Eva Mendes has taken a six-year break from Hollywood and while she would love to get back into the acting world, there is one thing making her think even harder about what roles she chooses: her daughters Esmeralda, six, and Amada, four.
Speaking with Yahoo Lifestyle, Eva said that while she'd love to get back on set, she's got a lot more "restrictions" on her nowadays.
"I'd love to do a special project, I'd love to do something that makes sense to me right now. I'm just in such mum mode that I feel like I have a lot of restrictions, like I wouldn't want to do a violent film or a risqué film, I wouldn't want to do anything that would embarrass my kids in the future, because I've done plenty of that already!" she told us over the phone.
"I'll have a lot of questions to answer I'm sure!" the Hitch actress jokingly added.
Right now, there don't seem to be too many options that she's keen on, "I'm like, really the list of what I'll do is so short now, that I'm just like what is, there's just Disney, I could be a villain? I don't know," she said, agreeing that her children would probably love it if that was the kind of role she landed.
Eva, who married fellow actor Ryan Gosling after first meeting on the set of their film A Place Beyond the Pines, shared with us that being stuck at home while in lockdown was "crazy" for the pair.
"We feel like we're running a hotel with these very, very demanding guests and we also have a dog, which technically he's still a puppy, Lucho, who's about a year old and it's crazy, but it's good," she said.
Eva and Ryan have welcomed the actress' mum into their home during the coronavirus pandemic and say the family time has reminded them of how lucky they are.
"We feel we're so fortunate, we know this hasn't been easy on people and I try to stay as grateful as I can, I try to remind myself to just stay grateful, be cautious and just love on my mum as much as possible, because it's really about her. I don't like that she feels like she's a burden or she feels like society has somehow rejected her or told her that she can't be out so we've definitely taken her in and giving her as much love as possible."
"And it is interesting having a four and a six-year-old because they really help keep me present, they don't care about what's going on and developmentally, they're not ready to know certain things. So, they just want to know if they can go jump on the trampoline or if they can paint my face again or if they can watch Bluey for another hour.
"So, it really helps keep me present and keep me from spinning, because Lord knows I can spin, and I don't like Soul Cycling!" she joked.
While she may not have been on a set in a few years, Eva has been working on other projects, including getting involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities as the McHappy Day ambassador in 2020.
It was an easy partnership for the actress, who has a personal connection to the charity.
She explained to us, "My cousin, when her boy, who is seven now and thankfully in remission and doing very well, when he was about a year old, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and she had to relocate from Los Angeles to New York to be close to this hospital.
"And I was pregnant at the time and I was just like, how can I help, what can I do? We can get you a place, we can get you a meal delivery service, what can we do? And she assured me that she was actually very well taken care of at the Ronald McDonald House.
"And I thought, you know, you grow up knowing what they do, but not really knowing that they really do it and they do it so well. They not only keep families together, they provide all kinds of learning programs, movie nights and meals and I was just blown away. So, when this opportunity came up I was like, I know this from experience, this is an important initiative to get behind."
Eva said the experience was even more important to her after losing her brother Juan Carlos Mendez to cancer in 2016.
"Absolutely, because it's about keeping families together and I feel like what my brother really taught me there towards the end was just the importance of being together. He couldn't talk for the last six months and he just wanted to be together, all of us in the same room, under the same roof, hanging out, not even necessarily talking. Just being together," she said.
“That sounds a little obvious today, but when you realise that's all that it's really about, whatever you're going through, just keeping the family together. It just makes so much sense for me to be supporting this initiative."
Fans will likely remember the tearjerking moment in 2017, when Ryan won the Golden Globe for his performance in La La Land and dedicated it to Juan Carlos.
Ryan told the audience at the time, "I’d like to try and thank one person properly, and to say that while I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film, 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 that on so that I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today. So, sweetheart, thank you. To my daughters, Amada and Esmerelda, I love you. And if I may, I’d like to dedicate this to the memory of her brother, Juan Carlos Mendes."
Eva told us that that moment was a complete surprise for herself and her family, and something her brother would have loved.
"What that meant to my mother and my sisters and my brother's children, just hearing my brother's name up there. I had no idea he was going to do this and honour my brother in that way and talk about surreal, I was just like, 'What?!'
"And knowing my brother, if you would have known my brother, he would have loved to hear his name up there, so that was very much for him, it wasn't like he was an ultra private person, no. He wanted you to know he was in the room, he wanted you to know he was there and make his presence known, so that was the perfect way to honour him, that was a dream."
Jo Feeney from McDonald's shared how excited the company was to have Eva on board helping as their ambassador for what has been a tough year for many families.
"We as McDonalds are so grateful to Eva for being our 2020 ambassador this year," she said.
"I think what's been tough for everybody, it's been super tough for the houses, where social distancing and number of people allowed in and those sorts of things, so they've really had to pivot and change the way they operate to make sure they keep the kids and families all really safe. And that's been their priority and it's still been their priority to keep those people together as well.
"So, it makes it even more important for McHappy Day this year, it is the biggest single fundraiser that McDonald's helps support the charity each year."
"It's probably never been a harder time for some of those families and I think having the likes of Eva Mendes who has been kind enough and wonderful enough to lend her name to this charity this year, it's just so amazing in trying to help us get those funds that we need."
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