Why did Eva Mendes quit acting after 18 years in the industry, and does she plan on returning?

Eva Mendes at Create & Cultivate in Los Angeles

Image via Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Eva Mendes is a name that was constantly spoken in the 2000s, but not any longer. This is because — save for an appearance on a 2021 episode of Bluey — Mendes stopped acting nearly a decade ago. Thankfully, she revealed why she quit and whether we can expect a comeback from the bold and beautiful actor.

When she quit

Eva Mendes in Lost River
Image via Warner Bros.

After a ’90s marked by music videos and awful movies, a ’00s marked by even worse movies, some good movies, and sex symbol status, the first half of the ’10s marked by a comedic role in The Other Guys and a dramatic role in The Place Beyond the Pines, Mendes left show business in 2014. Her final project (until the animated kid’s show Bluey) was the thriller film Lost River.

Why she quit

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling at "The Place Beyond The Pines" Premiere in 2012 at Toronto International Film Festiva
Image via Sonia Recchia/Getty Images

If you haven’t made the connection, The Place Beyond the Pines and Lost River both involve Ryan Gosling. Mendes began dating Gosling around the time they co-starred in Pines, and Gosling later cast her in Lost River, his directorial debut. The same year that her final film premiered, Mendes gave birth to her and Gosling’s first child. Their second child arrived in 2016. “This is what I’m supposed to do right now,” Mendes told Variety about motherhood.

In addition to raising a family, Mendes cited race-based casting for pushing her out of the business. “There are more opportunities for Latina actresses now, but when I bowed out 10 years ago I wasn’t being offered things that weren’t specifically Latina.” Mendes “got tired fighting for the good roles,” and although she once aspired to produce her own projects, it wasn’t worth it in the end. “I don’t really miss it,” she said about the industry.

Will she return?

Eva Mendes Visits New York & Company Store in Burbank, CA
Image via Andrew Toth/Getty Images

Considering that she already has, the answer is yes. As for non-animated, non-television, and non-children’s entertainment, though, the answer is maybe. “As a mother now, there are many roles I won’t do,” Mendes wrote on Instagram in 2020. “There are many subject matters that I don’t want to be involved with, so it limits my choices and I’m fine with that.” These “subject matters” include violence and sexuality. Asked earlier this year whether the right restrictive role would draw her back into movies, Mendes replied, “I hope so.” Until then, she’s content raising her kids and hocking sponges from Skura Style, her cleaning products company.

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