Photo Credit: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images
Though she's done her share of lighthearted films, Eva Mendes isn't afraid to go to the dark side. In her new film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (costarring Nicolas Cage and Val Kilmer), the 36-year-old actress takes on the role of Frankie, a prostitute with a cocaine addiction. But despite the heavy subject matter, filming the movie wasn't a difficult experience. "It was actually a pretty light shoot," she tells iVillage.
In real life, Mendes is happily in a long-term relationship with boyfriend George Augusto and has a loyal companion in her dog Hugo. iVillage spoke with Mendes about whether she sees kids in her future, her Thanksgiving plans (bring on the pajamas!) and her love for the New Moon stars.
Did playing a prostitute in Bad Lieutenant make you sympathize with women in that situation?
I've always sympathized with women in that situation. But not only sympathize, because not all prostitutes are victims -- I respect it. I know it's not legal in most parts of the country, but I respect working women and respect their decision. It is the oldest profession in the world.
Was it depressing working on such a dark film?
No, it wasn't tortuous. [Director Werner Herzog] was so fast. It was crazy -- we were done at lunchtime every day. So it wasn't like we were being tortured -- which I've worked like that before on a dark film when you're there for 16 hours a day. It wasn't like that.
Are you worried that your film comes out the same day as New Moon?
Wait a minute ... does it open the same day as New Moon? Really? I didn't know that. Ha, oh my god, we're gonna get killed.
Have you jumped on the Twilight bandwagon yet?
Believe it or not, I actually haven't seen the first Twilight, but I have it. My friend bought it for me because I really want to see it and my friends like it. But I think Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart are just the cutest, sexiest things that have come around in a long time. I'm into them.
You’re the face of the new, sexy Calvin Klein campaign. Was it scary posing nude?
No, I work really hard before those photo shoots with. I take care of my body very well and amp the cardio, and I eat well. Then on the shoot I just kind of let go and leave all my inhibitions at the door. And I have Steven Klein shooting me, and my photos are with Jamie Dornan, who's an actor and a model -- he's so beautiful, he makes it so easy.
Do you have men hitting on you all the time, or are they too shy to approach you?
No, I have a very interesting outlook on that. I think women -- all women -- control whether men hitting on them. We all throw out nonverbal cues -- or sometimes verbal cues -- if we're available or not. I am not available, so I throw that out there nonverbally. Men don't want to get rejected, so they don't approach me. And it's so funny because Will Smith, in the movie Hitch that I did with him, he tells my character that I have a "F off" sign on top of my head. And the funny thing is that I've been told that before by guys. If you're making eyes at a guy in a bar, he's going to come up to you. But if you're not even looking in his direction, he's not going to risk that chance of being rejected. That's my theory. So, no, I don't get hit on -- ever.
You've been with your boyfriend for six years. Do you see kids in your future?
To be totally honest, I just don't know. I have a dog, Hugo, who has probably changed my life. I've had him for almost three years now and just caring for something other than myself is very appealing to me. Yet, I certainly don't think me loving my dog means I'm ready to have kids.
Have you ever been starstruck around another celebrity?
I was starstruck once when I met Mick Jagger in an elevator in Paris. I think my heart technically stopped for two seconds. I was riding up with him, and I was thinking, "Okay, do I say something? Am I clever?" Like, I can't say, "I love you." How many times as he heard that? I can't say his music changed my life. How many times has he heard that? So I was, like, going through the gamut of emotions and thoughts of, "Do I go clever or do I go earnest?" And I didn't do much. I said "good night" when he got out. Pretty pathetic.
Do you have a pop-culture guilty pleasure?
I love this show called Girls Behaving Badly. Oh my god, it's so fun. It's all women and they do pranks on people in the streets. See, I don't like [Ashton Kutcher's prank show] Punk'd. I don't like that manipulation, it's almost mean. Punk'd went too far. And I know that they had asked my camp if they could punk me, and my manager would always say, "No, definitely not. She's the wrong person, because she would really be upset." I get so emotionally invested in everything I do, that if I thought I destroyed something like that, I would just lose it. I would just die. But with Girls Behaving Badly it's just so silly. They'll do the silliest stuff. You have to check it out.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Do you have any special plans?
I'm just staying home with the family. I'm fortunate to have my family really close to me. Everybody lives in L.A., so we're just getting together. We do something really cute -- Pajama Thanksgiving, so we're all in our pajamas. It's so fun.
Do you have a favorite dish?
We do American Thanksgiving and then my mom makes old-school Cuban food, so all of it is my favorite dish.