Exclusive interview with mom-to-be Eva Mendes: ‘I’m the happiest I’ve ever been’ (VIDEO)

The last time I interviewed Eva Mendes was in early April, for Variety Latino. She was promoting her clothing line for New York & Company — which I’m obsessed with, by the way. So she gave Latinas tips on how to achieve the perfect balance between sexy and sophisticated, which is what she basically does every day without even trying.

But we also talked about her childhood, the values that her parents instilled in her, how her mother inspired and shaped her, how she defines success at this stage in her career, and what happiness means to her.

She talked about Ryan Gosling, too, but always in the context of their film work together. I thought she did some of her best work on “The Place Beyond The Pines.” And I’m excited to see Gosling’s directorial debut, “Lost River,” a dark fantasy in which she plays a Carmen Miranda-type character named Cat.

My hope with the interview was to give the Latino audience a glimpse into the real Eva, because I know that’s something she cares about deeply — so much so that she did the whole interview in Spanish! And so I hope that people walk away feeling like they know and understand her in a way they hadn’t before.

As long as I’ve known her, she’s never not had a glow. That just comes from being a genuinely good, beautiful person, inside and out.

Her answers to my last questions are very telling about where she is in life. And that makes me happy.

Check them out:

Do you think people have an idea of you that’s different from the real you?

I think so. I don’t think my Latinos know that I like the simple things and that I have no interest in fame whatsoever. If I wanted to be famous, I could be at all the parties, taking pictures. When you see a photo of me from the paparazzi, I’m always at the supermarket buying groceries, or with the dog. Gas, groceries, dog. Nothing fancy, nothing like that. Fame doesn’t interest me. Family interests me, and my designs.

What’s happiness to you?

What makes me happy? Rice and beans and yucca. And my family. Sharing with my family. It’s what everybody wants in life. My mom came over the other night and made me arroz con leche. That’s happiness to me.

Would you trade your life for another one, away from the public eye, the rumors, etc?

No. Sometimes it’s hard and it does affect me, because I have a mother and a father and they don’t like to read certain things. But I’m grateful every day for what I have.

It seems you’re in the happiest place you’ve ever been in your life. Is that fair to say?

Oh yeah…

Thoughts? Sound off in the comments.

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