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Eva Mendes Talks About Her Playful Daughters in Rare Interview

If you’ve been wondering if you dreamed the whole “Hey Girl, Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling Are Totally Together and Have Two Daughters With Perfect Bone Structure” thing, wonder no more. It’s all true; the pair is just very, very tight-lipped. But the famously private Mendes spoke with People recently in a rare personal interview covering previously uncharted territory of her family life.

Media outlets disagree on whether or not actors Mendes and Gosling have, in fact, secretly wed, but we do know they share two daughters, Esmeralda, 4, and Amada, 2. The couple first started dating in 2011, after working together on The Place Beyond the Pines.

Mendes recently told People she ditched the acting life of Hollywood for a while to focus on raising her girls. During her acting hiatus, she found a new passion: fashion design. Her New York & Company collections are stunners, with her latest offerings — dropped on March 14 —  inspired by the “effortless elegance of the ’70s.” The best part? Mendes said it’s the women in her life — especially her daughters and her mother — who inspire her feminine, fun, and bold designs.

Mendes wore one of her new polka-dot designs on a trip to see Hansel and Gretel at the L.A. Opera House with Esmerelda. “She did so well for just having turned 4. She was riveted,” Mendes gushed. The Hitch star even posted a clip from that night (not of her and Esme, sorry, folks — Mendes keeps her Instagram strictly biz) on social media:

Mendes is definitely a hands-on mom, navigating a hectic life of career and kids. “We go through a few outfits a day just because of all the fun stuff [we do] — we made some homemade Play-Doh the other day… I really let them explore whether it’s out in the garden or even in our own kitchen. I give them a lot of things so they can have sensory play. So they’re constantly getting dirty, which is how it should be. Lots of T-shirts.”

What’s next on tap for Mendes? She’s releasing a whole T-shirt line inspired by her girls. “I’m inspired by my children’s art work. It’s just amazing what they create when they sit down with the crayon or with some finger paint,” Mendes said. “I have something really fun inspired by them coming soon.”

We imagine that Gosling is totally down with the finger paint action too. He spoke lovingly of “his lady” and acknowledged all that she had done for him — and their family — in his 2017 Golden Globes Best Actor (“La La Land”) award acceptance speech:

“I’d like to thank one person properly,” Gosling said. “When I was singing and dancing and playing piano and wanting the best experiences, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer. If she hadn’t taken all of that on so I could have this experience, it’d surely be someone else up here.”

For her part, Mendes says she’s just making it up as she goes along. She told E! News in September, “I don’t feel like I have it balanced at all. I kind of have been figuring it out as I’m going along and it’s just important to have a support system. I have my family, I have Ryan’s family and that’s just, like, invaluable to have family around supporting you.”

Mendes rarely mentions Gosling. Like, almost never. But watch Mendes in 2012 actually hide behind her hair on the Ellen DeGeneres Show when shown a clip of her then-newish beau. Sometimes it takes video to tell the whole story.

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