What does Eva Mendes like to do when she is not acting?
—Paula Cardenas, Houston, Texas
Mendes, 38, says she likes to take different kinds of classes. “Anything to grow, anything that I can get into, any area. I just took a course in Thai massage. I know it sounds so funny, but I enjoy giving massages,” she says. “My mother has always had terrible neck and back problems, so I grew up massaging her so I feel like she trained me well. So I took a course in Thai massage and I’ve got to say I’ve been told I am pretty good.”
The star of the movie Girl in Progress also has her own home furnishings line, Vida by Eva Mendes, which she began in 2008 with a line of bed linens for Macy’s, followed in 2010 with a dinnerware collection. “It is in a state of transition,” she says of the business, but adds, “That is my labor of love. My home. My vida.”
Last year Mendes went to Sierra Leone to speak with rape victims and raise awareness of the problem. “I went to meet this amazing local woman who started an organization called The Rainbow Center that helps girls that are victims of rape. Ten years ago, the civil war ended there so people no longer burn each others’ villages or shoot one another, but the rapes have continued. A huge percentage of these young women that are raped are under 12.” Mendes’ trip was filmed to be included a four-part documentary for PBS, Half the Sky, that is tentatively scheduled to air in October.