Eva de la Caridad Méndez (born March 5, 1974) is an American actress and model. She began acting in the late 1990s, and after a series of roles in B movies such as Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998) and Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), she made a career-changing appearance in Training Day (2001). Since then, Mendes has co-starred in films such as All About the Benjamins, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Ghost Rider, We Own the Night, Stuck on You, Hitch, and The Other Guys.
She has appeared in several music videos and has sung with CeeLo Green. Mendes has been a model and ambassador for Cocio chocolate milk, Magnum ice cream, Revlon, Calvin Klein, Cartier, Thierry Mugler perfume, Reebok, Campari apéritif, Pantene shampoo, Morgan, and Peek & Cloppenburg. She designs a fashion collection for New York & Company and is also the Creative Director of CIRCA Beauty, a makeup line sold at Walgreens.
Mendes began her acting career after a talent manager saw her photo in a friend's portfolio. Her first film appearance was in the direct-to-video Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror. Mendes was disappointed in her performance and she hired an acting coach. She then appeared in the films A Night at the Roxbury, My Brother the Pig, Urban Legends: Final Cut, and Exit Wounds.
Mendes' breakthrough role came when she appeared in Antoine Fuqua's neo-western crime thriller Training Day. This then led to roles in All About the Benjamins, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Once Upon a Time in Mexico (which earned her a nomination at the Teen Choice Awards), Out of Time, and Stuck on You. She was the female lead in the 2005 film Hitch, making her one of the first minority actors to play the lead in a hit romantic comedy. Mendes subsequently starred in The Wendell Baker Story, Guilty Hearts, Trust the Man, Ghost Rider, We Own the Night, Live!, and Cleaner.
In 2008, she was nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her performance in the all-female comedy film The Women. Mendes then appeared in The Spirit, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, The Other Guys, Last Night, Fast Five, and a spoof short film for Funny or Die. In 2012, Mendes visited Sierra Leone and was featured in the PBS documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. In 2012, she starred in the crime drama film The Place Beyond the Pines, with Entertainment Weekly describing her performance as "quietly heartbreaking". The following year, she appeared in the HBO comedy film Clear History.