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Hitch - Eva Mendes Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. How does it feel to play a member of the noblest profession on earth?
A.
Well, after I lost the fight with my director about changing my character's profession I accepted it and then it was fine. But it was actually a challenge for me because they start off the movie violating Allegra Cole's privary and disclosing personal information about her and then, through the movie, I follow her around with the camera and I'm just in her business - it's not a very likeable trait. So I had to have people rooting for me to be with Will by the end of the movie, which actually really made it a big challenge so that people wouldn't hate me. I hope I did it.

Q. Was there much research?
A.
Well that was my big thing. I was going to hang out with the Liz Smith's of the world; the women in New York who've been doing it for a long time. And then I thought to myself 'what the hell am I thinking?' Why open this relationship up with these people, because I can't just sit down and have a dis-connected conversation with somebody. I give away way too much information about myself. So I thought, 'you know what, I'll just read up on them, I'll see what's been written about them and what interviews they've given and I'll kind of go from there...'

Q. Don't you secretly get a kick out of reading the gossip columns, though?
A.
Yes! Well I don't get a kick out reading it, honestly, I get a kick out of the photos. That's my thing. I really don't read them. Even when I started buying them for the.... and that's my other rule, I don't buy them. If I see them at the airport, I'll look through them. But when I did buy them for the role, I actually started reading them, and I just didn't like it, cos I was in some of them! Some of it is based on truth, like 'she was there with so and so'. Well yes, I was there, but I wasn't there with him. He was there as well and at one point we said 'hello'.

Q. Do you think you've been treated fairly by the tabloid press in general?
A.
So far so good. There's been a few things but I don't mind it much because they're not true and I haven't put myself out there. If I do the parties, it's for work reasons and I go to meet who I need to meet, or I go and see who I need to see and then leave and am out of there. I'm not one who goes to premieres just to be seen; I go to my own and that's it. And I'm not one who goes to the fancy, high-profile restaurants so when you walk up the paparazzi is snapping away. So I steer clear away from it.

Q. How does it feel when you read interviews that you've done that the journalist is clearly besotted with you? And he's writing when he sees you eating onion soup, he wants to be onion soup, so that your lips will caress his soup?
A.
That was a bit much! But you know what? Again, you've got to take the good with the bad and I read it, I process it and then let it go.

Q. Will has said 'you're a lot of woman'. Did you have similar sayings about him and Kevin [James]?
A.
I love Kevin. I didn't have a scene in the movie with him, though, so I don't know him as well as I know Will. But Will is.... what isn't Will? He is, in the best way possible, what you see. What you see is what you get. I've done a movie with him now, going through tedious re-writes and rehearsals and moving schedules, and long, long shoots; he was the producer on this as well, so I kind of had to respect him. But I'm telling you, this guy never once lost his cool, always kept morale up, funny as can be - that's him all the time.
And now we're doing this press tour, where we're all on this plane together, and we're all cranky and tired, and he's always just the positive person that we all need and look up to. Sometimes I feel bad because we rely on him so much for morale, you know? When he's not around, we're a little lost.

Q. The director told us that you were sometimes ringing Will at 2am asking for the next day's script. It must have been like a rollercoaster ride?
A.
It was and I have to be honest, I'm not a fan of getting the re-write in the morning and then having it done by lunch. It's not the way I love to work but it's kind of cool in this situation because I really didn't have time to think and I was more spontaneous. I actually like the outcome. But I would have liked a little more time to prepare for some of the stuff.

Q. On the subject of dating, what's your own experiences? Have they been positive?
A.
Dating sucks! It's such a contrived situation, especially the first date. It's like when you go and I had to sell a house, you know, I'm not going to show the leaky pipes, I'm going to show the beautiful decor and all the good elements, but you know there are leaky pipes but you've got to get through that first one. It's a mess.

Q. But that's when you know the relationship is good, when the leaky pipes don't make a difference...
A.
Exactly. But you never see the leaky pipes up front. I'd much rather cut to the leaky pipes, deal with them and then move on.

