedy in North America until 2018, and made US$368.1 million in its global theatrical run. In 2005, Mendes also starred in the little-seen films The Wendell Baker Story and Guilty Hearts…