Eva Mendes has been on men’s radars ever since she crawled across Denzel’s bed in Training Day. Her latest gig, a role in the chick-centric drama Girl in Progress, is a far cry from the grit and gore of her breakthrough film, but we remain loyal fans nonetheless.
Mendes grew up in Los Angeles and decided to pursue acting while still in school at California State University, Northridge.
She soon dropped out and started hitting up auditions full time.
Early in her career, Mendes appeared in several music videos, including Will Smith’s “Miami” and Aerosmith’s “Hole in My Soul.”
Her first film role was a part in the direct-to-video flick Children of the Corn V: Fields of Fury. She said she hated her performance so much she decided to hire an acting coach.
When Training Day hit theaters in 2001, Mendes blew up overnight, her role as Denzel Washington’s baby mama having drawn critical attention and praise.
Her performance led to a number of high profile roles, including parts in 2 Fast 2 Furious and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. The rest is history, and later this year she’ll appear alongside an all-star cast—including Ryan Gosling, Ray Liotta and Rose Byrne—in The Place Beyond the Pines. Get it, girl.