She began acting in the late 1990s, and after a series of minor roles and performances in several smaller films such as Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998) and Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), she broke into the mainstream, appearing in leading roles in Hollywood releases, such as Training Day (2001); 2 Fast 2 Furious, Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Stuck on You (all 2003); Hitch (2005); Ghost Rider and We Own the Night (both 2007); The Spirit (2008); Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009); The Other Guys.
Mendes was raised a Roman Catholic and aspired to be a nun. She is also fluent in Spanish. As a child, Mendes was teased about her buck teeth.
Along with acting, Mendes is employed by Revlon Cosmetics as an international spokeswoman
Maxim ranked Mendes #11 in its 2010 Hot 100 issue.Mendes appeared nude in an ad for Calvin Klein's Secret Obsession perfume. The ad was banned from airing in the United States.
Mendes and her boyfriend, filmmaker George Augusto, have been together since 2002. "I don't wanna have kids ... I love the little suckers; they're so cute. But I love sleep so much, and I worry about everything," she told Marie Claire. "I feel like the institution of marriage is a very archaic kinda thing. I don't think it fits in my world today." So if any one wants to make a move, here is your time.