Eva Mendes: Bombshell Explodes
by Louis B. Hobson - Calgary Sun
Eva Mendes is trying hard to keep from coming unglued. Things are going too well, too quickly.
She's just been asked to play Will Smith's love interest in the romantic comedy Last First Kiss and she might have to decline because she already has two other offers.
For the first three years of her film career, Mendes languished in such exploitation films as Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror, Exit Wounds and Urban Legends: Final Cut.
"I was really depressed. I desperately wanted to be an actress, but all I was getting were dreadful movies. There was no payoff and I didn't see things getting any better," Mendes says.
Then came the offer of a small role opposite Denzel Washington in Training Day.
"As soon as Training Day was released, everything changed quickly.
"I felt so much better about myself as an actress, and offers for much better films started coming in."
Mendes found herself with choice roles in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, 2 Fast 2 Furious and a reteaming with Washington in Out of Time.
As excited as she still is about playing strong women in those dramas, it's her role in Stuck on You that has Mendes bubbling.
In the new Bobby and Peter Farrelly comedy, Mendes plays April, a sweet but vacuous wannabe actress.
BEAUTIFUL AND MORAL
"Even though April has bought into the whole L.A. thing ó the perfect tan, the boob job and the highlights in her hair ó her morals are intact," Mendes said.
"That's so typical of the Farrelly brothers. Their movies are never mean-spirited."
Mendes has a confession to make.
"When it comes to the Farrellys, I'm borderline obsessive. Ever since I saw Dumb and Dumber, I've dreamed of working with them.
"I pushed my agent into getting me the audition for Stuck on You.
"He pointed out that April is a rather typical dumb blond and I'm Latino, but I insisted he get me into the auditions."
Mendes said the experience of working with the Farrellys and her co-stars, Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear, far exceeded her expectations.
They play conjoined twins who come to Hollywood to find fame and fortune.
"We had such great fun every day. Matt and Greg were strapped together, so unexpected things happened on a regular basis.
"It would break us all up, and then the Farrellys would find some way to incorporate the new business into the film.
"After having worked with Matt and Greg, I understand what dream chemistry is all about.
"Matt is one of my favourite people in the business. I adore and respect him and I feel our friendship is real, which means I would have no hesitation to call him up at any time, even just to say hello."
Her one regret is that she never got to meet and bond with Cher, who plays a diva actress in the film.
"Cher was on tour so all her scenes were shot in spurts when she could fly in for a day or so and I was never needed on set.
"Everyone who was on set said she was a riot. She plays an exaggerated version of herself and always insisted on being more bitchy than the part was written."
Mendes feels she escaped the pitfalls her character April embraces in Stuck on You because she "went to college first and I had a very strict upbringing.
"My parents came from Cuba. My mom in particular is '50s Havana, which means children are brought up a certain way and girls are expected to have high standards."
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