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

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