Q. Have you been out with some guys who needed the date doctor?
A.
Oh yeah. And I've needed one as well.

Q. Care to explain some nightmare dates?
A.
I have quite a few, but I guess the first one which started everything off, I was in 12th Grade, so I was 17, and I've always been very assertive, I have no problem asking a man out, so I asked this boy to dance. He said 'yes', I've no idea why, he picked me up (because I didn't have a car), we go to the dance together, there's not too much conversation but I'm trying to make it happen, we get to the dance, and then you know how you take those silly professional pictures where you have to have that geeky smile on your face? Everybody does it, but he didn't want to do it. I was a little crushed. So we didn't do that, but there was still hope, and we start dancing and he then says 'oh, Eva, hang on, I'll be right back, I have to go to the bathroom', and he goes to the bathroom and never comes back. Just gone.

Q. How do beautiful, intelligent women such as yourself have these problems with men?
A.
You know honestly? I think I was annoying. Really, when I think back, Rick wasn't the nicest guy in the world, but I always try and think now what could I have done to drive him away? And I think at that time, I was 17, and I was very insecure and I think I just annoyed the hell out of him with trying to talk!
And that's another thing that happens on dates, I was trying to impress, and it wasn't happening; so the more it wasn't happening, the more I tried to make it happen and find what we had in common. And it was disastrous. So now I'd rather just shut up if it's not happening and not force anything.
Before it would be like, 'what's wrong, is something wrong? Why aren't you talking?'

Q. So give advice to teenage daughters?
A.
Oh gosh. Join a convent. Go now! Just kidding. I guess my only advice. It might be ok to have a different boyfriend every week. If you see the smoke signals right away, listen to them. My biggest mistake was we don't listen and then we let time pass and it becomes so much more difficult and then it really hurts, when it's three or six months down the line. Sometimes we spend years with somebody who should have just been done the first week.

Q. What about since you've become a celebrity, does the whole business of dating become worse as people know more about you?
A.
I don't date. I have somebody in my life.

Q. Was he someone you were with before you became famous?
A.
Yes.

Q. And that must have helped?
A.
Absolutely. Honestly, if it doesn't work out with me and this person, I would join a convent! I don't know what I would do because it is so ugly out there within the business. Actually, it's a smaller circle than you realise and everybody has slept with everybody! It's a sex recycling machine and I don't want to be a part of that. I really don't! I would probably just go for some regular bloke.

Q. You hold your own against so many A-listers, such as Denzel Washington and now Will Smith. How does it feel? Do you ever have to pinch yourself? Or feel intimidated?
A.
You know it's funny. With Will it's so easy not to feel intimidated because he puts you at ease. So I always think it's up to the other person, too, and how they deal with their sucess and their stardom. I'm sure you guys have experienced this with a ton of stars - some of them make you feel very comfortable, some make you feel not so comfortable.
But you know who I did feel really intimidated with? Johnny Depp. I did because when I was little, about eight-years-old, I had the 21 Jump Street posters on the wall and I woke up to him every morning and to actually be in front of him, I felt 'holy crap, it's Johnny Depp'. So that was the only weird thing for me because it happened when I was so young. He was this major heart-throb through my adolescence.
So that was kind of the only one. But then I realised after I worked with him that that was my worst performance - I shouldn't say that. But I think I could have done better and in order for me to be the best actress I could be there isn't room to be gazing into their eyes. I need to step up.

Q. In terms of being starry-eyed, did anyone turn out to be disappointing?
A.
Um, honestly, I haven't had one disappointment. I haven't had a bad experience. There's certain people I need to work around a little bit more, if you know what I mean, and I can't be so strong and in your face. It's like 'wait a minute little girl, I've been doing this this long and you just came into this scene and it's my movie', but I'm certainly not talking about Will! This was in the past. I've still had to work around them but nothing horrible.

Q. What are you doing next?
A.
I'm going off to Australia to work with Nicolas Cage on Ghost Rider. I'm Roxanne. I'm the love of his life that he lost years ago and we kind of get re-connected and go from there.

