Eva Mendes models Calvin Klein
Eva Mendes has starred in some sucky movies but she's fantastic alongside Nicholas Cage in Herzog's 'Bad Lieutenant'.
Eva Mendes was born March 5, 1974 in Miami, Florida. She's one Holywood's hottest, with a hugely successful sideline as a model for Revlon and Calvin Klein. She impressed as hooker Frankie in 'Bad Lieutenant'.
Some of Mendes' work for Calvin Klein was considered too racy for the American public. Her ad for Klein's perfume
Secret Obsession was banned for exposing a glimpse of nipple. As we have learned from the Janet Jackson - Justin Timberlake
wardrobe malfunction, there is nothing like female nipple for sending shivers of terror down the nation's spine.
Mendes takes all this in her stride. The Calvin Klein controversy has helped, rather than harmed, her career and has no doubt led to Calvin Klein selling more of its perfume and lingerie line.
I have been a fan of Calvin Klein since I was a little girl, says Mendes.
To me, Calvin Klein has always represented sexiness, a freedom to express yourself and to be different, and let your uniqueness come through.
Mendes sees the Calvin Klein ads as empowering young women, especially those who are not white, suburban, and mainstream:
That is extremely important for all of us; it was important for me because I was very awkward with myself during my teen years.
I always felt that I didn't fit in physically or emotionally. It wasn't until years later that I realized all of the things that I wanted to change about myself when I was younger, I am thankful for now.
It is so satisfying for me, to be part of a campaign where I would inspire women and girls and show them that it's OK to be different, it's OK to be controversial, it's just OK to be yourself.
Eva Mendes is one of a growing line of bold Latina beauties who have made it big in Hollywood. Think Salma Hayek, Penelope Cruz, and Eva Longoria Parker.
Not so many years ago, only white Anglos made it to the covers of magazines or became international catwalk models and movie stars. All that changed when models such as Iman, Waris Darie, and Alek Wek were taken on by the big model agencies. Today, models like Oluchi Onweagba of Nigeria are as successful as any women on the circuit.
In cinema, we started at long last to see African American stars such as Cicely Tyson, and more recently Angela Bassett and Halle Berry, playing prominent parts, not just servants, nannies, and domestics.
But there is still a widespread puritanism in American, that is both tantalized and offended by overt sexuality. Mendes fell victim of this when her Calvin Klein ads were banned.
Asked to explain this prudish streak in America, Mendes says:
I don't know. I've always tried to ponder that. I guess it's because we still have those puritanical views that we started this country on. I'm not sure.
Not that it bothers her unduly:
I'm very free with my sexuality, but not everywhere all the time. I pick and choose when I do nudity, and who I do it for when I'm working, and when I'm doing it.
I've done nudity twice in a film. One time was opposite Denzel Washington in Training Day, and the other was opposite Joaquin Phoenix in We Own The Night.
It's all very methodical on my end, says Mendes.
I won't be afraid of my sexuality. I won't be afraid to put it out there when I choose to, and I have never felt exploited. In 11 years of being in this business and doing some pretty risque shoots and movies, I've never felt exploited.
1, Salma Hayek. Born: September 2, 1966, Mexico . Best movie: Traffic. Worst movie: Grown Ups.
2, Angelina Jolie. Born: June 4, 1975, Los Angeles. Best movie: A Mighty Heart. Worst movie: Alexander.
3, Megan Fox. Born: May 16, 1986, Rockwood, Tennessee . Best movie: Transformers. Worst movie: Jonah Hex.
4, Eva Mendes. Born: March 5, 1974, Miami. Best movie: Bad Lieutenant. Worst movie: The Women.
5, Emmanuelle Beart. Born: August 14, 1963, France. Best movie: Witnesses. Worst movie: Date With An Angel.
6, Freida Pinto. Born: October 18, 1984, India. Best movie: Slumdog Millionaire. Worst movie: You Meet A Tall Dark Stranger.
7, Zoe Saldana. Born: June 19, 1978, New Jersey. Best movie: Avatar. Worst movie: Death At A Funeral.
8, Mary-Louise Parker. Born: August 2, 1964, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Best movie: Solitary Man. Worst movie: Reckless.
9, Scarlett Johansson. Born: November 22, 1984, New York. Best movie: Lost in Translation. Worst movie: Fall.
10, Diane Lane. Born: January 22, 1965, New York. Best movie: The Full Monty. Worst movie: Judge Dredd.
By Will Hopkins