As Eva Mendes walks down the hall, conversation tends to halt. Equally talented and beautiful, the star has joined her The Women cast mates at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel. In chorus, they are all singing the praise of their writer-director, Diane English.
Fine female film
"It's her baby," Mendes proudly says.
Mendes is relaxed in a green sundress as she sits back in her director's chair in the middle of a hotel suite that for this day has morphed into a television shoot.
Immediately, she wants to know more about SheKnows. Eva Mendes:
Hello, where are you from? SheKnows:
I'm from SheKnows.com… Eva Mendes:
SheKnows.com, that sounds so great. Are any men even allowed to go there? SheKnows:
I would highly recommend it. Eva Mendes:
A few selected guys who love women.
We both laugh as our television cue to begin is given. SheKnows:
First of all Eva, thank you so much for taking some time with SheKnows. I wanted to start by asking, you've been part of a very diverse group of films with a very diverse group of casts, when you sat down for the first table reading for this particular film, how was that difference with a roomful of women versus any kind of diversity…was there any difference? Eva Mendes:
You know, there wasn't that much of a difference. The only difference that I recall was I really was worried about how I looked (laughs). I know it sounds really frivolous, but you know that thing that women dress for other women, it is so true.
'The girls go by, dressed up for each other'SheKnows:
It's very true. Eva Mendes:
Before, I take my work very, very seriously and I still go to acting class, yada, yada, yada. When I go into my rehearsal, whether it's Joaquin Phoenix or Denzel Washington, it's like, I'm all about work. Hair pulled back, and just work, work, work! With this one, it was like 'oh, my gosh, what should I wear to rehearsal today?' It was very funny. I thought that was really interesting, because we all got a really amazing chance to bond together. About a month before shooting, Diane English, the director, had us all to her house in Martha's Vineyard. We literally stayed in her house for four days. It was really was an amazing experience. SheKnows:
It's funny you say that, because I sensed a chemistry… Eva Mendes:
In the film, even though you might have been directed a bit of ire per se, there was still that bond that I couldn't explain. Eva Mendes:
It is so cool because it wasn't this false creative chemistry thing, it really was…the rehearsal process of those four days being away and together in a house, really helped not only create the bond, but understand where we're coming from. We swapped boy stories, career stories. They swapped children stories, I had nothing to do that…(we both laugh)…I have a dog. That's as far as I go. SheKnows:
There you go! For you as an actress, I know that actors in general look at a potential role and think about that character and whether that fits them or not, judging by how this character is in this film, did you have any apprehensions about tackling her? Eva Mendes:
I didn't so much. I thought, 'do I want to play her?' Not because she's such a conniving calculated woman, I thought that would be kind of fun to do. But I wasn't sure if she was exciting enough for me because there wasn't real redemption for her at the end. I don't mind playing characters what some may call evil or bad girls, whatever, as long as they have some sort of redemption and then Diane created and made this scene after many conversations about the end of the film where Mary (Meg Ryan) has her fashion show. There's this sense that I really kind of step back and realize that I am the loser in the situation. That was important for me. That scene has been cut from the film and so I am very hurt. I'm just disappointed that my character doesn't have that redemption, absolutely. I think it's important to have some arc in redemption when you play somebody - especially somebody who's not the most moral person around.
SheKnows: Oh, that's interesting.
Eva Mendes: I know, but it will be on the DVD. The other thing is that I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I really had the most amazing experience. I made girlfriends that I feel like I can call and I have called some of them. I can call or email, they'll be there for me and visa versa. So, the experience was just tops.
Pride in the name of DianeSheKnows:
And Diane… Eva Mendes:
Oh, wow. SheKnows:
To be part of that was such a part of her heart. Eva Mendes:
As an artist, that has got to be a fantastic feeling. Eva Mendes:
It is, I told her the other day. I'm so excited to go to the premiere. Not because, in no way is this my film or anybody's film, but I really feel it's Diane's film. I want to celebrate that for her because fourteen years she's had this, you know? I haven't had anything for fourteen years. We both laugh.
You know (laughing
), it's like 'wow.' That's amazing that she hung there and I think we need more women like her and I want to support her completely. And a little tid bit, she wore stilettos every single shoot day. And her hair was perfect like that, every single day. So, not only did she never loose her cool. She never lost her fashion sense. She was really unbelievable.
The Eva Mendes video interview:
The Women interview with Meg Ryan and Annette Bening
Debra Messing and Jada Pinkett-Smith discuss The Women
The Women exclusive clip: Only on SheKnows!