Eva Mendes dislikes rehab jokes; says it’s hard finding roles as a Latina

Eva Mendez has a new article in Interview Magazine which includes some awkward moments when the journalist tries to make a joke about rehab. Eva spent time in Cirque Lodge in Utah earlier this year and doesn’t talk much about her stay except to praise others who have the courage to admit that they need help. She says that she doesn’t worry when people print false stories about her because that means that none of her friends or associates are blabbing to the tabloids. As for her response to the interviewer’s dumb jokes about rehab, she says she’s “sensitive,” not angry:

David Colman: Now let’s talk about substance abuse. My favorite topic.

Eva Mendes: Great.

DC: First of all, what is it with actors and substance abuse?

EM: I don’t know. I’m not a spokesperson for any kind of substance-abuse organization.

DC: They’re going to have to change the name of it to “Alcoholics Unanimous.”

EM: [silence]

DC: I’m sorry, that’s a bad joke.

EM: I’m not making jokes, because people die from this stuff. So, honestly, I think it’s a bit tacky that you made a joke. I’ve got to be honest.

DC: You’re angry. Listen . . .

EM: I’m not angry. People have died, and I’ve lost friends too–even recently. So I can be a little sensitive on the subject.

DC: Look, I haven’t had a drink in 11 years. I’m just trying to be light-hearted about it, because it’s an awkward topic.

EM: I’m not angry. But because celebrities’ lives are so visible, I think it makes it look lighter than it is. I have a really good sense of humor, I’m just very sensitive. The other day I was reading an article. I don’t even remember who the actress was, but she’s been around for a long time. She said something like, “I’m proud that I’ve had a whole career without making it to rehab.” I thought, That’s such a negative twist on it. I’m proud of people who have the determination and the fearlessness to actually go and face their demons and get better. This is a life or death situation. Again, I’m not a spokesperson for this, but it’s just that I want to support people for their decisions when they do go in and get help.

[From Interview Magazine via Huffington Post - site has automatic sound in ads]

I think Mendes handled that well and that the interviewer was kind of a tool for being so abrupt in his questioning and making a dumb joke about rehab. The probably had very little rapport and were both short with each other. As the interview went on things got a little better, which was when Mendes talked about not understanding why people are all up in celebrities’ business:

DC: You might think it’s a new problem, but it’s probably only because people are quicker to say, “Okay, I’m going to rehab. Let’s get it over with.”

EM: It’s because everybody is so highly visible now. We see everything. We see what celebrities buy at the supermarket. It’s ridiculous. It’s that visibility. I’m confused by this whole celebrity-obsessed culture. It’s really weird.

DC: Again, I wasn’t trying to be . . . Well, I was trying to be flip, but not trying to be dismissive. I do take it very seriously myself. You could just say, “I don’t want to talk about that.” Which is fine.

EM: I’ve given you a more interesting answer, I hope, than to just say, “I don’t want to talk about it.” [laughs] There are so many lies out there regarding my recent trip to Cirque Lodge. But I don’t care what people think. I just don’t care. So I will neither confirm nor deny. I think now we just know way too much about our celebrities. It’s not that interesting when you know that much about people. I have no ego about me. It’s just better for you not to know, because it really does make me a better actor at the end of the day. You’re not going into the movie with all these specifics about me.

DC: I don’t know what I would do if all my business was out there . . .

EM: You know what? You wouldn’t feel that bad, because so much of it is not true. Actually, the media has been pretty nice to me. They’ve really trashed some people, so I’m actually thankful that it didn’t get too crazy. But for all the stuff that came out a few months ago about substance abuse, there were so many wrong stories. I was so happy about that, because it’s when they get the real scoop that would make me really nervous. It’s a relief, in a way. You want it to be a lie, because when it’s true, that’s when I’d be like, “Oh, my God!” It’s time to rethink who’s in your circle, because stuff got out.

Eva talked a little bit about the problems she has finding suitable roles as both a woman and a Latina. On one hand she said that being Latin has helped her find parts, but she also said it has cost her roles as producers have said they want an “American girl,” i.e. fully white-looking woman like Drew Barrymore, and that she doesn’t understand how she doesn’t fit that mold. She also made a joke that both she and Drew grew up in America and were into New Kids On The Block, but then backtracked saying she couldn’t speak for Drew’s teenage interest in the cheesy boy-band:

DC: I have a question for you that’s a little more complicated. Do you find it a challenge being Latin in Hollywood?

