Eva Mendes was born in Houston and raised in Los Angeles of Cuban-American heritage. In college she began acting, studying underneath acting coach Ivana Chubbuck. This led to her desire to appear in feature films.
Though making many smaller roles in movies, she was little known until playing the girlfriend of Denzel Washington's character in "Training Day." After that role, she has been featured more in more in a wide range of acting from comedic to dramatic. These new roles gave her the ability to work with many directors held in high esteem in Hollywood, such as Robert Rodriguez (Once Upon a Time in Mexico), Carl Franklin (Out of Time), John Singleton (2 Fast 2 Furious), Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), and the Farrelly Bros. (Stuck on You), helping to give her a reputation as a serious actress capable of many diverse roles.
Most recently, Eva is starring in an independent film, "The Wendell Baker Story" with co-stars Owen and Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Luke Wilson directing. Before that, her biggest movie was "Hitch", a romantic comedy with her playing opposite of Will Smith.
Eva is currently (2005) working on the sci-fi/ comic book adaptation of "Ghost Rider", starring with Nicholas Cage, which is directed by Mark Stephen Johnson and is planned to be released in 2006.
Along with acting, Eva is employed by Revlon Cosmetics as an international spokesperson. She joins the elite actresses and models such as Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, and Cindy Crawford who appear in Revlon's television and print ads. She is also a passionate supporter and active participant in Revlon's fight against breast cancer.
Eva's goals to improve her acting skills are to work with contemporary directors/filmmakers such as Steven Soderbergh, Spike Jonze, and Pedro Almodovar, and learning from renowned directors/filmmakers such as Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni.