She is regularly hailed as one of the most beautiful women in the world and dates Hollywood’s man-of-the-moment Ryan Gosling.
Yet refreshingly, Eva Mendes isn’t preoccupied by looks. Not in the slightest, in fact.
To get her latest role as downtrodden Romina in upcoming crime drama "The Place Beyond The Pines," she told The Sun how she made herself look as plain as possible for her audition for director Derek Cianfrance.
“I went kind of Jersey Girl on him. I looked like s**t. Most of the time when you go to an audition, even if it says the role calls for a non-glamorous look, you put on a little concealer or something. But this time I wore almost zero make-up."
“I wanted her to look like she had gone through a lot in life and look as unsexy as possible.”
As for her own beauty, Eva says: “Sexiness can be great and powerful as long as that’s not all there is to your character or what the director wants to draw out of you for your character.
“Being sexy is just one component of who I am — it’s a thing I can be. It’s a side of myself I can tap into, just like I can tap into my funny side, my quirky side or my dramatic side. It’s not what I am.”
Even so, it was Eva’s brief, partly nude appearance in the 2001 Denzel Washington crime drama Training Day which made Hollywood sit up and take notice.
She says: “I know that was the first role that put me on the map in this business. It was only two scenes but that’s what got me in and that’s what started it all, I can’t deny that."
“But I know I can do the kind of work where people are going to recognize me just as much for my determination and sensitivity and humor as for being sexy.”
In fact, Eva believes her looks can put directors off hiring her. She says: “I don’t know if I’ve really suffered but it’s probably caused some directors and studios to shy away from me for certain roles.
“I’m the only one who’s responsible for whatever image of myself I’ve put out there. This business often wants to sexualize women and I understand that, but at some point I got tired of being always thought of as ‘sexy’ and allowed that description to define the kind of work I was doing. That can be very limiting.”