EM: I would never call it a challenge. I think being a woman in Hollywood is a big enough challenge. It really is, man. I don’t want to be one of those people who complain. But the lack of roles out there–it’s unbelievable. I read a lot of scripts. I believe you’ve got to read one that you know you’re not going to do, because you’ve got to educate yourself on what’s out there to make the best decision for you. So it’s challenging being a woman. Then there are other kinds of obstacles that come your way, but there are many times that being Latin has actually helped me, being a Cuban-American has helped me.

DC: I think it makes you seem very modern and real.

EM: Absolutely. Because whether you like this next statement or not, we are the future. I mean, we’re all just mixing together that much more. We are the future in that sense. I don’t mean Latinos, I just mean ethnic diversity. I speak English without an accent, and I speak Spanish without an accent. I really do have the best of both worlds. What makes it frustrating is when a director or a studio head doesn’t see me for the same part that they’ll see, let’s say, Drew Barrymore for. Drew’s a great friend of mine. But it’s like, “No, we want more of an American type of girl.” And it’s like, American has opened up. I’m an American girl, born and raised. I mean, I was into New Kids on the Block, just like Drew! Actually, I shouldn’t say that. I don’t know if she was. I’m going to text her on that one.

I like Eva’s answers here – they’re nuanced, thoughtful and she sounds very circumspect about what she went through with substance abuse. In my opinion this is a better strategy than getting naked for photo shoots, although maybe she has a rude interviewer to thank for how mature and serious she sounds.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

28 Responses to “Eva Mendes dislikes rehab jokes; says it’s hard finding roles as a Latina”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. AP says:

    class act

  2. Because I say So says:

    I love her. I wish I could see her more often on the big screen. I applaud her tact and her honesty in this article; she’s right that too much info about celebrities hurts their careers. Lilo, anyone???

  3. vdantev says:

    Correction- hard to find roles as a Latina who can’t act.

  4. gracie says:

    Why would anyone, let alone a reporter trying to get a story, joke about rehab?

    I mean what’s next…miscarriage? Caught the husband cheating? Suicide?

    A little levity is one thing, but damn man….have some decency!

    You can ask about it, certainly…don’t get me wrong. But you bring it up gently and seriously. Making a joke of it is belittling. That’s just my take.

  5. Trillion says:

    Agreeing on the “can’t act”, vdantev. Pretty, yes. Talented? I’ve yet to see it.

  6. Jody says:

    I think he was flip about rehab because let’s face it– Hollywood themselves, make a complete mockery out of “rehab”. It’s like they get caught in a revolving door.

    An excess of one thing only leads to a deficiency of another. I truly think that rehab only happens when you commit to being a balanced human being.

  7. WTF says:

    Eva’s attractiveness out weights her talent. Eva makes money for movies and that is all the big hollywood executives care about.

  8. NHchicky says:

    She’s hot.. I’ll give her that. And her roles haven’t been all that out of character for I don’t imagine. I definitely agree that her looks outshine any “talent” she may have as an actress.

  9. I choose me says:

    I’m meh about her looks or talent but I do like her answers and the way she handled herself here.

    As for this comment “She also made a joke that both she and Drew grew up in America and were into New Kids On The Block, but then backtracked saying she couldn’t speak for Drew’s teenage interest in the cheesy boy-band” ==You take that back CB! I for one still loves me some NKOTB :mrgreen:

  10. ThatBKChick says:

    It is hard for women of color to get the roles that they are truly qualified for. Halle Berry and others are “pretty faces” that have a hard time to find true roles in movies. Monster Balls was a low point honestly, that I feel that Halle had to take, in order to shatter the glass ceiling for her and others…. I also love Penelope Cruz….I just finish watching Volver…she should had the Oscar for that movie..SMDH! :|

  11. Amy says:

    I don’t get the Eva Mendes thing. I think she’s a total butterface and that photospread she did of her sucking her toe made her even more disgusting in my eyes.

    Salma, yes. Penelope, yes. Eva, noooooo!!!!

