Actor Eva Mendes managed to build a respectable career for herself starring in a few hit films that showcased her range. But there was one early film that convinced Mendes she wasn’t the actor she wanted to be.
Eva Mendes stepped away from acting because she was tired of competing for the roles she wanted
There was a period of time where Mendes seemed to be everywhere in cinema. The actor put in considerable amount of work honing her craft, starring in a variety of movies that ranged from dramas to romcoms like Hitch. But somewhere around the 2010s, Mendes’ presence in Hollywood began to shrink. According to Mendes, this was because she no longer wanted to compete for some of Hollywood’s more substantial parts.
“I got tired of fighting for the good roles,” Mendes told Variety in a fairly recent interview. “There just was a point where I thought, ‘I’m going to create my own opportunities and become a producer on things and create my own material,’ but it just didn’t feel worth it to me.”
Unlike today, Mendes confided that roles for Latina actors were scarce. She saw herself being offered parts that were almost always tied to her heritage.
“There are more opportunities for Latina actresses now, but when I bowed out 10 years ago I wasn’t being offered things that weren’t specifically Latina,” she said.
Eva Mendes once opened up about the movie that made her ‘realize I was a terrible actress’
Mendes had an early and unexpected start in the film industry. The actor wasn’t even eyeing a film career before she ended up in her first feature. Instead, Mendes considered dabbling in other professions. But a chance meeting changed her career trajectory.
“It was first year of college, I was young and I wanted to go into maybe like art history, I was like ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do,’” Mendes once told Cinema. “And then I met a manager and he said ‘why don’t you get some head shots and I’ll send you up for commercials’ because you know, I live in LA so it was all right there. And I thought I would make some quick money over the summer, but I never got a commercial and I was at auditions all the time, I was like ‘this is terrible.’”
Despite her initial distaste for acting, she’d eventually gotten a role in the horror movie Children of the Corn V. The film made Mendes fall in love with acting, but also convinced her that her acting needed work.
“Going in, I had no plans to make a career of it,” she said in a 2008 interview with Marie Claire. “But I realized that I was a terrible actress, and it started to seem like the right kind of challenge for me to pursue. I thought I could really do something with it.”
The experience convinced a motivated Mendes to hire an acting coach to work on her skill. The lessons must have paid off, as Mendes soon found herself capable enough to lead her own movie career.
Eva Mendes felt her acting ambitions return after her kids grew older
Mendes currently shares two children with her husband Ryan Gosling. Her children played a large role in the actor stepping away from the limelight. But as they grew older, she felt her passion making a comeback.
“I applaud and look up to those women who can do it all, but I’m not one of them,” Mendes once told Sydney Morning Herald. “Thankfully, I have a choice not to work and I realize how fortunate I am that it’s even a choice. I’ve been so happy to be able to incubate with my babies, but now they are four and six, I’m starting to feel like my ambition is coming back.”