Hitched On Eva

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With Will, it's always this place of positivity. And I just want some of it to rub off on me. I'm like a little sponge around him. I just want to absorb it. God, I'm sitting here thinking how to have you understand how amazing this person is and I really can't get the words out because it doesn't do anything. You just gotta experience it. You've just got to experience him. As a producer as well as a co-star, everything, he's so incredibly pleasant.

Born on March 5, 1974 in Houston, and raised in Miami and Los Angeles, sports enthusiast Eva Mendes enjoys biking, hiking, skiing and mountain climbing. And the Cuban-American cutie has brought that sense of athleticism to acting, including her well-received outings in such high-impact flicks as Exit Wounds, Training Day, All About the Benjamins, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Out of Time. Since dropping out of California State Northridge where she was majoring in marketing, Eva has enjoyed a meteoric rise due to her uncanny ability to generate chemistry opposite such leading men as Johnny Depp, Greg Kinnear, Denzel Washington (twice), Ice Cube, Ice-T, Tyrese and Steven Seagal. And she already has her next three films lined up: The Wendell Baker Story with Luke Wilson, Trust the Man with Billy Crudup, and Ghost Rider with Nicholas Cage. Hitch, her latest, set a record for romantic comedies with an opening weekend box-office take of just over $43 million. Here, Ms. Mendes reflects on playing Will Smith's love interest, Sara, a co-starring role which afforded her an opportunity to display a variety of talents, in a series of action, comedy, dramatic and humorous scenes.

BSN: Tell me a little about the person you play in Hitch?
EM: "Sara Melas is a gossip columnist who has totally turned her back on love, when we meet her at the beginning of the film. She's so sensitive, and such a hopeless romantic inside, but she's been hurt so much that the armor went up, the walls. She built that wall and put that sign over her head, 'Leave me alone!'"
 
BSN: How would you describe your character's motivation?
EM: "Sarah doesn't totally fall in love with Hitch at first sight. He kind of piques her interest. It's kind of like, 'Huh, that was a little different, but still, I'm sure it's all the same.' And when they meet again, things unfold and unravel and they get to know each other a little bit more. For her, there's not one moment that happens when she just falls in love. It's more like just acknowledging and kind of just watching and observing him and going, 'Gosh, he handled himself really well. That's what I would do in that situation. Oh, that's interesting.' And then when other things happen, 'Oh, that's how I would say that. Yeah, I would absolutely do that.' And then it hits her. the most romantic notion in the world: 'He is my male counterpart.'"

BSN: What demographic do you see Hitch as targeting?
EM: "This is a great date movie because you have both perspectives. And I love the idea of having it come from a male perspective. I really do. It makes it very interesting for me and my girlfriends to watch. And also, you get involved with girls in the story as well, and you see where they're coming from, and what they have to struggle with nowadays between the career and a relationship."

BSN: You've already appeared opposite a lot of great actors in your brief career. How did Will Smith measure up?
EM: "God, I'm sitting here thinking how to have you understand how amazing this person is and I really can't get the words out because it doesn't do anything. You just gotta experience it. You've just got to experience him. As a producer as well as a co-star, everything, he's so incredibly pleasant. I can't think of one unpleasant moment. I've worked amazing people and there've been unpleasant moments because it's a stressful job. You're on the line constantly. You're working crazy hours. It's 4 o'clock in the morning, and certain things come out. it doesn't mean you're a bad person at all. But with this dude? With Will, it's always this place of positivity. And I just want some of it to rub off on me. I'm like a little sponge around him. I just want to absorb it."

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