Eva Mendes: The Real Reason Why Hollywood Stopped Casting Her

Despite her gorgeous looks and critical acclaim, Eva Mendes hasn't really stared in a buzz-worthy movie since 2012's The Place Beyond the Pines. Her starring turns in blockbusters such as HitchThe Other Guys, and Ghost Rider feel like ancient history. As for her more recent work? There's a good chance you haven't seen itHow could someone so beautiful and talented drop off Hollywood's radar? As it turns out, it might have been on her own accord.

From her exceedingly guarded family life with heartthrob Ryan Gosling and their children (This gal has never even posted a tweet!) to her impressive humanitarian work and entrepreneurial spirit, Mendes is rewriting what it means to be a leading lady. She's definitely being picky about her projects, but is she being too picky, perhaps? You decide as we explore some of the big reasons Hollywood seemingly won't cast Eva Mendes anymore.

She prefers a traditional role in her family

Mendes has been busy raising the two daughters she has with partner Ryan Gosling: Esmeralda Amada and Amada Lee, born in 2014 and 2016, respectively. "I'm a very hands-on mom; I don't have a nanny. No matter how tired I am, I just do it," she told InStyle magazine (via the Daily Mail).

Becoming a mother has also made Mendes reevaluate the glitz and glam of Tinseltown. "If I'm even like, 'Oh, what should I wear? Or, should I do this project? All I have to think about is my daughter and her face, and I know the answer immediately," she said on the Today show (via Us Weekly). "[Esmeralda is] my moral compass in a way."

Mendes' maternal sacrifice was highlighted in January 2017, when Gosling accepted the Golden Globe for his performance in La La Land. "If she hadn't have taken all that on so that I could have this experience, there would surely be someone else up here other than me today," he told the crowd (via Fortune). "So, sweetheart, thank you."

Her films aren't raking in the big bucks

Hollywood is a fickle place, and at the end of the day, it's success at the box office that really does the talking. Mendes hasn't had the best track record with her films of late, and that can put a damper on anyone's career.

According to Box Office Mojo, 2013's The Place Beyond the Pines might have changed her personal life (That's where sparks flew with Ryan Gosling,) but it just didn't draw folks to the theaters. With a production budget of $15 million, it grossed a sad domestic product of just more than $21 million. 

Girl in Progress was Mendes's 2012 attempt at taking on serious family matters. "I was attracted to the fact that the character was such a mess of a woman and such a disaster of a mother, but really, truly trying her best," she told Collider. "I wanted to play a really flawed, real human being..." Alas, audiences weren't as passionate about the project. The film finished with a $2.6 million domestic gross after just 6 weeks in theaters. 

Her 2015 collaboration with Ryan Gosling, Lost River, proved even more dismal, grossing only $45,431 after a 21-day run. Oof.

She wants to shed her glamorous image

Mendes has made it clear that she wants to shed her glamorous image to court more challenging, diverse, and deeper roles. 

"Any opportunity I get not to wear makeup on set, I take. I really don't care about looking beautiful in a film unless I have to for the character," she told The Guardian in 2013. "I don't check the playback, I don't even know anything about lighting. I love anything that gets me closer to the role. So I needed to turn down those things that could possibly pigeonhole me." Mendes was vague on whether or not that meant she had actively been turning down roles, but in hindsight, that interview clearly forecast a turning point in her career. 

The Place Beyond the Pines gave her the opportunity to take on the part of a working class, single mom. Unfortunately, breaking free of the types of roles that made you famous in the first place, replacing those opportunities with high-quality alternatives, and getting Hollywood heavy-hitters on the same sheet of music can be easier said than done. 

She's a homebody

It goes without saying that Eva Mendes fights for her privacy. Just look at her 2008 trip to rehab, which was rumored to be for cocaine abuse but which her rep claimed was actually for "personal issues." Mendes never spoke about what happened on the record. Beyond that, Mendes appears to be especially private in her personal life. In fact, E! News pointed out that, as of March 2017, she and Ryan Gosling have only made two red carpet appearances together. Even Mendes' social media accounts are business-oriented, with little to no sign of Gosling or her daughters. She took her first selfie ever in 2015, which was posted less for "likes" and more for a good cause.