Q. Are you a big comic book fan?
A.
No I'm not. Sorry. But one of the things that's really attractive to me is that I love Nicolas Cage. I think that he's one of the best actors that we have today but I also love the fact that he's obsessed with Ghost Rider. He has a Ghost Rider tattoo on his arm. That means I'm working with somebody who... I'm a part of somebody's dream and that's exciting to me. Cos you know that it's not just going to be a pay cheque for him, it's going to be irrelevant. This is a serious movie for him.

Q. What about this movie for you? This is an enormous leap in terms of moving to the next level?
A.
It feels really good because one thing I'm really proud of myself for is that I just keep getting better and better films and co-stars, and this and that. The quality is getting better and better. And this is one of those things that I've been wanting to do. I've been wanting to work with Will and it feels good.
The fact that in Hollywood it's really hard to make a movie with a black male lead and a Latin female lead without it being an ethnic movie, and we've managed to do that and not only managed to do that but we've managed to do it incredibly successfully. It just feels really good that the studios now know it's not a risk anymore, which is going to create so many more opportunities for everybody.

Q. You've done quite a few action roles and quite a few comedies. Which do you prefer?
A.
I did Stuck on You which was the only comedy I'd done. And that's a comedy, but it's The Farrelly brothers so that's something totally different. This is my first romantic comedy and I know they're not all like this one - they're usually, like, sappy and blah - but I'd love to do something else like this to explore by comedic side.

Q. What was being directed by the Farrelly's like?
A.
Never a dull moment. I'm obsessed with them. Kingpin is perfect comedy for me. Dumb and Dumber I really love. So I was so eager, I was like a little puppy going just tell me what to do and I'll do it. And they did; they were very specific about how they wanted a performance. And I love that because I do my homework, I bring it to set and then they direct me.

Q. How do your family react to all that's happened? And what's it like when you get together with your older sisters?
A.
Well they love to remind me of what a little poop-head I was and all the little silly things I did. But they're really honest, I have to tell you. They're the first ones. I come from a working class family and nobody has a film or theatre background, but they know what they like or don't like. So they'll tell me, 'oh gosh, Evie, don't ever make that face again, that was just...'
From those kind of comments to 'oh God, you've never looked more beautiful, that was so sweet, that's my little sister up there', to' if you ever do a nude scene again I'll kill you' [laughs]

Q. Was that last one from your mum? Or your sisters?
A.
My mum, actually, it's funny, she's a Cuban immigrant and this is very new to her, but she understands more the artistic side than my sisters do. My sisters are a little closer in age to me so they've almost become more protective, like 'you don't have to take your clothes off'. And I'm like 'I know I don't, it's not like I go around doing it, I did it for one movie, it's not a big deal'. And they'd follow up with 'Denzel didn't have his clothes off in that scene', and I'd be like 'but that was the character'. It's really cute.
I just did Oprah for the first time with Will and Kevin and my sister, Janet, was like 'can you give her this note for me, can you just tell her this story of how this show changed her life', and I'm like 'no, Janet, I'm not going to do it, that's not professional'.

Q. How was working with Owen and Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell on the same set?
A.
It's a great little independent comedy that's got a lot of sweetness to it, but I'm the straight girl in it so I don't get to have any fun. The boys had all the fun. We shot in Texas and we shot in Austin, which is really fun. Honestly? That wasn't work. It felt like we just had a camera with a bunch of friends, so I'm curious to see how that turns out.
I've also just finished Trust The Man with Julianne Moore and Maggie Gyllenhaal and David Duchovny and Billy Crudup. That was fun as well. It's a romantic comedy as well, so we'll see how that turns out, but I don't play a nice girl.

Q. And it's so cool you do all that great work for cancer?
A.
Thanks you guys, it's great, it's what keeps me going. Sometimes you feel like when you're an actress and you're selling yourself all the time and stuff, and then when you have a cause like that, you're a part of, and you can go back to it and it's real. Especially since I have a friend who had breast cancer at 22 and is now 25 and she's in remission.

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