Eva Mendes interview: Last Night movie temptress reveals her tips for a happy love life

Eva Mendes is enough to tempt any man from the straight and narrow. In her new film Last Night, Sam Worthington leaves wife Keira Knightley at home to go on a work trip with her. Yet in reality, Eva, 37, has been with film-maker George Augusto happily for nine years. She tells The Ticket about love and temptation.

You are the other woman in this movie?

Everybody is the other woman! We’re all being very bad.

But you are the only person who is single...

It makes a difference in that she is the only one doing something not that bad. Everybody else is betraying. I like the character because she is the most honest one of all. Massy Tadjedin [the director] and I talked about it, and we wanted to make sure as ‘the other woman’ I wasn’t playing sexy. No make-up. No hair. I wear high-collared shirts, long skirts. We wanted to add class to her. We didn’t want her to be just this bimbo. It made a difference, and made her not so stereotypical.

Which sort of unfaithfulness is worse, mental or physical?

Everybody’s relationship is so different. When you’re 20 it’s different from 25 or 30. It depends on the time of your life and who it’s with. I remember in high school, aged 18, I had a boyfriend, and even when he only looked at another girl, I was crying. Now I don’t really care about that stuff. The details are more important.

You say your character isn’t that bad. What is bad about people giving into their true feelings?

It was meant to be funny. I would never think of a character as bad or good. That would be irresponsible. She has certain challenges. Even if I were to play a murderer, I wouldn’t think it’s a bad person. It’s my job as an actress to find a reason why you do things.

You were born in Miami, your family is Cuban. Has Hollywood changed for Latin actresses?

Oh yes. I started 11, 12 years ago. Since that I have seen an improvement in roles.

So Hollywood now is less prejudiced?

Yeah. It’s a really great time to be of Latin descent and to be a woman.

This movie, Last Night, meditates on what makes relationships work and what doesn’t. What is the secret behind your own long-standing one?

Communication. It’s all about being honest and communicating.

Are you constantly on the phone when you’re apart?

Not like that. We’re talking about everything. If you have a feeling, you talk about it.

Why did you want to become an actress and how did it happen?

I was going to university in California, and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was living in Hollywood and met a manager who said, ‘You should get some headshots’. And I was so confused at the university, I was thinking about art history, but I didn’t know anything about what I wanted to do with my life, I was young. So over summer I listened to the manager, and started taking acting classes, and becoming more interested. But it happened slow. And I ended up quitting school.

What would you be if you hadn’t become an actress?

An interior designer. I do it as a hobby with my houses. I redesigned two. From the actual architecture to designing it decoratively. It’s really challenging, but I love it.

You did bedspreads. Anything else coming up?

I have plates, I handpaint the design. And then I have bath stuff. It’s one of those things that is fun for me.

Do you have a natural talent for it?

I think I always had a little something. I grew up in a lower-middle class household. We were not poor, but we didn’t have extra money for nice stuff. I would throw a scarf over a lamp, and paint the walls, and my mother let me. When I was 13, I painted the living room green. That woman, bless her heart, lived in that room for two years. I was like, ‘You are a cool mom’. She encouraged it. But it was awful.

What does your boyfriend do?

He is a producer and has his own music label, Dilettante. And he is my partner in the interior design stuff, the Vida label. He runs it.

You’re clear about the fact you are not married. Would you find it an interesting notion?

Marriage is very old-fashioned.

Old-fashioned good or bad?

Old-fashioned bad.

And your mother is OK with you not getting married?

She already has three kids married with children. She doesn’t care about me. I am the baby in the family. She lets me do whatever I want.