Eva Mendes Says Leaving Hollywood Behind Was “The Easiest Decision” She’s Ever Made

"Your career comes and goes..."

Eva Mendes attends Create & Cultivate Los Angeles at Rolling Greens Los Angeles on February 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Eva Mendes is opening up about her personal decision to step away from her acting career after becoming a parent alongside her partner of over 10 years, Ryan Gosling.

"It was the easiest decision I've ever made," Mendes told People in an exclusive interview. "I was older and I knew that my kids are going to be little once, and whatever I do or don't do right now is going to affect them the rest of their life."

The mom of two went on to say that she "didn't feel" any "pressure" to walk away from the entertainment industry to focus on motherhood, but instead felt "clarity."

"Your career comes and goes but kids, yeah, that was easy for me," she continued. "They're just formative years. I wanted to be there for all of it.

"It all matters when you have two little people watching you all day long," she continued, opening up about how her children make her more thoughtful about what she says and does. "It's frightening but it's good because it makes me try to be a better person every day."

Eva Mendes attends Create & Cultivate Los Angeles at Rolling Greens Los Angeles on February 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Eva Mendes attends Create & Cultivate Los Angeles at Rolling Greens Los Angeles on February 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mendes met Gosling on the set of their 2012 film The Place Between the Pines. The pair share two children together—Esmeralda Amada and Amada Lee.

In the same People interview, Mendes discussed becoming a mother "later in life," so-to-speak.

"When I was 40, it was a big deal for people when I was pregnant, and it wasn't for me," she told the publication. "And then I was 42 and I was pregnant with my second one and people were like: 'Oh my God, you're going to be so tired. That's why people have kids in their 20s.' I was like: 'That's the most sorry, asinine thing I've ever heard.'"

Mendes' partner and co-parent, Gosling, has been consistently open about how grateful he is for Mendes and how the work she does inside their home gives him the continued opportunity to pursue his own acting goals.

"I couldn’t be here without her," Gosling told Extra while attending the Los Angeles premiere of The Fall Guy on Tuesday, April 30.

"She’s also like my acting coach.” Gosling continued. “She has really become the best acting coach I have ever had, it's endless how she helps me.”

Recently, Mendes shared a photo of Gosling on her Instagram account, showing the actor wearing a t-shirt featuring the title of her new children's picture book, Desi, Mami, and the Never-Ending Worries.

A post shared by Eva Mendes

A photo posted by evamendes on

During the same interview with Extra, Gosling said of Mendes' new book that he's going to "let (Eva) speak for it, it's such a beautiful book."

"It’s been a few years in the making," he added. "We read a lot of kids’ books and it’s one of the best I have read. It’s really about something and beautiful."

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality and mental health, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find both her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.