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

travel ABC Family Nominations ABC Photos APB Emmys Oscars CNN cooking Sci-Fi Red Carpet TV Land Premiere Dates cops singing competition Food Network Lifetime VH1 Interview technology zombie American Society of Cinematographers VICE The Arrangement Year in Review IFC TV diversity Comic Book Nickelodeon TNT Teen 007 Disney Channel Comedy period drama Holidays aliens docudrama GIFs CMT Fall TV Calendar Countdown Bravo Video Games supernatural science fiction Esquire LGBTQ WGN sitcom Universal E! TCM Certified Fresh Sneak Peek Character Guide Amazon Watching Series Action Rock Grammys El Rey composers President Cosplay vampires Musicals Polls and Games discovery SundanceTV Toys Marathons NYCC psycho Best and Worst Schedule crime Marvel Sundance Comedy Central Super Bowl Tumblr AMC Thanksgiving History Set visit Drama TIFF ESPN Valentine's Day Writers Guild of America ITV CBS All Access Dark Horse Comics Crackle Superheroes HBO Masterpiece Trailer Disney Logo Hulu Tomatazos Lionsgate 24 frames Netflix Winter TV Awards TCA Reality Competition Cartoon Network Mystery CBS Adult Swim Reality social media Fox News GLAAD Election Biopics politics BBC America FX Pop adventure BBC DirecTV MSNBC RT History historical drama cinemax 2017 Nat Geo PBS crime thriller Mary Tyler Moore based on movie Rocky Music thriller FXX Star Trek TruTV BET Winners police drama Starz harry potter SDCC biography Ghostbusters Country Summer 2016 Trivia Box Office serial killer Fantasy NBC FOX Rom-Com The CW Martial Arts dramedy First Look Showtime Kids & Family Star Wars MTV Extras TBS X-Men Musical DC Comics boxoffice sports Freeform Podcast OWN 2015 Spring TV Infographic A&E GoT Syfy TCA 2017 USA war crime drama TLC Animation PaleyFest Opinion comiccon Horror Pirates