Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Eva Mendes

The star of The Women schools us with her solid movie choices.

by | September 9, 2008 | Comments

Eva Mendes

Actress Eva Mendes has made much of the last ten years in Hollywood, skyrocketing from small parts in movies like Night at the Roxbury and Exit Wounds to featured roles in — films like Training Day, Ghost Rider, and Hitch. More impressively, she’s gone for a variety of interesting roles in blockbusters and indie films alike, working closely with the likes of Will Smith, Robert Rodriguez, the Farrelly brothers, Nicolas Cage (twice), Denzel Washington (also twice), Frank Miller, and Werner Herzog, in the upcoming Bad Lieutenant.

In this week’s The Women, based on the play by Clare Booth Luce and Anita Loos’ 1939 script, Mendes plays Manhattan temptress Crystal Allen, a ruthless vixen in kitten heels (and a character played by none other than Joan Crawford in George Cukor’s 1939 film of the same name). Joining an all-star cast of some of Hollywood’s biggest female names, Mendes holds her own against the combined forces of Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Bette Midler whilst notching another prominent role in her filmography. Once you read her Five Favorite Films, you’ll agree that Eva Mendes is aiming high; we personally can’t wait to see her in a Coen brothers film.


Secrets & Lies (1996, 94% Tomatometer)

I’m a huge Mike Leigh fan and would love to work with him. His approach to filming sounds fascinating and exciting. I understand that he doesn’t give his actors a script but instead hands them scenes and encourages improvisation. I’m not sure if this is indeed his process, but the result is nothing short of beautiful intimate moments. And this film is full of them! At times it feels so intimate it’s almost voyeuristic. To me, that’s what makes a performance really exciting…when you’re almost embarrassed to be peeking into peoples’ lives. And that happens a lot in this perfect emotional drama.

Fitzcarraldo (1982, 86% Tomatometer)

I had the pleasure of working with the director of this film, Werner Herzog, recently. He is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers. In Fitzcarraldo, he manages to bring an opera house into a Peruvian jungle. What an amazing concept!


Network (1976, 90% Tomatometer)

Duvall, Dunaway, Finch, Holden and Ned Beatty…are you kidding?

This film is as true today as it was when they made it over 30 years ago. It’s just amazing how little things haven’t changed since then.

Faye Dunaway kills it in this film. Her body language is so precise and her character’s ambition is simply frightening. Ned Beatty’s monologue alone makes this one worth watching.

The Big Lebowski (1998, 77% Tomatometer)

I would die to work with the Coen Brothers. I love their sense of humor. This film is hysterical on so many levels, but I guess it’s the diverse group of characters that really gets to me. Jeff Bridges is perfection as “the dude” and Julianne Moore kills it as Maude, but my favorite may be John Turturro as “Jesus.” To me, this is a perfect comedy. Oh yeah and the soundtrack is SICK!!!

City of Lost Children (1995, 82% Tomatometer)

Nobody portrays children in cinema better than the French. Juenet and Caro direct the amazing Ron Perlman in this surrealist fairy tale. He plays a scientist that kidnaps children so he can steal their dreams in hopes of slowing down his own aging process. So beautiful, so French.

Next: Read on as we talk Women with Eva Mendes.

Eva Mendes

Please tell us about your character, Crystal. Is she as much a “villain” in The Women as she is in the original? Is she meant to be even partly sympathetic, or a full-on she-devil?

Eva Mendes: In The Women, I play Crystal Allen and I had a blast stepping into her stilletos. On paper, she is a vicious maneater, but I tried to really understand where she was coming from. I found out that, like most women who act like she does, she’s deeply insecure. She acts out of fear and ends up hurting everyone around her, although that was never her intention. Oh yeah, she’s kind of funny too!

George Cukor’s 1939 film was a who’s who of Hollywood power actresses. Was there a sense when you were cast in Diane English’s 2008 version that a similar “power group” was being put together?

EM: Working with these amazing women was so inspirational. Every day was a learning experience. You can’t buy that kind of experience in acting class!

In the climate of Cukor’s film, a woman stealing another woman’s husband had implications for her means of living, not only her heart — a gender imbalance that doesn’t exist today (as much). Do the stakes in a story like this change by setting it in 2008?

EM: Diane English did a great job of bringing this film to 2008. I love the original, but if it were a true remake, I don’t think it would have worked. Women are at a completely different place now….thank God!

You seem to be searching for varied roles in your career so far, not only in terms of characters but in the directors you work with (Robert Rodriguez, John Singleton, the Farrelly brothers, Frank Miller, Werner Herzog). What do you hope to learn from each of these filmmakers?

EM: I hope to never stop growing. I hope that with every role I play, I keep adding layers to my craft. I love acting and I study religiously with my coach Ivana Chubbuck. It’s important for me to work with a strong director because I know I can go to some really deep places, I just need direction on how to get there.

Your character poster for The Spirit is arguably the best of the bunch. Years down the line, do you think Sand Saref will be one of the more iconic roles that fans remember you for? If so, why?

EM: I hope not. I hope my best is yet to come!

