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Eva Mendes Turns 50: Why Actress 'Never Quit' Hollywood Despite Not Starring in a Film for 10 Years

The actress celebrates her 50th birthday on Tuesday

<p>Tim Hunter / Newspix/Getty</p> Eva Mendes on Nov. 18, 2022

Tim Hunter / Newspix/Getty

Eva Mendes on Nov. 18, 2022

Eva Mendes is stepping foot into a new decade.

The actress marks her 50th birthday on Tuesday, and though she hasn't done a movie role in about a decade, Mendes is busy with a new children's book, supporting her partner Ryan Gosling's Barbie award season run, and stepping back into the fashion world.

Mendes, who shares two daughters with Gosling, 43, recently announced her new picture book, titled Desi, Mami & the Never-Ending Worries, out Sept. 17. The book, which will be available in English and Spanish, is illustrated by Abbey Bryant.

Related: Eva Mendes Admits She's Changed Her Mind About Valentine's Day After Becoming a Mom: 'I'm All Soft and Stuff'

"My latest project is a true labor of love," wrote Mendes on Instagram. "Being the Mami to my two little girls has inspired me to write my first picture book DESI, MAMI & THE NEVER ENDING WORRIES."

She explained that in the story, the characters "try to deal with those scary thoughts that can take over (especially at night) and dominate our mind."

<p>Adam Christopher /NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty</p> Eva Mendes

Adam Christopher /NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Eva Mendes

Mendes, who became co-owner and brand ambassador for the Skura Style brand in 2022, recently stepped out and made her fashion week return, attending Dolce & Gabbana’s Milan show.

"Mami's first fashion week in over 10 years!" she wrote on Instagram after. "Yup, I haven’t gone to a fashion event since I’ve been a Mama. Time flies when you’re mommying. Thanks for getting me out of the house @dolcegabbana!"

Mendes established herself as a movie star through roles opposite Denzel Washington in Training Day (2001), Paul Walker in 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003), Will Smith in Hitch (2005), Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider (2007) and more.

She last appeared onscreen in 2014's Lost River, directed by Gosling, but don't classify her as retired from acting.

In October 2022, Mendes clarified on Instagram that "I never quit acting." She added at the time, "I wanted to be home with my babies and fortunately my other business ventures allowed me to do that more than acting would."

<p> Jagged/Picturehouse/Kobal/Shutterstock</p> From left: Annette Bening, Eva Mendes and Jada Pinkett Smith in "The Women" (2008)

Jagged/Picturehouse/Kobal/Shutterstock

From left: Annette Bening, Eva Mendes and Jada Pinkett Smith in "The Women" (2008)

"Also," she continued, "I was not excited about the stereotypical roles being offered to me at the time. Especially after working on the film LOST RIVER -that was a dream project. That’s a tough act to follow."

Still, Mendes is the No. 1 supporter of Gosling's acting career, especially in his turn as Ken opposite Margot Robbie in last year's blockbuster Barbie, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Eva Mendes on March 15, 2019
Eva Mendes on March 15, 2019

"So proud of my man," she wrote on Instagram in January. " So much hate when he took on this role. So many people trying to shame him for doing it. Despite all the #Notmyken ridicule and articles written about him, he created this completely original, hilarious, heartbreaking, now iconic character and took it all the way to Oscars."

She added, "So beyond proud to be this Ken’s Barbie."

Sonia Recchia/Getty Images Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling in 2012
Sonia Recchia/Getty Images Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling in 2012

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Mendes and Gosling hit it off while starring together in 2012's The Place Beyond the Pines.

Though they keep mostly private about their personal life, the actor did give a shoutout to Mendes in January when he was honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

About his career, Gosling said in a speech, "Most importantly, I got to meet the girl of my dreams, Eva Mendes, and have two dream children. ... I dreamed of one day making movies, and now, movies have made my life a dream."

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