Bio / Info
Mendes was born in Miami, Florida to "lower-middle-class" Cuban-American parents and was raised in Los Angeles by her mother after her parents' divorce; Mendes has said that her mother "suffered so much to make my life OK" during her early years. Her father is a car salesman and her mother, Eva, is now an elementary school principal. As a child, Mendes was teased about her "buck teeth." She went to Hoover High School in Glendale, California and later attended California State University, Northridge but dropped out to seek an acting career. She studied with Ivana Chubbuck. Mendes has a sister, Janet, who currently lives in Los Angeles. Mendes worked her way up through commercials to music videos (including an appearance in Will Smith's video "Miami" and a Pet Shop Boys music video in 1996) to guest roles in television soap operas and supporting film roles. She received her first big-screen break when she appeared in the award-winning and critically-acclaimed Training Day. That performance led to roles in Stuck on You, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and as the female lead in the comedy Hitch opposite Will Smith. Her role in Once Upon a Time in Mexico also gave her a nomination at the Teen Choice Awards. She has been in multiple major movie projects, the more recent, Ghost Rider, in which she costars along with Nicolas Cage. Eva also stars alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, and Robert Duvall in the upcoming film We Own the Night, set to open on October 12, 2007. Mendes is a spokesmodel for Revlon. She has also worked in interior design and has written children's books. Maxim ranked her #27 in its 2006 Hot 100 issue and # 7 in 2007 . In July of 2007, Eva also appeared on the cover of the last issue of Jane Magazine.