Eva Mendes

Tag Cloud

vampires crime Binge Guide Ovation Disney Channel spinoff Pride Month Ghostbusters New York Comic Con Election Musicals spanish language canceled Chernobyl Marvel Studios Black History Month BET Awards Television Critics Association toronto justice league USA See It Skip It IFC Films Trivia criterion concert romance Quiz name the review Comedy Central franchise biography Elton John FXX police drama 2016 Sneak Peek Character Guide chucky Turner Avengers Tubi Watching Series all-time Pixar Writers Guild of America nbcuniversal DirecTV rotten Syfy elevated horror Columbia Pictures SDCC Stephen King Awards Apple TV+ indie anime independent batman singing competition true crime The CW HBO GLAAD Sundance Now italian twilight Star Trek 2018 hispanic TCM Amazon Prime satire Superheroes adaptation Cannes TNT Animation foreign Spring TV 45 documentary Polls and Games 71st Emmy Awards halloween Biopics 2019 The Purge cooking Vudu nature SXSW 2017 El Rey Reality YA 2015 spider-man TCA Awards historical drama Extras Cartoon Network Drama Awards Tour spy thriller Emmy Nominations disaster cats FX on Hulu Starz Reality Competition 72 Emmy Awards video on demand australia crossover Toys Adult Swim 21st Century Fox Logo quibi YouTube Red Film Festival travel Video Games scorecard Turner Classic Movies classics E! sports Teen finale cancelled TV series ESPN Apple TV Plus Sony Pictures BET VH1 Box Office Paramount stop motion Mary poppins award winner sequel Song of Ice and Fire Spectrum Originals mockumentary casting Countdown X-Men Hallmark Christmas movies psychological thriller Netflix Christmas movies Horror American Society of Cinematographers Film science fiction Showtime Christmas Podcast television ratings CBS All Access TCA Winter 2020 miniseries Lifetime Christmas movies Mudbound Tarantino Paramount Network animated Disney streaming service worst movies critics zombie ABC what to watch VOD worst comiccon diversity Black Mirror breaking bad Holiday thriller Family Bravo indiana jones Marvel Television HBO Go USA Network Nat Geo Disney festivals venice facebook toy story IFC Acorn TV universal monsters cops reviews Freeform Summer The Arrangement FX Trailer GIFs halloween tv Epix WarnerMedia romantic comedy stoner dark The Witch DGA archives serial killer comic Disney Plus Grammys doctor who Best and Worst unscripted History PlayStation First Look jamie lee curtis dramedy series Holidays movie Walt Disney Pictures Interview political drama TV Land nfl National Geographic CNN christmas movies BAFTA Red Carpet TLC social media spain Lucasfilm adventure obituary versus Trophy Talk Comic Book Sundance TV Universal aliens AMC Mindy Kaling zero dark thirty Oscars game of thrones latino Musical Fall TV hollywood OWN die hard Mary Poppins Returns Food Network robots Warner Bros. Rom-Com Set visit Hallmark TV renewals richard e. Grant comedies Super Bowl Crackle Brie Larson 4/20 hist Mystery comics streaming APB RT History green book strong female leads Photos space NBC cartoon Tomatazos reboot mutant FOX Masterpiece Thanksgiving Endgame OneApp game show Music dc Crunchyroll MCU Kids & Family The Academy Pop TV best Opinion Winter TV based on movie Calendar Fox News composers crime thriller Academy Awards revenge discovery TruTV blaxploitation cults Star Wars Nominations zombies blockbuster Hear Us Out Superheroe parents LGBTQ Hulu ghosts Amazon Prime Video book Pop 24 frames films Anna Paquin medical drama Fox Searchlight laika Valentine's Day GoT french Disney+ Disney Plus Esquire PBS Arrowverse Chilling Adventures of Sabrina MTV slashers supernatural Spike Martial Arts spanish Marvel politics fast and furious Lifetime dceu teaser LGBT DC streaming service cars Baby Yoda TIFF YouTube Premium Premiere Dates ITV Peacock Ellie Kemper DC Comics Britbox joker RT21 cancelled television free movies E3 Mary Tyler Moore remakes BBC YouTube scary movies Amazon Studios children's TV rotten movies we love cancelled TV shows golden globes TCA 2017 mission: impossible The Walking Dead A&E 20th Century Fox Comics on TV Shudder Nickelodeon transformers Creative Arts Emmys Tumblr asian-american news SundanceTV TCA Amazon south america Comedy sequels harry potter war a nightmare on elm street canceled TV shows Rock Classic Film documentaries dragons A24 binge Sci-Fi Lionsgate kids Emmys video anthology crime drama talk show First Reviews child's play renewed TV shows sag awards Year in Review festival San Diego Comic-Con CMT tv talk period drama cinemax Women's History Month psycho Television Academy 2020 Discovery Channel docudrama Shondaland japanese directors witnail Pet Sematary stand-up comedy Rocky Certified Fresh theme song screenings BBC One Schedule DC Universe Funimation natural history Netflix HBO Max WGN emmy awards ABC Family TBS Cosplay boxoffice 007 Pirates Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt screen actors guild VICE Sundance Dark Horse Comics sitcom cancelled Captain marvel President movies Travel Channel Heroines dogs BBC America NYCC technology Winners superhero Action werewolf CW Seed PaleyFest Infographic TV Rocketman football Fantasy CBS Country Apple Western MSNBC Marathons