A fiercely independent actress who refuses to be pressed into a conventional role, Eva Mendes was studying marketing in the late `90s when an agent stumbled across her photo and convinced her to pursue acting more steadily.Mendes, who is Cuban-American, was born in Miami and raised in Los Angeles. She started her acting career while she was in college. She began to study acting under Ivana Chubbuck. After a series of music videos and commercials, Mendes first serious role came when she starred opposite Denzel Washington in the Box Office hit ‘Training Day’. Her acting skills got her noticed by the celebrated director, Carl Franklin, who hired Mendes for the MGM feature ‘Out of Time’, once more starring opposite Denzel Washington. In the same year, Mendes appeared in ‘Once Upon A Time in Mexico’ opposite Johnny Depp.After these two block busters, there was no looking back for Mendes as she was signed opposite the likes of Will Smith and Nicolas cage in ‘Hitch’ and ‘The Ghost Rider’In a very short time, Mendes had the opportunity to work with esteemed directors such as Carl Franklin, Robert Rodriguez, Antoine Fuqua, the Farrelly Bros and John Singleton, therefore earning the reputation as a serious actress who is committed to her craft.