Privacy is something she and Gosling also crave for their daughters, whose births were practically hidden from the press. "Whether we like it or not, privacy is going to be very difficult for Esmeralda. I think it's unfair but that's our reality," Mendes said in an interview with Violet Grey. "So Ryan and I decided early on to give her as much privacy as we could. And my pregnancy was the first opportunity to give her that."

"What people don't know about me is that I love being home," Mendes told Shape. Yup, hiding from the spotlight? That's definitely one way to get the studios to stop calling you.

She's been dealing with personal tragedies

Although she's rich and famous, Eva Mendes' life is not immune to tragedy. In 2016, she lost her brother, Carlos, to cancer right around the time her daughter, Amada, was born. "We had a funeral service for him and that same week I had the baby," she told Latina magazine. "It was really, really intense and obviously beyond heartbreaking, but also kind of beautiful."

Her partner, Ryan Gosling, spoke of Mendes' struggle during his speech at the 2017 Golden Globes. "While I was singing, and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I've ever had on a film [on La La Land], my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer."

She's focused on her clothing and beauty brands

Here's a fun fact you might not know: Mendes designs her own clothing line for New York and Company and directs a beauty line called CIRCA. She told People in 2016 that the clothing line averages a new collection every six weeks. "We're just constantly making adjustments and really paying attention to what the customer wants," she said.

CIRCA is all about affordability; Elle reports the prices of the line are $7 to $15. "Growing up, I was from a very lower-middle class family, and I really got all my makeup and products from drugstores, but the quality of the products just wasn't there," Mendes said at CIRCA'S launch at a Duane Reade in Manhattan.

Like Jessica Simpson and Jessica Alba before her, Mendes appears to be repositioning herself as a legitimate business mogul in Hollywood. To which we say: awesome.

Her line of home goods fizzled

Not all of Mendes' business ventures have been successful. Case in point: her 2009 endeavor to launch a home decor line with Macy's. Vida by Eva Mendes was a Latin-inspired decor brand founded around five different "flavors," including a vibrant floral pattern called Jayde and a gold-and-embroidery style called Rosa.

"Vida is about easy luxury," Mendes said in a press release (via MTV)."The colors, fabrics, and textures that I live and love, brought to life in a stylish, comfortable, and affordable way. I'm excited to partner to see my passion for design come to life." Her partner in the endeavor was George Augusto, a now-former flame.

Vida is no longer available through Macy's, but an old listing on Business Wire suggests that price might have been a sticking point. Even though Mendes marketed the line as affordable, $130 for a set of sheets and bedding sets that lingered around the $500 mark aren't in the budget for many of her fans.

Humanitarian work 'profoundly affected' her

Eva Mendes has done her fair share of charity work over the years. In 2012, she visited Sierra Leone as part of the series Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, which raises awareness about issues affecting females worldwide. While on location, she met with a survivor of gender-based violence, Amie Kandeh, who works with the International Rescue Committee. 

"This experience has profoundly affected me," Mendes told People. "I was so shocked and saddened to learn the extent of gender-based violence taking place in Sierra Leone every day and that trip has made me want to be a part of the solution."

She also volunteers for The Art of Elysium, an organization that helps musicians, artists, and actors share their talents with sick children. "These children, they're just these beautiful little souls. Some of these kids can't speak, so they really just have their eyes and their souls to communicate," she told CNN. "And when you finger-paint with a kid or you dance and you see their little eyes light up, it's pretty incredible. And when you start visiting them on a regular basis, you see their growth. It's really quite special."

It sounds like Mendes may be realizing that her true passion favors humanitarian work over showbiz.

How she can turn it around

If Eva Mendes wants to start landing movie roles again, she could likely return to the type of fare that was a hit for her at the box office in days gone by. Think: HitchThe Other Guys and Ghost Rider. However, she's made it clear that she's not interested in just playing the pretty face anymore. Fair enough.

No matter what type of film or television work she pursues, Mendes may need to bite the bullet and create more of a presence on social media. Take her Twitter account, for example, which boasts more than 150,000 followers, even though she's yet to post a single tweet. Imagine if this woman gave us the occasional 140 characters or less.

Of course, Mendes has found something better than fame and fortune — love and family. If she ultimately opts for a night at home with her kids and her guy, we can't really say we blame her.