  12. neelyo says:

    I don’t think it’s her Latina status that’s stopping her from getting good roles. And I don’t get the attractive thing at all.

    She looks like someone took a Silly Putty imprint of a Cindy Crawford photo and stretched it out of shape.

  13. Kamoikaze says:

    Uffff… 8O

  14. cmoody says:

    I think she was taking herself way too seriously. The reporter said that he himself was 11 years sober and if he worked in Hollywood he would see how much of a joke “rehab” is for most celebrities.

    Also, she – like Halle Berry- may be pretty, there is still something called talent that they both need to look into before they start calling Hollywood out on the lack of parts out there.

    Neither of them could act surprised if you stomped on their toe so they should just be happy to be getting work and shut the hell up.

  15. Bleh says:

    Puhleeze…he was just trying to broach the subject in a not so serious manner. That’s the problem with celebrities, they have no sense of humor when it comes to themselves. This ho seems like she took classes from the Sean Penn Academy for Taking Yourself Too Seriously. You’re an actress, not Mandela or Ghandi.

  16. DonkaDunk says:

    I don’t think she is good looking at all. I’ve never seen any of her movies so I can’t speak about her acting chops. The media likes to market her as the “hot latina” but she just doesn’t do it for me.

  17. dude says:

    In the third pic down, where she’s “air humping”, she looks like the creature from the “Alien” movies.

    She’s the most overrated chick of the month.

  18. Marcus Parrish says:

    I worked with Eva when she was a waitress and she is much more attractive in person. As far as talent is concerned, that was never her niche anyway. And I highly doubt that Drew and her are “friends” well maybe on MySpace! lol :twisted:

  19. jbj says:

    Hmmm….Eva was strung out on cocaine…found out she was pregnant after a miscarriage….checked into rehab…claimed afterwards in was depression….yeah if someone asked me a question regarding rehab I would get crabby too….you never know how much the reporters know.

  20. Oh Boy! says:

    She went into rehab because of her addiction to cocaine and sex toys
    more so the sex toys :(

  21. ybz says:

    What did she go to rehab for? Drugs or alcohol? She must have hell of a good publicist to keep that whole rehab trip not appearing daily on E news.

  22. goldie pyramid says:

    Yeah shes talented thats for sure…and its easy to fall into the loop of wanting to feel that rush of being drunk….i know personally ..even though im not technically an alcoholic. Its great shes smart enough to have gotten a grip…much luv

  23. paris herpes says:

    It’s not like she’s a good actress or anything, but I’m glad she stood up for herself.

  24. ava says:

    umm, it really shouldn’t matter if they have talent or no talent, i could go on and on about how many movies are out there filled with terrible white american actors, so the caliber of talent at the end of the day doesn’t matter, Hollywood, especially mainstream Hollywood is first designed for white males, and second white women. think of the top ten movies that came out this year and how many were predominately an all white cast, with smaller lesser roles going to actors of ethnicities. in general it is a tough industry for non-whites talent or no talent.

  25. kirbeegee says:

    I was watching this show on MTV Canada awhile ago, called 4REAL. It’s pretty much about people helping eachother, and on this one episode I watched it was about the Safe Injection Site in Vancouver, BC and who was there? Eva Mendes. She shown the lives of the street people and addicted, and her compassion for these people who’s lives were torn apart by their inner demons was very apparent.

    I wonder if her lil visit to Cirque Lodge was some sort of volunteer experience, especially considering in this interview she says that only lies about her are being reported.

    Stay strong~!

  26. well at least she says:

    is not b*tchy like Albabitch. That whore cusses and complains that she only gets sexy roles and yet that is what made her “career.” Doing sexy roles and posing in guy’s magazines. Duh! I’ll take Eva over that twat anytime.

  27. cococure says:

    well…roles re hard to come by for ethnic people. However, they all need to start production company’s and get some smaller movies with some real astors..nott he same ones, then move up. The establishment caters to a specific kind of actor.Hollywood is liberal when it comes to politics but the buck stops there….

  28. mark says:

    it really sucks and it is really hard to stop that stuff especially with much money. so many people i know love that damn cocaine too. one thing for sure, ryan gosling is one lucky dude right now.