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Last year Eva Mendes teased us with a small role in Leos Carax' Holy Motors but this weekend she returns to the big screen with a meatier role alongside Bradley Cooper and real-life boyfriend Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond the Pines. Directed by Derek Cianfrance, the drama explores the unbreakable bond between a father and a son. In celebration of the film, we compiled a few fun facts on the gorgeous Eva Mendes.
1. Mendes didn’t audition for her role in The Place Beyond the Pines. She showed up to the audition in character: no makeup, big hoop earrings, a big baggy T-shirt and a pair of 1990s high-waisted jeans. Moments before she read her lines director Cianfrance asked her to drive him around Los Angeles and show him the places where she grew up. After the car ride the director offered her the role.
2. Don't ask about her romantic relationship with Ryan Gosling. Last year Mendes candidly told Marie Claire Magazine that Gosling is a "dream costar. I have never felt so creatively satisfied on a film." But that wasn’t the case in a recent interview with New York Magazine. Mendes quickly ended the interview when the mag asked her about Gosling, saying "That’s where I start to shut down, because it gets into personal territory that I don’t feel comfortable talking about. I’m so out of here! You know the cartoon where the steam comes out and it says, ‘Boop-beep-boop?’ System down!" Ouch.
3. Early in her career, Mendes wasn't really embraced by Hollywood. Well, let's just say they hadn't fallen in love with her. In fact, the star was told she wasn't marketable because of her ethnic look.
"I’ve been in the industry now 13 years and I’m so excited about the progress that I’ve seen. When I first started I was told that I wasn’t marketable because of my look and that I looked too ethnic. I was told I would probably do OK in film or TV but I wasn’t bankable for more commercial things like endorsements or international deals. … I remember reading scripts where a Latin person would have one line and being told in certain auditions that I needed to talk with a Latin accent or with more attitude. I didn’t feel a victim to it but I did see that there was a close mindedness of what a Latin person was and we were all considered one thing. It’s been amazing to see the growth," said Mendes.
4. For someone called unmarketable, to date her numerous endorsements include, Revlon, Calvin Klein, Reebok,Thierry Mugler’s Angel Eau de Parfum and Angel Eau de Toilette, and Pantene.
5. In 2010, Mendes directed a short film called California Romanza starring Christina Ricci for Glamour Magazine's "Reel Moments".
6. Mendes' first film role was in Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror and she remembers it being terrifying. She told E! News she cried on set after watching her dailies.
"I did Children of the Corn V without studying or anything, and I was mortified by how horrible I was. I was so bad, it was so hard to watch, I was actually crying at dailies. I didn't understand it. But I wanted to understand it, and I wanted to be good at it. So, that made acting a challenge to me."
7. She's always quick to talk about the special someone in her life—no, not Ryan Gosling, but her seven-year-old Belgian Malinois dog named Hugo. Trained to kill, Hugo wears a shock collar to stop him from attacking squirrels, but as any caring mother would do, Mendes admits that she's tried the shock collar on herself at all zapping levels. Watch as she explains to David Letterman.
8. Sharing is caring and Mendes doesn’t fall short. She actually shares all the goods in her closet with boyfriend Ryan Gosling's mother. You heard right. At the red carpet premiere of Gangster Squad, Gosling's mother told E! News she was able to put together her red carpet outfit thanks to clothing she found in Eva Mendes' closet. Way to rack up those brownie points, Eva.
9. The actress is also an author. Her first children's book is titled Crazy Leggs Beshee; inspired by her nieces and nephews, it focuses on art, vocabulary and history.
10. Don't call her sexy. Try, ambitious, intelligent or funny. She told Emirates Woman Magazine, "I love who I am and how I'm seen but I don’t want 'sexy' to be my defining characteristic. There is more to me and I would like my ambition, will, intellect and sense of humor to define me as well."